Does College Tuition Insurance Cover COVID-19?

When it involves main life purchases, a school schooling is true up there with a house. For the 2019-2020 tutorial 12 months alone, the typical price of tuition, charges, and room and board topped $30,500.

It is sensible that with a lot unknown about how the coronavirus will have an effect on campuses throughout the nation, there’s a renewed deal with refund insurance policies and tuition insurance coverage.

Only 6% of schools refund 100% of tuition if the coed must withdraw previous the drop date for medical causes. And most colleges received’t refund tutorial charges, housing or books within the case of a medical withdrawal.

But earlier than you run out and purchase a tuition insurance coverage coverage, ensure it covers withdrawals on account of COVID-19 (spoiler alert: It most likely doesn’t). Here’s what that you must learn about tuition insurance coverage and whether or not it’s price it.

What Is Tuition Insurance?

Tuition insurance coverage protects you from shedding money if it’s important to withdraw from faculty later within the semester.

Typically, faculties will present refunds on tuition for those who drop out early. However, refunds are normally supplied on a sliding scale and don’t embody further prices like charges or room and board.

For instance, at Boston University, the place lessons started Sept. 2, a pupil who withdraws throughout the first 5 weeks can get 20% to 100% of tuition again, relying on the withdrawal date, up till Oct. 8. At UCLA, whose fall quarter begins Sept. 23, a pupil can withdraw via Nov. 11 and get not less than 40% again.

“Colleges often have lousy refund policies if the student drops out after the census date ― also called the add/drop date,” mentioned Mark Kantrowitz, writer and vice chairman of analysis at That is sensible from the school’s perspective, since it could’t substitute a pupil who drops out midyear. But it may be financially devastating for college kids who want to go away due to an unexpected challenge.

Tuition insurance coverage, also called tuition refund insurance coverage, guarantees to refund tuition and costs if the coed is pressured to withdraw from the school due to sickness, damage or loss of life. It might be bought straight via the college (if tuition insurance coverage is obtainable) or via third-party sellers, reminiscent of A.W.G. Dewar and GradGuard.

Tuition refund insurance coverage usually prices about 1% to 2% of the lined quantity, in line with Kantrowitz. So the premium on a $20,000 coverage, for instance, could be round $200 to $400. It additionally covers solely a single tutorial time period or tutorial 12 months, and it could or could not cowl room and board and different charges along with tuition.

Does Tuition Insurance Cover COVID-19?

The query on many faculty college students’ minds is whether or not tuition insurance coverage can shield them from shedding money in the event that they go away faculty as a result of coronavirus.

The dangerous information is that the majority tuition refund insurance coverage insurance policies don’t cowl pandemics. Currently, GradGuard is the one nationwide possibility that does. There are 350 schools and universities that provide its Tuition Protection Plan, which covers tutorial charges, room and board, deposits and tuition at a 1% premium.

“However, the student must have withdrawn because they were infected with COVID-19, not because they were dissatisfied with their college’s handling of the pandemic … or because they are worried about the pandemic,” Kantrowitz mentioned.

Of course, issues could change relying on how lengthy we take care of the virus and whether or not a vaccine is efficiently developed and distributed. It’s at all times a good suggestion to ask your faculty about its tuition insurance coverage choices and whether or not it would cowl you within the case of COVID-19.

Is Tuition Insurance Worth It?

Whether or not you’re involved concerning the coronavirus particularly, you might be questioning if tuition insurance coverage is a good suggestion to have normally.

“As with any insurance product, the devil is in the details,” mentioned Ibrahim Firat, chief instructional marketing consultant at Firat Education. Most tuition insurance policy cowl withdrawal just for a critical well being challenge. If you drop out since you’re doing poorly academically, don’t like the college or get expelled, insurance coverage received’t cowl you.

“Most college students believe they are young and healthy, and feel they probably won’t need to withdraw for medical reasons,” Firat mentioned. “However, there are situations when it might make sense to consider buying it, and a pandemic like COVID along with other lingering uncertainties has changed this perspective.”

First, ensure you ask about your faculty’s refund coverage. Less than 1 / 4 of fogeys mentioned their pupil’s faculty refund coverage was disclosed through the enrollment course of, in line with a 2018 College Parents of America report.

When evaluating a tuition insurance coverage plan, Firat mentioned it’s essential to learn the wonderful print and perceive what conditions are lined and for a way a lot. Some plans reimburse 100% of lined prices, whereas others could solely reimburse 75% of your monetary loss.

Firat additionally warned that tuition insurance coverage would possibly look like a good suggestion when you have continual well being points, however many insurance policies exclude preexisting situations.

Ultimately, you’ll want to contemplate your funds, well being and the small print of any potential coverage. A couple of hundred {dollars} may be effectively definitely worth the peace of thoughts that you simply’re protected in case of a medical emergency. But for those who’re wholesome and the plan doesn’t cowl COVID-19, it could be a waste of money.


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