DALLAS (NewsNation) — The cost of college can be astronomical, and during the pandemic many families and students are weighing their option. Some are questioning choices like whether to stay home or defer a semester. Many are also worried about exposure to COVID-19 and getting sick. With no end to the pandemic in sight, facing the unknown is in just about every facet of life. Now, college students have an option to keep in their back pocket, tuition insurance.
People across the country are packing up and shipping out. Some, like those at the University of North Carolina, have had to do it twice in just a matter of months.
“Well, you knew it was a possibility when it started,” said one University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill father. “It wasn’t what we were hoping for.”
One UNC student said: “It’s just ridiculously inequitable for students to be going home—back and forth to other states in the United States— while not being sure how their class is going to be taught.”
Campus chaos has been the catalyst for nationwide petitions and lawsuits asking for refunds, leaving many families thinking about finances moving forward.
Natalie Tarangioli works for GradGuard, one of many companies offering tuition insurance to college students. She says it hasn’t been a household concept until the coronavirus pandemic.
She says along with the virus this thought for many paying families came: “I’m spending a lot of money on college, there must be some way I can protect this. I pay for a home and a car, and these have insurance options. What about college?”
She says tuition insurance is not dropout insurance. Tuition insurance is applicable only to students with a complete medical withdrawal approved by a doctor. Tarangioli says the possibility of getting coronavirus, or even the slew of mental health disorders that can accompany the pandemic, are legitimate reasons to consider coverage.
With insurance, for about one percent of your tuition, she says students can receive up to 100 percent of it back in their pocket. Unfortunately, it doesn’t cover students whose campuses went virtual and now aren’t getting the college experience they’d hoped for.
“It also wouldn’t work if you go to school and you say ‘You know what, I don’t fit in here, I don’t like the campus,’” said Tarangioli. “’I don’t like the people, I’d rather go to a different school,’ this wouldn’t work in that instance either.”
GradGuard also suggests to check with your university and see what their reimbursement policy looks like, it’s possible you don’t even need tuition insurance. Tarangioli said to check with other agencies to see who offers the best deal. She does, however, warn that if you want coverage you need to think fast. It has to be purchased before the start of the semester.