Tuition Refund Plans

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Discus: Parents Forum: 2004 Archive - Part 2: Tuition Refund Plans
By Over30 (Over30) on Friday, August 06, 2004 - 11:12 am: Edit

We got a flyer in the mail about a Tuition Refund Plan. I was going to throw it away but my husband said maybe we should at least look into it. Has anyone done this or know anything about it? It's $281 per year and pays tuition, room & meals. It covers sports injury, mono, car accident, appendicitis, emergency and general surgery, hepatitis, death, emotional conditions, contagious disease, any injury or sickness. I like how they threw death in there in the middle.

Since his college costs are over $40,000 per year, is this something we should consider? My initial reaction was to toss it, but thought I might get some opinions first. He's a healthy, careful kid who rarely even gets a cold, but will be living in a high stress environment where he will actually have to study and work really hard for the first time, and I'm afraid sleep may take a back seat. Does anyone want to weigh in on this?

By Dudedad (Dudedad) on Friday, August 06, 2004 - 11:25 am: Edit

I get this periodically from my daughters 40K school too. I roll the dice and toss it.

By Thumper1 (Thumper1) on Friday, August 06, 2004 - 11:29 am: Edit

We didn't even bother with the dice. We tossed it.

By Ndbisme5 (Ndbisme5) on Friday, August 06, 2004 - 12:25 pm: Edit

What are the chances of being forced to drop out? I guesstimate about 1% of college kids are forced to leave school due to sickness, etc. Why spend another $281? Put it towards health insurance or something else.

By Pamvanw (Pamvanw) on Friday, August 06, 2004 - 12:34 pm: Edit

Check your specific school. Many have a liberal refund policy if your student has a legitimate reason for dropping out. Many have a prorated refund policy based on the dropout date, with no extenuating circumstances necessary.

By Patient (Patient) on Friday, August 06, 2004 - 12:37 pm: Edit

My husband had the same reaction as yours, Over30. Pamvanw, thanks for the tip, although this was included in a mailing from the school so I assume that their policy must not be so liberal.

By Over30 (Over30) on Friday, August 06, 2004 - 01:39 pm: Edit

This came with a letter from the school's financial services office. We had already checked the school's refund policy, which is, as Patient predicted, not so liberal. I might be better off spending $1 a day for lottery tickets rather than $1 for this. Of course the odds are much longer with the lottery!

By Cangel (Cangel) on Friday, August 06, 2004 - 02:21 pm: Edit

That's a bargain - we get those for our kids' private school tuition which is much less than 10K,and it is about the same amount for the insurance - we trash it, too.
You know though I had mono in college, end of the first semester soph year, flat on my back all through CHristmas break. I went back in the spring, took a reduced load, but felt miserable until March, and made some of the lowest grades of my entire college career. I wouldn't really want my kids to do as I did at $20000 a semester - what is the incidence of mono in college?

By Emeraldkity4 (Emeraldkity4) on Friday, August 06, 2004 - 02:41 pm: Edit

actually I wonder if it isn't pretty high ( mono)

My daughter and a whole bunch of her friends had mono spring semester ( was diagnosed as a cold by health services) put her out, she even passed out in the library a couple times ( she tells me ...later)
Since she was already stressed out from the death of two cats that she had had since she was 1 ( within 6 months of each other) misc. social dramas, a tough load including organic chemistry and microbiology, she did not pass spring semester of organic chemistry.
She didn't want to recognize that she was getting in such difficulty earlier , partially I suspect because I had told her to only take 4 years to graduate. I wasn't really kidding, but I had assumed that if she was getting into such difficulty she would have let us know or somebody know so that we could help.
She needs to take O-chem to graduate and there wasn't any way that she could have added it to her senior schedule. So instead of graduating with the 78% of her freshman year dorm mates who are graduating from Reed after 4 years, she is having to take a year off, move home, take organic chemistry over again, then go back next year, with most of her friends gone, her advisor gone as well.
As it is we hadn't committed to 2004-2005 before she found out her grades ( Reed doesn't really do grades), but the stress level would have been through the roof if not only she took an academic and emotional nosedive, but that we were liable for thousands of dollars in tuition when she wasn't even there.
Not that we have ever used the insurance.
She is on lots financial aid, it didn't make sense.

By Enjoyingthis (Enjoyingthis) on Friday, August 06, 2004 - 08:27 pm: Edit

I thought the thing we were offered specified that having to drop out due to emotional stress didn't count! And since that's what seemed to me the most likely thing to happen, we tossed ours. I hate trying to collect on any kind of insurance anyway. And if they DIED, God forbid, I would be so blown away, what dif would the money make? I myself had to take a term out of college for a surgery but that's the sort of thing that can be planned ahead and you don't pay, right?

By Kinshasa (Kinshasa) on Friday, August 06, 2004 - 09:50 pm: Edit

I bought the insurance for my son when he started at Emerson College. I think it cost $295. He has bipolar disorder and I thought it was a good investment. He had to leave school after eight weeks and the insurance company accepted a statement from his psychiatrist in Boston as valid reason to leave school. Unfortunately, mental illness is reimbursed at only 60% of cost. If he'd broken a leg and had to drop out, we would have gotten 100%.

By 2dsdad (2dsdad) on Saturday, August 07, 2004 - 12:25 am: Edit

"I thought the thing we were offered specified that having to drop out due to emotional stress didn't count!"

The policy we were offered paid 100% for medical reasons for not completing a semester and 60% if the student dropped out for emotional reasons. That's telling me that the latter is much more likely than the former and I would agree. I am not sure that 60% coverage is worth it.

Remember, in most cases you are only insuring for one semester's costs, not four years or even a full year.

By Kinshasa (Kinshasa) on Saturday, August 07, 2004 - 01:25 am: Edit

In our case it was definitely worth it. 60% of $15,000 is nothing to sneeze at. Again, we had a good reason to buy the insurance.

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