GradGuard for Higher Education

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

Reducing the Cost of Withdrawals

Posted by GradGuard on Nov 14, 2016 12:09:44 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 is now available to schools who are looking to provide refunds to students who have to withdraw from school due to a 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 (coverage for addiction, high risk activities or death of a student that lead to a student withdrawal) and a lower price.

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

Renters Insurance For Summer Program Residents

Posted by John Fees on Mar 30, 2016 10:20:37 AM

The ACUHOI community forum offers a robust place for housing professionals to discuss topics.  Today a discussion occured regarding institutional policies for summer programs.  Schools, particularly in popular urban locations, such as Washington D.C., Chicago and many others have strong and growing conference programs.  

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Topics: Student Life, renters insurance, Best Practices by Colleges, Renters Liability, Student housing, ACUHOI

Controversy & Campus Reports on Clery Data

Posted by John Fees on Dec 21, 2015 10:15:30 AM

Kelly Field wrote in the November 25, 2015 issue of The Chronicle of Higher Education an important article (“How Much Can Campus-Crime Reports Tell Us About Sexual Assault?”) on what campus crime reports reveal about sexual assaults on college campuses.  

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Topics: Student Life, college theft, Financial Literacy, College Life Protected, Student Risk Management, Best Practices by Colleges, Higher Education Policy, Transparency, Risk Management, ACUHOI, Clery Act, Campus Crime, Campus Safety, Higher Education

Renters Insurance Discussion within ACUHOI

Posted by GradGuard on Dec 15, 2015 10:53:47 AM

It was great to see ACUHOI discussion regarding the value of renters insurance in their message boards / forums.  These are really useful discussions and it is great to see the variety of topics impacting leaders in student housing.

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Topics: Student Life, renters insurance, Best Practices by Colleges, Renters Liability, Student housing, ACUHOI

The Cost of Medical Withdrawals

Posted by GradGuard on Aug 4, 2015 12:30:00 AM

Though student medical withdrawals are infrequent, they appear to be a growing concern for institutions and the families they serve.  A 2015 survey of college officials estimated that 41% of campuses report having more than 1% of students complete a medical withdrawal a year and 59% indicating less than 1%. 

Clearly 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 from both a medical event but should not be surprized by learning after the fact that the instituion may not provide a refund.  

The American College Health Association publishes data that demonstrates the trends and frequency of medical events that may disrupt a students education.  In the most recent report the 2014 annual survey revealed:

If your campus does not provide 100% refunds for medical withdrawals these medical events and the potential medical withdrawal that results can be devastating for a family. In fact, a 2014 national survey of 800 college parents revealed that only 26% would be able to afford the financial loss / additional semester and 51.2% of students said it would be difficult or not possible to absorb the loss.

As students return to campus for the start of college, we like to remind our college and university partners to recommit to disclosing their refund policies to each student. GradGuard recommends that your institution provide notice to each student of your refund policy and also provide the opportunity for students to protect themselves from the financial loss that may result from an unexpected medical withdrawal.  

Please contact us today if we can be of service to you and your students.

Help Us Protect Our Students & Institution

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

Tuition Payment Plan Protection

Posted by John Fees on Jul 16, 2015 12:06:08 PM

According to the NACUBO SFS report, as of 2013 95% of institutions surveyed offered tuition payment plans.  

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Topics: student success, Student Life, College Life Protected, Tuition Insurance, life insurance, college parents, college completion

Who Pays for College When a Parent Dies?

Posted by John Fees on Jan 22, 2015 2:28:00 PM

There are many life events that can disrupt a student’s college education, but none more severe than the loss of a parent. Given the severity of such a disruption, it is startling how little awareness there on this topic. This lack of awareness could simply be that college and university administrators have not closely considered how the loss of a parent affects not only the student, but the entire institution.

Infrequent but Dramatic Impact:

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Topics: student success, Student Life, College Life Protected, Tuition Insurance, life insurance, college parents, college completion

Dr. King's Lessons on Leadership

Posted by John Fees on Jan 19, 2015 12:28:00 PM

This weekend, I took the time to reread Dr. Martin Luther King's Letter from a Birmingham Jail that he composed on April 16, 1963.

Dr. King's letter addressed themes of social justice and explained his rationale for leading in a response to local clergy who, though they recognized injustice was real and present in Alabama, did not agree with Dr. King's timing or approach.

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Topics: Student Life, college life, Transparency, leadership

College Life Protected

Insights on student risk

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.

Here you'll learn more about:

  • Risks on and off campus
  • How schools are using benefits programs to protect and attract students
  • Effects of loss on student outcomes

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