Some parents are turning to tuition insurance to protect their college investment from Covid-19

Universities do not often offer extensive refund policies, but covid-specific tuition insurance can protect your investment.
Updated: Aug. 13, 2020 at 10:24 PM EDT
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CLEVELAND, Ohio (WOIO) - The decisions parents are being forced to make, due to the pandemic, about how best to approach school are causing stress levels to rise in households all over Northeast Ohio.

That stress does not go away once your student graduates from high school, specifically if they are moving on to higher education where now parents are paying huge bills for semesters that may happen on campus or through remote instruction.

The real worry comes in keeping college students healthy but a secondary concern is if a student does get sick what becomes of the massive investment made in tuition.

Jason Ver Sluys’ daughter will be a freshman at Kent State this fall and as Ver Sluys worked through the process he was struck by an offer for covid-specific tuition insurance.

“For less than $300 it was a no-brainer considering the magnitude of what I would be outlaying for my daughter,” Ver Sluys said.

Ver Sluys bought a covid-specific tuition insurance policy through GradGuard.

Simply put, according to Natalie Tarangioli, of GradGuard, if your child contracts the virus and can’t finish the school year because they become sick, your tuition, and even some fees and housing, are reimbursed.

“No one knows what college is going to look like when it starts in a few weeks or less than a month,” Tarangioli said.

For Van Sluys it relieves some, not all, of the stress he was feeling in sending his daughter to the Kent State campus for the start of her freshman year.

“God forbid she was one of the students who had to skip away for several weeks, it absolutely did play into my decision,” Van Sluys said.

GradGuard says they have developed partnerships with hundreds of universities to provide this insurance, to help those universities, who have notoriously abysmal refund policies, and students through what can be a difficult process, when a student gets sick.

Tuition insurance has been offered for years, but just recently covid-specific insurance was added.

“When we cover it in a very specific sense it still provides a little bit of piece of mind in a more feasible way,” Tarangioli said.

GradGuard’s research shows that close to 75 percent of parents have no idea what the refund policy is at their student’s university, but that number should be changing as parents pay more attention to protecting their investment.

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