GradGuard for Higher Education

College Confidence & More + Bursars 2018

Posted by John Fees on Apr 18, 2018 1:56:59 PM

There are several gatherings of higher education officials that I find to be filled with essential truths. 

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Topics: College Life Protected, Tuition Insurance, Consumer Protection, Refund Policy, Transparency, college completion, Is College Worth It, Disclosures, regulation, Higher Education, Bursars,, nacubo,, business operations,, college refunds,

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

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: renters insurance, Best Practices by Colleges, Transparency, Renters Liability, college 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: tuition refund insurance, Refund Policy, Transparency, Disclosures, Bursars,, Tuition Protection Plan

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

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

Professional Development Group Webinar On Best Practices for Disclosing & Managing Tuition Refunds

Posted by GradGuard on Sep 22, 2016 9:21:35 AM

Every year, unexpected events happen that can often disrupt a student's education...and when they do, GradGuard's Tuition Protection Plan can help pay for the potential financial loss experienced by the school and family.  

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Topics: tuition refund insurance, Tuition Insurance, Transparency, tuition refunds

NACUBO Annual Meeting - Ensuring Student Success

Posted by John Fees on Jul 25, 2016 3:35:24 PM

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Topics: student success, Tuition Insurance, Refund Policy, Higher Education Policy, Transparency, leadership, college completion, Disclosures, Higher Education, nacubo,

Does your campus provide 100% refunds?

Posted by GradGuard on May 4, 2016 1:39:30 PM

If your campus does not provide 100% refunds for medical withdrawals, 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.  

There is still time to implement a tuition refund insurance program for this year. Please contact us today if we can be of service to you and your students.

Help Us Protect Our Students & Institution

Please note that as families prepare to make their financial deposits to enroll in the fall semester, it is worth evaluating how your campus discloses their refund policies to each student.

A 2014 survey of 814 college parents found that many parents don’t know the answer.      

  • 71% of parents did not recall be informed of the university medical refund policy
  • 66% of parents had no idea of how the university would handle a medical withdrawal

The same 2014 survey of college parents revealed that only 26% would not 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.Can_you_return_to_college_chart_copy

 

Though medical withdrawals are an 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.  

Therefore, if your campus does not provide 100% refunds for medical withdrawals, 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.


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Topics: tuition refund insurance, Tuition Insurance, Transparency, tuition refunds

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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