For many parents, sending a second child off to college is usually easier than the first. After learning what worked and didn’t work the first time around, they may feel more prepared for the challenges that come up. With so much money at stake, the investment families make in college is worth protecting.
When Russ H. was preparing to send his son to attend school at New York University in the fall of 2019, he purchased a tuition insurance plan for him through GradGuard. He recalls his wife first learning about GradGuard from a friend when their older daughter was attending Santa Clara University in 2015.
They had a tuition insurance plan for her during all four years of college for peace of mind, he said. Even though the family never had to file a claim and their daughter was attending school close to home, they appreciated having the safety net.
Protecting your peace of mind
It was a much different case with Russ’ son, who was attending school across the country in New York, far away from the family’s home in the San Francisco Bay Area.
His son had a collapsed lung in high school, and the family’s health insurance plan didn’t cover him outside of California. NYU, which is one of GradGuard’s 450+ partner schools, offers tuition insurance options to students and families. The private research university in New York City shares some of the benefits of tuition insurance on their website with other student account information.
The university's webpage explains what's covered and what's not, and that tuition insurance is an optional benefit not administered through the university. Campus administrators don't sell tuition insurance, so many of GradGuard's school partners share testimonial and explainer videos on their school website as a resource to students and families.
With his son's well-being top of mind, Russ said opting to purchase a tuition protection plan was a no-brainer.
Difficult decisions made easier with tuition insurance
Russ’ son completely withdrew from NYU shortly after Thanksgiving. He was struggling with depression, according to his father.
“Being 19, he thought he could take care of it on his own,” Russ said. “We even went out there in October and he was fine.” Russ says he believes his son was struggling due to being so far away from home, as well as other factors. “I didn’t want to get to the point of forcing him to stay, so we just made the decision to bring him home,” he said.
Russ said even if they didn’t have GradGuard, they would have brought him home. But getting reimbursed the cost of tuition, room and board, and academic fees was tremendous. “It was huge,” Russ said. “I tell everybody that I know. It’s insurance, you don’t want to use it. But if you do need it and use it, it’s great. It wasn’t just $1,000. It was a lot of money.”
For the 2021-2022 school year, tuition and mandatory fees alone cost $56,500, according to the university’s website. The cost of room and board, books and supplies, and transportation costs soar to a total of $80,878.
GradGuard allows students and families to protect their tuition, room and board, and academic fees up to $40,000 per term. Being able to get a refund for their hard-earned investment meant their son was able to get a second chance at college.
A straightforward claims process
When Russ and his wife went through the claims process with GradGuard and Allianz Global Assistance, he said he never felt like he was on his own during the process.
“You can call, you get the answer. Or they give you somebody who can get the answer,” Russ said. “So whether it’s email or by phone, you’re not left out thinking, ‘I don’t know what’s going on.’ Because these days, that’s the worst thing.”
Russ says buying a GradGuard Tuition Insurance Plan was the best investment he’s ever made.
“When I tell people now, it’s not a huge amount of money when you consider the flip side if you actually need it,” he said. “I still wake up in a cold sweat sometimes thinking, ‘If we didn’t have this…”
Fortunate do-over for college
His son has since returned to college, but this time, closer to home at Santa Clara University. “Anybody that has a kid, I tell them the story. It’s like a war story,” Russ said. “It’s a couple hundred bucks and it’s going to save you tens of thousands of dollars. I don’t know anybody who would not do it. I highly recommend GradGuard to everyone and anybody.”
GradGuard's Tuition Protection Program can provide refunds for medical withdrawals when colleges and universities don't. Check your school's eligibility by contacting GradGuard at CampusInterest@gradguard.com or request a call here.