As tuition continues to rise across many colleges, parents and prospective students stand to pay a hefty price for a college education.
According to College Board, the average cost of in-state tuition at a public university is $9,650. For out-of-state, that number jumps to $24,930. And if you went to a private school? The cost goes up even more.
Paying so much money or taking on student loans is an investment in the future. But with so many variables in life, you may be looking into ways to protect your investment. One way to do that? Through tuition insurance.
What is tuition insurance?
Tuition insurance, which is also commonly referred to as tuition refund insurance, provides a safety net of coverage for students in the event that they must withdraw from school, typically for medical or mental health reasons.
Let’s say a student experiences a life-changing illness or accident and is unable to continue with their schooling. Under a tuition insurance plan, that student may qualify for a reimbursement of school-related expenses to help cover costs.
This can ensure that whatever money has gone toward school is recouped in the event a student can’t continue.
What is covered?
Tuition refund insurance varies by plan, but typically only covers certain qualified events. So if a student drops out just because they’re no longer interested in pursuing their education, they likely won’t be qualified for a tuition reimbursement.
In order to qualify for a tuition insurance reimbursement, students typically must have a qualifying medical event.
As you can imagine, there are many medical events that could result in a withdrawal from school. According to Allianz, a provider of tuition insurance, depending on the type of plan students can receive some tuition reimbursement for the following reasons:
- Illness or injury
- In the case of death
- Mental or psychological disorders (such as severe depression and anxiety, etc.)
- Any unexpected reason
Your overall reimbursement depends on the type of policy you get and the reason for withdrawal. For example, you may get a certain percentage of qualifying losses based on the price of tuition and room and board, as well as other fees.
In many cases, a tuition refund insurance reimbursement for mental health pays out less than what you may qualify for a physical injury or illness.
How much you pay for tuition insurance can vary by state, which provider you choose to go with, and how much coverage you’d like. A quote from Allianz in the state of California, with $40,000 of projected college expenses, offers these options:
Tuition insurance isn’t terribly expensive for a policy and it could be worth it to protect your investment. But depending on your situation, a college tuition insurance plan may not be worth the cost.
Who should get tuition insurance?
If you’re thinking of getting a college tuition insurance plan, you may be wondering if it’s the right fit for your situation. While a tuition insurance plan can provide much-needed peace of mind if anything happens, you may not need it.
Getting a tuition insurance plan is typically a good idea if the student has a prior medical history, or if you or your child are attending an expensive college and the peace of mind will ease some of your worries.
However, as with any contract, it’s important to read the fine print. Some tuition insurance plans may have pre-existing medical condition exclusions. Some plans may only cover partial tuition or have high deductibles.
If you do opt for a plan, you want to make sure to read the fine print and know exactly what type of plan you are getting and what the tuition insurance plan covers — and most importantly, what it doesn’t.
Is tuition insurance worth the cost?
Many experts agree that tuition insurance simply isn’t worth the cost. While it may provide some peace of mind for those “what if” situations, it typically doesn’t have a high return on investment — either because you (hopefully) never need to use it or it only covers a portion of your expenses.
If potential illness is a concern, one thing students and parents can do is look into any refund policies at their schools. Your school may or may not provide such a policy, but it doesn’t hurt to ask. Also, if you withdraw within the first few weeks of school, you may be able to recoup some of your costs.
If you’re a parent or soon-to-be student, think carefully before opting for tuition insurance. If you have reason to believe it will be of benefit, it could help, but in many cases it may just be an added expense.
Interested in refinancing student loans?Here are the top 6 lenders of 2019!
|Lender||Variable APR||Eligible Degrees|
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1 Important Disclosures for SoFi.
2 Important Disclosures for Earnest.
To qualify, you must be a U.S. citizen or possess a 10-year (non-conditional) Permanent Resident Card, reside in a state Earnest lends in, and satisfy our minimum eligibility criteria. You may find more information on loan eligibility here: https://www.earnest.com/eligibility. Not all applicants will be approved for a loan, and not all applicants will qualify for the lowest rate. Approval and interest rate depend on the review of a complete application.
Earnest fixed rate loan rates range from 3.89% APR (with Auto Pay) to 7.89% APR (with Auto Pay). Variable rate loan rates range from 2.50% APR (with Auto Pay) to 7.27% APR (with Auto Pay). For variable rate loans, although the interest rate will vary after you are approved, the interest rate will never exceed 8.95% for loan terms 10 years or less. For loan terms of 10 years to 15 years, the interest rate will never exceed 9.95%. For loan terms over 15 years, the interest rate will never exceed 11.95% (the maximum rates for these loans). Earnest variable interest rate loans are based on a publicly available index, the one month London Interbank Offered Rate (LIBOR). Your rate will be calculated each month by adding a margin between 1.82% and 5.50% to the one month LIBOR. The rate will not increase more than once per month. Earnest rate ranges are current as of April 17, 2019, and are subject to change based on market conditions and borrower eligibility.
Auto Pay discount: If you make monthly principal and interest payments by an automatic, monthly deduction from a savings or checking account, your rate will be reduced by one quarter of one percent (0.25%) for so long as you continue to make automatic, electronic monthly payments. This benefit is suspended during periods of deferment and forbearance.
The information provided on this page is updated as of 04/17/2019. Earnest reserves the right to change, pause, or terminate product offerings at any time without notice. Earnest loans are originated by Earnest Operations LLC. California Finance Lender License 6054788. NMLS # 1204917. Earnest Operations LLC is located at 302 2nd Street, Suite 401N, San Francisco, CA 94107. Terms and Conditions apply. Visit https://www.earnest.com/terms-of-service, email us at firstname.lastname@example.org, or call 888-601-2801 for more information on our student loan refinance product.
© 2018 Earnest LLC. All rights reserved. Earnest LLC and its subsidiaries, including Earnest Operations LLC, are not sponsored by or agencies of the United States of America.
3 Important Disclosures for Laurel Road.
Laurel Road Disclosures
However, if the borrower chooses to make monthly payments automatically by electronic funds transfer (EFT) from a bank account, the fixed rate will decrease by 0.25%, and will increase back up to the regular fixed interest rate described in the preceding paragraph if the borrower stops making (or we stop accepting) monthly payments automatically by EFT from the designated borrower’s bank account.
However, if the borrower chooses to make monthly payments automatically by electronic funds transfer (EFT) from a bank account, the variable rate will decrease by 0.25%, and will increase back up to the regular variable interest rate described in the preceding paragraph if the borrower stops making (or we stop accepting) monthly payments automatically by EFT from the designated borrower’s bank account.
All credit products are subject to credit approval.
Laurel Road began originating student loans in 2013 and has since helped thousands of professionals with undergraduate and postgraduate degrees consolidate and refinance more than $4 billion in federal and private school loans. Laurel Road also offers a suite of online graduate school loan products and personal loans that help simplify lending through customized technology and personalized service. In April 2019, Laurel Road was acquired by KeyBank, one of the nation’s largest bank-based financial services companies. Laurel Road is a brand of KeyBank National Association offering online lending products in all 50 U.S. states, Washington, D.C., and Puerto Rico. All loans are provided by KeyBank National Association, a nationally chartered bank. Member FDIC. For more information, visit www.laurelroad.com.
4 Important Disclosures for LendKey.
Refinancing via LendKey.com is only available for applicants with qualified private education loans from an eligible institution. Loans that were used for exam preparation classes, including, but not limited to, loans for LSAT, MCAT, GMAT, and GRE preparation, are not eligible for refinancing with a lender via LendKey.com. If you currently have any of these exam preparation loans, you should not include them in an application to refinance your student loans on this website. Applicants must be either U.S. citizens or Permanent Residents in an eligible state to qualify for a loan. Certain membership requirements (including the opening of a share account and any applicable association fees in connection with membership) may apply in the event that an applicant wishes to accept a loan offer from a credit union lender. Lenders participating on LendKey.com reserve the right to modify or discontinue the products, terms, and benefits offered on this website at any time without notice. LendKey Technologies, Inc. is not affiliated with, nor does it endorse, any educational institution.
5 Important Disclosures for CommonBond.
Offered terms are subject to change. Loans are offered by CommonBond Lending, LLC (NMLS # 1175900). If you are approved for a loan, the interest rate offered will depend on your credit profile, your application, the loan term selected and will be within the ranges of rates shown.
All Annual Percentage Rates (APRs) displayed assume borrowers enroll in auto pay and account for the 0.25% reduction in interest rate. All variable rates are based on a 1-month LIBOR assumption of 2.49% effective March 10, 2019.
6 Important Disclosures for Citizens Bank.
Citizens Bank Disclosures
|2.50% – 7.27%1||Undergrad & Graduate|
|2.50% – 7.12%3||Undergrad & Graduate|
|2.81% – 8.79%4||Undergrad & Graduate|
|2.50% – 6.65%2||Undergrad & Graduate|
|2.55% – 7.12%5||Undergrad & Graduate|
|3.00% – 9.74%6||Undergrad & Graduate|