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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When Bill Suneson and I co-founded GradGuard, we had a shared vision that we could reduce the risk of college by creating relevant insurance programs that were designed to benefit students, families and the schools that served them.
As a result reaching the milestone of 300 colleges and university partners is noteworthy. Delivering on the promise of protecting the investment in higher education though takes both interested schools, innovative insurance partners and willing business partners.
As a result, today's announcement is meaningful in many ways and we thank everyone who has contributed to the mission of GradGuard.
New Orleans, March 25, 2019
GradGuard™ – a leading authority on protecting the investment in higher education, announced today at the annual National Association of College & University Business Officers - Student Financial Services Conference that with the additions of Creighton University, University of Pittsburgh, New Jersey Institute of Technology & Valdosta State University, that GradGuard has surpassed the 300 school mark in 2019.
According to John Fees, co-founder of GradGuard, ‘Our school partners are among the most innovative and transparent institutions in the country. They teach responsibility and financial literacy by introducing GradGuard’s student insurance programs and providing each student the opportunity to electronically enroll in programs that reduce the risk of college.
Indeed, the risks are real.
Campus Safety - Fires & Theft:
Clery Act campus safety reports indicate that an average of 2,000 fires are reported annually within on-campus student housing properties and data from the FBI Uniform Crime Reports indicate that for the most recent year reported, there were 69,502 property crimes reported at participating campuses in 2015.
Student Health & Wellness
The National College Health Assessment from 2010 – 2015 reports a 75% increase in mental health conditions that can lead to a student withdrawal and a large financial loss to schools and families for the tuition, room & board, academic fees that are not refunded.
Building Confidence for College Students & Families:
"It is important for families to know that few schools provide 100% student refunds for medical withdrawals and nearly all schools will not replace stolen or damaged student property. Fortunately, GradGuard’s insurance programs can pay for these financial losses so schools don’t have to.
Fees continued, ‘our network of more 300 colleges and universities share our mission and belief that each student deserves the opportunity to succeed and protect their college investment from preventable financial losses."
Bottom line, according to Fees, "if you cannot afford the cost of an extra college semester, to pay for damages caused in a residence hall or to replace a stolen backpack, then college families are smart to ask their institutions for how they can purchase GradGuard’s tuition and renters insurance programs, which are designed to meet the unique needs of college life.”
Today's announcement is good news and it also helps pave the way for an even brighter future for participating schools, students and their families.