70% Growth in Student Medical Withdrawals Reported in most recent national survey on Managing Student Withdrawals & Tuition Refunds

January 10, 2020 5:41:43 PM EST / by GradGuard

Since 2015, GradGuard has sponsored research to better understand the common practices of managing student withdrawals and tuition refunds. The common issues and best practices impacting student withdrawals often fall between departments and industry associations.

While strong research efforts are being made to advance the understanding of factors that promote greater college attainment, gaps exist particularly in how schools respond to and manage the costs involved with hardship and medically-necessary student withdrawals.

In fact, the insights fall between industry associations and administrative functions. Specifically, insights for how schools manage refunds and medical withdrawals appears to fall between Student Services (NASPA / ACPA) and Student Financial Services (NACUBO and PDG) and Enrollment Management (AACRAO SEM).

2019 survey pyrmid chart v2


As a result, GradGuard is pleased to have sponsored the third bi-annual survey of the Trends and Best Practices for Managing Student Withdrawals & Tuition Refunds.

The 2019 survey is the largest to date and includes completed surveys from179 institutions, representing approximately 1.8 million students. The research was administered by HigherEdStudy during December 2019. Participants in the study are representatives of student financial services, bursars, and student health administrators.

The 2019 survey builds upon similar research conducted in 2015 and 2017, and as a preview, reveals important trends. Four key findings that are noteworthy appear below.

2019 survey trends chart v2

The 2019 study reveals a new benchmark for the following:

  • 70% of schools surveyed report a growth in student medical withdrawals - up from just 42% in 2015.
  • 98% of schools surveyed agree or strongly agree that they are required to disclose the institutions refund policy to students - up from 62% in 2015.
  • 49% of schools surveyed actively disclose their refund policies to students - up from only 20% in 2015.
  • The number of schools surveyed that report to provide 100% refunds to students for tuition and fees who complete a medical withdrawal declined to 6% - down from 23% in 2015.

Free Webinar on Trends and Best Practices for Managing Student Withdrawals & Tuition Refunds

Learn more about the complete survey results, including benchmark data that contrasts differences in refund policies by private and public institutions, as well as large and small institutions.

Please join the co-founder of GradGuard, John Fees, to review the results and learn more about how your institution may benefit from comparing your student withdrawal processes to this national sample.

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Topics: Enrollment Management, Best Practices by Colleges, college completion, tuition refunds, Higher Education, Bursars,, nacubo,, business operations,, Research


Written by GradGuard

GradGuard’s mission is to help schools protect the investment in higher education of the students and families they serve. Each student deserves the opportunity to succeed and protect their investment in college. By protecting students and their families from risks from college life, GradGuard helps reduce the cost of college and promote greater student success. GradGuard's modern tuition and renters insurance programs are valuable student benefits available through a network of more than 330 colleges and universities. Since 2009, GradGuard's insurance programs have protected more than 700,000 students and families. For more insights on #collegelife follow @GradGuard

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