What College Parents Do Not Know Can Be Costly

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GradGuard™ Advises Families Prepare for the Unexpected at College to Avoid Financial Losses

Tuition is paid, books have been bought and college move-in day is complete. What’s next? Hopefully your student will have a great semester, but what if something comes up – have you planned for the unexpected? With only 58% of college students graduating within 6 years, it is vital for students and their families to ask what may disrupt a student’s college education.

How can your college student overcome the financial loss that may result from an unexpected event or loss? You and your student should consider and prepare for the risks of college life, and explore the options available to protect your family from a loss. GradGuard™ recommends you examine the areas where you may be financially vulnerable, an important step in determining how to best protect your family:

1. Does your college refund 100% of tuition and academic fees for student medical withdrawals?

In a June 2013 survey of 600 undergraduate parents of freshmen or sophomore students, less than one-third of parents surveyed recalled being told about their school’s refund policy. In the same survey, nearly two-thirds of parents have no idea how their school would handle a refund for a medical withdrawal.

“With a majority of colleges only refunding a portion of tuition following the start of school, the real problem is the financial loss that a medical withdrawal creates for the student,” according to John Fees, co-founder of GradGuard. Fees added, “A student who is dealing with a medical issue such as an illness, injury or death of a parent should not also have to consider the financial and academic consequence of losing their investment.

Students and their families who cannot afford the loss, should ask their schools about how to enroll in tuition refund insurance or look for it included with other services, such as a loan, or as a membership benefit, such as those offered by College Parents of America.”

2. Does your college replace stolen or damaged computers, bicycles or other personal property? Will your homeowner’s insurance policy apply?

In a May 2013 survey of college and university Chief Housing Officers, 70% of respondents agreed that financial losses to students due to the theft of a bicycle, backpack or computer can become a financial burden to college students.

As a result, students should consider renters insurance to provide valuable protection. Renters insurance is an easy and affordable way to protect your personal property against theft, water damage, fire, and other hazards of college life. Renters insurance by GradGuard is designed with a deductible as low as $100 and includes coverage for both personal property and liability, making it a good fit for a college budget.

The National Association of Insurance Commissioners recommends that students and their parents look into getting certain types of insurance, based on the risks of college life. In their 2012 Consumer Alert concerning college student insurance needs, the NAIC suggests renters insurance as one of several practical protections that may benefit students.

About GradGuard:

GradGuard is a service of Next Generation Insurance Group, LLC (NGI). Founded by veteran collegiate, affinity and insurance marketing executives, NGI has established the nation's first comprehensive insurance and benefits solution specifically designed for the collegiate market. GradGuard.com aims to offer protection for college life. Its products include tuition refund insurance, renters insurance and medical insurance. For more information, visit http://www.gradguard.com or call 877-556-3984. Follow the company on Twitter @gradguard for life-stage risk news, information and product updates.

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Jenn Sheehan
GradGuard
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since: 03/2009
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