Building Insights: Trends In Managing Student Medical Withdrawals & Impact On College Completion

December 18, 2019 8:38:43 AM EST / by John Fees

This year GradGuard has engaged HigherEdStudy to complete the research report on 2019 Trends for Managing Student Withdrawals & Tuition Refunds.

Trends for Managing Student Withdrawals & Tuition RefundsThis survey builds on similar research conducted in 2015 and 2017 and is timely due to the reported growth in student medical and mental health conditions. Are you a college administrator who would like to participate? All participants will receive an Executive Summary the report that will include:
  • Benchmark data on the cost of managing student withdrawals and refunds
  • Trend line data that compares the year over year changes to refund policies and student withdrawal rates.
  • Common refund policies and processes used to assist students to return to their coursework
Take the Survey

This year's research is seeking to better understand the impact of student health and withdrawal policies on college completion.  According to research from the American College Health Association’s annual National College Health Assessment, many students experience health concerns such as illnesses, accidents, and injuries. Sometimes, these health conditions are so serious they can adversely impact academics and, in some cases, force them to withdraw from school.

Trends for Managing Student Withdrawals & Tuition Refunds

In the last 5 years, according to the same study by the ACHA, there has been an over 60% increase in mental health-related conditions that adversely affect a student's academic success.

Trends for Managing Student Withdrawals & Tuition Refunds

Research in 2017 identified that a majority of schools provided a pro-rated refund for student medical withdrawals. Of these schools, nearly half also did not provide for an appeals process.

Trends for Managing Student Withdrawals & Tuition Refunds



This year's study seeks to better understand how students and families are notified of the institution’s refund policy. According to the 2018 College Confidence Index, 23% of parents surveyed indicated that they could not pay for an additional semester of classes and 51% indicate that it would be difficult. In the same study college parents indicated that awareness of refund policies is low.

Trends for Managing Student Withdrawals & Tuition Refunds


With this low awareness, it is even more important today for schools to understand how their refund policies compare and understand how different institutions disclose their refund policy assure that their students and families are not unpleasantly surprised to learn that their investment in college is lost.

With the rise in mental health-related conditions and low awareness of policies it is vital that GradGuard and HigherEdStudy conduct this survey to update how schools are handling student medical withdrawals. Are you a college administrator who would like to participate? (All participants will receive an Executive Summary the report)

Take the Survey


About: GradGuard is an authority in protecting the investment in higher education. By protecting students and their families from the financial risks of 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 300 colleges and universities. Since 2009, GradGuard’s insurance programs have protected more than 650,000 students and families. College life is full of risks and GradGuard is there to make sure life stays on track. For more insights on #collegelife follow @GradGuard

Topics: student health, Refund Policy, tuition refunds, Research

John Fees

Written by 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.

Subscribe to Email Updates

Lists by Topic

see all

Posts by Topic

see all

Recent Posts