GradGuard for Higher Education

John Fees

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2018 NACUBO SFS - Tuition Refunds & More

Posted by John Fees on Mar 13, 2018 7:03:00 PM

Today it was my pleasure to join Mike Reynolds of Auburn University to present at the annual NACUBO Student Financial Services conference.  It is always good to share the stage with a higher education veteran and true student financial services professional.  Mike and I had some 

We shared our experiences and research regarding:

Common & Emerging Best Practices for Disclosing and Managing Tuition Refunds.  

Our presentation focused on the growing impact/frequency of student medical withdrawals and the increasing cost of the financial losses experienced by institutions and families.  The discussion aimed to 

  • Understand national research / benchmarks for how schools disclose their refund policies & manage student withdrawals 
  • Understand how schools are reducing the costs and risks of administering tuition refund appeals process
  • Understand how schools are implementing tuition insurance programs to reducing the financial losses caused by students withdrawals.

It isn't always possible for schools to afford the cost of attending an industry conference in person, so I am pleased to share the slides from our discussion through the link below. 

Download the NACUBO SFS Slides 

The slides provide a summary of the industry research and also a review of the experience at Auburn University and other schools who have chosen to embrace a fully transparent approach to disclosing and managing tuition refunds. Given the growth in student medical withdrawals it is prudent for schools that do not provide 100% refunds to provide notice of their institutions refund policy.   

The research contained in the presentation provides a useful baseline for schools to benchmark their own experience in managing the growing cost of refunds.   You don't need to read the research or the slides, however, if you take a moment to consider the following conclusions of the presentation. 

If you are serious about reducing the cost of student withdrawals to your institution and the families you serve, then we recommend that you consider the following practical next steps:

Recommended Next Steps

1. Evaluate your institutions refund policy.

2. How are students provided “notice” of the refund policy?

3. Is your current refund policy administered objectively?

- Avoid subjective & arbitrary administration

4. What is the cost of administering your current policy?

- Confirm you do not accept student health records without a HIPAA release.

5. Adopt a fully transparent disclosure process and offer tuition insurance protection.

 

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Topics: student success, Student Life, tuition refund insurance, Tuition Insurance, student risk, Transparency, tuition refunds, Tuition Protection Plan, business operations,, nacubo,, Bursars,, Higher Education, Student Benefits, college parents, Refund Policy, Financial Literacy, student health, Best Practices by Colleges, college refunds,

Reducing the Cost of College Student Withdrawals 

Posted by John Fees on Mar 4, 2018 2:44:28 PM

If you are like many college and university officials, you are facing a growing number of student withdrawals.  

Student withdrawals are a costly event for everyone. Institutions depend on the funds that students pay in tuition and fees. Students and their families may suffer a financial loss as well as from the trauma of unexpected event such as an illness or injury that disrupts an academic term.

Our research indicates that very few schools provide 100% refunds to students who complete a withdrawal mid-term. Even when a hardship exists such as the death of a parent or substance abuse incident it is uncommon for colleges to provide 100% refunds.

As a result, we are pleased to announce that the GradGuard Tuition Protection Plan from Allianz Global Assistance is now available to schools who are looking to provide refunds to students who are forced to withdraw from school due to illnesses, injuries or other  covered reason.  

The Tuition Protection Plan is offered only to school partners who enter into a non-exclusive participation agreement.  This agreement assures your students that they will receive the enhanced coverages schools expect and students need.

Speak with us to learn more about why our modern tuition insurance programs are an important student benefit and a valuable form of protection.  

Learn More About GradGuard's Tuition Protection Plan from Allianz. 

 

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Topics: student success, Student Life, student health, tuition refund insurance, Tuition Insurance, student risk, Transparency, tuition refunds

Helping to Reduce the Growing Cost of Student Withdrawals with GradGuard

Posted by John Fees on Nov 8, 2017 12:39:22 PM

GradGuard's mission is to help protect the investment student's and their families make in a higher education. We aim publish research and bring attention to trends of vital interests to our colleagues who work to promote greater student success.

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Topics: Tuition Insurance, tuition refund insurance, Student Benefits, student health

Protecting International Students

Posted by John Fees on Jun 2, 2017 6:10:27 PM

This is a big week for professionals who serve international students. 

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Topics: College Life Protected, Tuition Insurance, tuition refund insurance, Tuition Protection Plan, international, Best Practices by Colleges, college renters insurance, international students

Decision Design in Education - Make It Easy

Posted by John Fees on May 25, 2017 7:32:58 PM

Have you ever noticed that in life - easy stuff get's done.  Making it easy for students to make good decisions is a cornerstone of a well-designed education.  For instance, placing a recylcing bin next to a garbage can just works.  People and students recyle when it's easy.  

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Topics: Best Practices by Colleges, Renters Liability, Transparency, college renters insurance, renters insurance

Do you provide 100% refunds?

Posted by John Fees on May 16, 2017 7:47:24 PM

If your institution does not provide 100% refunds to students then it is prudent to determine how your college or university can verify that the institution has disclosed its refund policy.

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Topics: Bursars,, Tuition Protection Plan, tuition refund insurance, Transparency, Disclosures, Refund Policy

Taking Tuition Insurance to the Next Level

Posted by John Fees on May 5, 2017 4:33:21 PM

We are very pleased to be working with Allianz Global Assistance to help take tuition insurance to the next level.  Very pleased to share this public announcement. Thanks to our partnership, schools and families have access to world-class service and valuable protections offered through our Tuition Protection Plan

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Topics: College Life Protected, Tuition Insurance, tuition refund insurance, Tuition Protection Plan

Student Health & Helping to Reduce the Growing Cost of Student Withdrawals with GradGuard Tuition Insurance

Posted by John Fees on May 2, 2017 8:21:16 PM

GradGuard's mission is to help protect the investment student's and their families make in a higher education. We aim publish research and bring attention to trends of vital interests to our colleagues who work to promote greater student success.

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Topics: Tuition Insurance, tuition refund insurance, Student Benefits, student health

2017 Trends & Topics for Student Financial Services

Posted by John Fees on Apr 24, 2017 5:22:54 PM

                       
 

Over the years of working with more than 200 colleges and universities, we have learned that there are many higher education conferences that are valuable to attend to see colleauges and customers.  One of the most useful and relevant conferences is the Professional Development Group's annual Bursar conference.

This year's conference is near Jacksonville and features a terrific set of education panels and discussions.  Of particular note, is the time that PDG dedicates to discussing the trends that impact schools and also the work involved to share benchmarks and best practices among schools.  There is a sincere interest of everyone attending on reducing the costs of college for students and their families, helping students make informed decisions and promoting greater college completion.

As one example, is from the  The 2017 Survey on Student Withdawals & Refunds. This report reveals that nearly half of schools reporting an increase in student medical withdrawals and as a result more schools than ever are providing the opportunity for their students to protect themselves through tuition insurance. 

In addition to the focus on reducing costs, the conference includes a useful series of discussions on the importance of helping college students and their families make informed decisons.  Join industry veterans John Fees, co-founder of GradGuard, and Craig Lockwood the Managing Director of Tuition Management Systems as they lead a discussion on the timely topic of Decision Design and how student financial services professionals are "Helping Students and Families Take Informed Action".  

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Topics: Bursars,, Transparency, Tuition Insurance, college completion, Best Practices by Colleges

2017 New & Improved - College Renters Insurance

Posted by John Fees on Mar 31, 2017 7:07:06 PM

I love the spring. The last day of March, however, brings the reality that Major League Baseball spring training is ending and the hot Arizona summer will soon be upon us.

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Topics: ACUHOI, renters insurance, student risk, Student Risk Management, college renters insurance, Student housing, college theft, college risk, business operations,

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GradGuard for Higher Education examines how unexpected losses can affect student success, bringing you the latest in best practices and trends for safety on and off campus.

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  • Effects of loss on student outcomes

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