College insurance company says sales up 100% as COVID-19 concerns grow

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EUGENE, OR (KPTV) – The COVID-19 pandemic is prompting a lot of parents and college students to consider college tuition insurance, a resource that can help protect students if they get sick and have to drop out of school.

Officials say there has been a spike in interest and in sales as concerns grow about possible campus outbreaks. Tuition insurance isn’t a new idea and has been around for students who need to drop out due to medical reasons, but it is gaining popularity in a time of COVID-19.

While most classes will be online this fall at Oregon State and the University of Oregon, students will be moving onto campus.

“Our number one priority as we prepare for the future is the health and safety of each of you,” Michael Schill, UO president, said to students.

Earlier this week, the University of Oregon announced that students living on campus will be tested at move-in and periodically throughout the term. Oregon State also announced plans to test students and obtain results before room keys are issued.

With similar protocols across the country, there are still concerns about coronavirus and possible campus spread. That’s why tuition insurance company GradGuard says business is up 100 percent.

GradGuard offers insurance at about 350 universities across the country, including OSU and UO.

“Universities are cash strapped this year, more than ever, and you should never really expect universities to be able to afford to provide a refund,” John Fees, CEO of GradGuard, said.

The cost of the insurance is about $106 per term for $10,000 in coverage. That covers deposits, academic fees, and housing and tuition. It does not cover students if they decide to pull out for any reason other than getting sick.

Fees said people who are interested in tuition insurance should first speak with their school to see what they may offer in the case of sickness, as the cost can be lower through the school itself than through an external provider.

Copyright 2020 KPTV-KPDX Broadcasting Corporation. All rights reserved.

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