It's no secret college is expensive. Considering the average cost of tuition, fees, and room and board is about $27,000 for a state school and nearly $56,000 at a private university, that investment is with protecting now more than ever.
It was late in the fall semester of 2019 when the student services and retention offices at Creighton University started thinking about ways to help students and families who are making such a big investment in higher education.
Andrea Bashara, Associate Director of Student Accounts, recalls the conversation with her colleagues when she first learned about GradGuard.
"They just kept saying, 'Have you guys looked at this? We really need to do something.'"
The Search for a Solution
Most colleges and universities, including Creighton, don't provide refunds for withdrawals beyond the first few weeks of classes. GradGuard's Tuition Insurance can help provide reimbursement when a student can't complete an academic term due to an unforeseen, covered illness, injury, or other covered reason.
When looking into GradGuard, Bashara says she reached out to a couple of trusted contacts at their collection agencies for their take on tuition insurance.
"They said, 'You got to reach out to Derrick Shy at GradGuard. Derrick is your guy,'" Bashara said.
Bashara reached out to Derrick and within one week he was on campus in Omaha to meet with her and her colleagues.
"We totally hit it off with him, our team did," Bashara said.
She took the information about GradGuard's Tuition Protection Program back to student affairs. Creighton then officially became a GradGuard partner in late 2019.
Getting Started With GradGuard
Creighton implemented the Tuition Protection Program late in the fall semester. Because tuition insurance must be purchased before the first day of the term, the window was closing in quickly to promote the program availability to students before the spring semester.
Bashara said they decided to add the information about GradGuard to the school website, and nothing more, just to see what kind of attention it would get that first term. It worked and a few families bought plans for that term. In April, Creighton got started on promoting the program for the upcoming fall semester.