ic S/general/checkmark circled Thanks for subscribing! Be on the lookout for our next newsletter.
ic S/general/checkmark circled
Saved to My Favorites. View My Favorites
Articles / Paying for College / Do You Know Your School’s Refund Policy?

Do You Know Your School’s Refund Policy?

Written by GradGuard | June 13, 2024
Tuition Costs

Deciding to go to college is a big deal for many families, and there are risks to be aware of before stepping foot on campus. From unexpected events forcing a student to withdraw to the uncertainty of future job markets, understanding and managing these risks is essential for ensuring a successful educational journey.

What are the Risks of College Life?

The road to graduation isn’t the same for everyone, and there can be some hurdles along the way. In fact, one in four students who start college don’t return for their second year. Health and safety are usually at the top of college families’ minds when discussing potential dangers, but what about your finances? Between tuition, fees, housing, textbooks, and living expenses, the direct costs of an extra semester can easily add up to tens of thousands of dollars. According to the College Board, the average cost of tuition and fees for full-time students in 2023-24 were:

  • Public four-year in-state: $11,260
  • Public four-year out-of-state: $29,150
  • Public two-year in-district: $3,990
  • Private nonprofit four-year: $41,540

For many students, college life introduces new challenges for the first time, such as coping with homesickness, social pressure, and mental health. Most schools don’t provide refunds even if you leave school for a legitimate reason or medical condition, so it’s important to prepare yourself for the potential pitfalls and challenges that may come with pursuing a college degree.

Assessing Financial Risks:

Before deciding what university is best for you, there are a few things every college-bound family should evaluate. The first step is assessing the potential financial risks associated with higher education, which can include:

  • Tuition Costs: The ever-increasing cost of tuition and fees can strain family finances, leading to the need for significant loans or financial aid.
  • Student Withdrawal: Unexpected circumstances such as illness, injury, or family emergencies may force a student to withdraw from college, resulting in financial losses. The National Student Clearinghouse reports that 113,000 students took a leave of absence in 2021 for legitimate reasons, including mental health conditions.
  • Job Market Uncertainty: Changes in the job market or shifts in industry demand can impact a family’s ability to pay for college.
  • Student Loan Debt: Debt with no degree can burden students for years to come. In fact, more than 80% of student loan defaults are from students who don’t graduate.

Strategies for Mitigating Risks:

While some risks associated with higher education are unavoidable, there are strategies families can employ to mitigate their financial impact:

Tuition Insurance:

Because attending college is quite costly, families are looking for ways to protect their investments. Tuition insurance can serve as a vital safety net, offering families a sense of security in the face of unforeseen circumstances that may disrupt a student's college journey.

GradGuard is the only national provider of tuition insurance. Learn how tuition insurance can help protect your investment if your student needs to withdraw from college due to a legitimate reason.

GradGuard’s Tuition Insurance can provide reimbursement for tuition, housing, and fees to a student’s family in the event of a withdrawal due to covered illness, injury, mental health condition, or other covered reason. Plus, depending on the plan, the loss of employment of a tuition payer is another covered reason when a student completes a withdrawal from school.

This not only can help alleviate the financial burden on families but also provides invaluable peace of mind, allowing students to pursue their academic goals without fear of financial loss looming overhead. The 2022 College Confidence Index found more than half of families reported they could not afford the cost of an extra semester. In times of uncertainty, such as when a student faces a medical emergency or unforeseen personal crisis, tuition insurance can be a lifeline, helping to ensure that families are not left grappling with the financial fallout of withdrawing from college suddenly.

How GradGuard Can Help Protect Your Investment

When it comes to protecting your investment in higher education, there are many things to consider, and tuition insurance is one of them. With costs on the rise, ensuring you are protected is important.

GradGuard is proud to be the nation's leading tuition and renters insurance provider for college students. Every family planning to send their child to college deserves the opportunity to safeguard themselves from unexpected events. Paying for college can be risky, and leaving it unprotected can result in significant financial losses for millions of families. GradGuard aims to support student success and ensure college completion by providing students with the financial support they need. In fact, a June 2023 survey found nearly 75% of students re-enrolled or plan to re-enroll after using GradGuard’s Tuition Insurance.

If you can’t afford the cost of an extra semester, it’s smart to consider GradGuard’s Tuition Insurance. Always check with your school first to see if they offer GradGuard. That’s how you’ll get the best coverage at the lowest rate. Remember, tuition insurance must be purchased prior to the start of classes.

GradGuard's protection programs are in place at nearly 600 colleges and universities and have been trusted by more than 1.7 million members. See if GradGuard tuition insurance is right for your family.

Written by



GradGuard helps students and families protect their investment in higher education.

More on Paying for College

See all

5 Types of Insurance Every College Student Should Consider

As a college student, you're focused on studying, socializing, and preparing for your future career. Insurance may not be at…


What are Scholarships and How Can You Find the Best Ones For You?

Scholarships can be a great way to reduce the burden of college tuition and make college more affordable, but finding the best on…


Colleges That Offer Tuition Waivers and Scholarships for Native American Students

A state-by-state list of colleges and universities that offer tuition waivers and scholarships for Native American students.

With …


Federal Student Loan Repayments: What You Need to Know

Ascent hosted an engaging webinar recently to address what’s on many people’s minds – federal student loan repayment. Embarking o…

pointing at screen - john-schnobrich

Scholarships for Hispanic/Latinx Students 2022-23

In honor of October being Hispanic / Latinx Heritage month, below is a list of scholarships currently accepting applications that…

Get a student loan that goes beyond tuition.

Ascent offers cosigned and non-cosigned student loans with exclusive benefits that set students up for success.

Explore Now!
Find Your Scholarship

Want to find money for school that doesn’t need to be paid back? Access insights and advice on how to search and apply for scholarships!

Search for Scholarship