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.
GradGuard's mission is to help protect the investment student's and their families make in a higher education. We aim publish research and bring attention to trends of vital interests to our colleagues who work to promote greater student success.
Each May, we are reminded of the importance of the mental health of students. Mental Health Awareness Month is a key time to understand the growth in medical conditions that can disrupt a student's education. An analysis of data from 2010 - 2015 National College Health Assessment reports a dramatic growth in student reported incidents of the following mental health conditions.
University officials and college families are often aware that their college student may be vulnerable to the stress of college life. And most are also keenly aware that student health problems such as a mononucleosis, chronic health conditions or injuries also may force a student to withdraw from classes and cost a student and their family thousands of dollars.
Fortunately colleges and universities provide a variety of services including student health and counseling clinics. Even still supporting a college student through an unexpected event can be stressful and it is made worse if parents are not aware of the college refund policy. A 2016 survey by College Parents of America indicates 71% of parents do not recall being informed of the university refund policy and 67% of parents surveyed indicate that they have no idea how the school would handle a refund if their student was unable to complete classes.
In fact, in a 2017 national survey of college & university bursars & health administrators, less than 15% of schools report providing 100% refunds. According to the survey, most schools refund only a portion of tuition for qualified withdrawals through the fifth week of classes and virtually no school provides a refund for the academic fees.
Since 2008, GradGuard's tuition insurance and student benefit programs have helped to protect more than 600,000 students. Starting at $29.95, tuition insurance can be an affordable form of protection for college students and families. Coverage and pricing may differ by school. In addition, tuition insurance coverage must be purchased prior to the start of classes and requires complete a medical withdrawal that is verified by the school. Some illnesses require a medical doctor's recommendation and proof that it was severe medical illness. Like all insurance programs, check your policy for complete details as certain states and schools have unique requirements.
For most college families, college is the 1st or 2nd largest investment in their family financial life. As a result, it is a smart move for schools to verify that they have disclosed their refund policy to each student and provided the opportunity for them to also protect their investment in a higher education with GradGuard's tuition insurance. GradGuard is pleased to be a leader in providing protection for both schools and the students they serve.