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What is tuition insurance and does my college student need it?

Published: Aug. 6, 2020 at 6:00 PM CDT
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SPRINGFIELD, Mo. (KY3) -

A new semester is around the corner for college students and they might be concerned about contracting COVID-19 and missing classes they’ve paid for. That could be where tuition insurance comes in.

“There’s lots of reasons why students don’t complete their degrees and many of them are health related issues,” Co-founder of GradGuard, John Fees, says.

Students from around the country can get tuition insurance but pandemics usually aren’t covered. However, it is through GradGuard.

“It does not pay for the change in the way the classes might be taught, moving them online,” Fees says. “It doesn’t pay if a school says we’re shutting down and we’re gonna send you all home. What it does do is really pay for those unexpected illnesses and injuries, including COVID, that might impact your ability to complete your term.”

Students and families should reach out to schools first to see if they offer full refunds or insurance. Fees says most schools only offer full tuition refunds within the first few weeks of the semester.

The insurance his company offers covers money spent not only tuition, but housing, books and other academic fees.

“We pay for all those financial losses for our insured and it’s really about giving students a chance, and their families, to have a do-over when something unexpected happens,” Fees says.

The policy also covers if a parent or guardian dies of COVID-19 and you have to leave school.

The company is paired with 350 colleges across the country but isn’t directly partnered with any of the colleges in Springfield. Students can still get tuition insurance online, just for a higher fee.

A sophomore at Missouri State University, Matthew Talty, says it might be worth the investment.

“You paid to get here and you have the right for that money to stay with you and if you’re not able to go to school, then the money you spent isn’t going where you want it to be,” Talty says.

Copyright 2020 KY3. All rights reserved.

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