Consumer Protection
5 Essential Questions for Higher Ed in 2015
By John Fees on Jan 7, 2015

John Fees

John Fees is the Co-Founder and Managing Director of GradGuard™. Fees is a graduate of Arizona State University, where he received a bachelors of science degree in History and is also a graduate of Harvard Business School where he completed a Masters in Business Administration. John Fees lives in Phoenix, Arizona and is married to Melissa Soza Fees, Ph.D. and is the father of five children. He is the Treasurer for the Arizona College Success Arizona, a Director of College Parents of America, Founding Director and investor in Tonto Creek Camp which provides service leadership experiences to 8,000 students annually. He is also an active member of University Risk Management and Insurance Association and the Professional Insurance Marketers Association.

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It is striking to me how often GradGuard's college and university clients are asked to do more with less. There is a real concern that colleges are over-regulated and the rules too complex to easily administer. With college tuition prices on the rise, prospective families are becoming ever critical. We understand the challenges schools face in keeping up with higher education trends and applaud those institutions who have asked themselves the questions below.

Here are five essential questions to ask your institution in 2015.

  1. How do you demonstrate to students that college is "safe" investment? Are you highlighting the key student benefits your campus provides to students to help them succeed and overcome disruptions to their education?
  2. How does your campus demonstrate a commitment to operating with greater transparency? Is it easy to find your institutions Clery Report, IX compliance data, graduation data and refund information?
  3. When was the last time your campus evaluated how students are informed of institutional policies? The regulations impacting all parts of campus have grown, has your campus implemented processes to collect policy acknowledgements or electronic consents from students?
  4. What is your campus refund policy for college tuition and fees? If your campus does not provide 100% refunds in the case of qualified medical withdrawals, then it is prudent to make sure that each student has been provided "notice" of such policy and given the opportunity to protect the investment from loss. If you provide 100% refunds, then take credit for it.  If not, you will benefit from listening to the webinar included within this post.
  5. How does your campus prove students have been adequately informed of institutional policies? Have your students been given "notice" of your institutional policies such as FERPA, tuition refunds and resident liability?

As 2014 demonstrates, the context for the leadership of colleges and universities has changed. Therefore the way schools embrace these changes in 2015 can truly help differentiate their institutions. Given the cost of a higher education and the consumer protections that regulators seek to provide to students and their families, these questions are vital for each campus to consider.

Interested in learning more about how your school can provide more notice and transparency to your students?

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