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Gephardt: Is Tuition Insurance Worth The Cost During The Pandemic?

Aug 26, 2020, 7:06 AM | Updated: 1:36 pm

SALT LAKE CITY, Utah – College is a huge financial commitment that costs students and parents thousands of dollars in tuition alone.

With the pandemic ongoing, many parents are buying tuition insurance that pays out if their student needs to suddenly withdraw. Is the insurance worth it, though?

Tuition insurance covers students who need to leave school for an unexpected medical reason or an accident. For most policies, that doesn’t include epidemics. However, some policies are making exceptions for those students who actually contract COVID-19.

Typical policies cost around 1% – 2% of the covered amount.

Mark Kantrowitz of SavingforCollege.com said that while those policies can bring peace of mind, they also come with a lot of exclusions.

“I generally don’t recommend it becausee the cost and benefit is a lot less than what people assume because you’re getting protected for one semester,” he said.

Kantrowitz said a withdrawal only affects one semester’s tuition – not all four years. If a student withdraws because they fear they might get the coronavirus or if campuses send students home again, then the insurance won’t cover anything.

Students should check their school’s tuition refund policy first, Kantrowitz said. Some schools, like the University of Utah, offer zero refunds after a few weeks into the semester. Other universities might pro-rate the refunds.

Plus, tuition insurance must be purchased before classes begin.

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Gephardt: Is Tuition Insurance Worth The Cost During The Pandemic?