COVID-19 has some local families considering college tuition insurance

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KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Kim Davis couldn’t be more proud of her daughter Kylee, who is about to become a senior in high school.

“I want to be a physician’s assistant,” Kylee said.

And while Kim Davis encourages her teen to follow her dreams, this mom also recognizes that a degree in the health care industry comes with a hefty price tag.

“It’s a ton of money,” Kim Davis said.

With the uncertainty of the coronavirus still a big part of our lives, many families are considering tuition insurance for the first time.

“Oh yeah, because you’re spending a lot of money, so if you don’t cover your investment, it could be a total loss,” Kim Davis said.

GradGuard is a Boston-based company offering tuition insurance. The firm is unique because it’s offering tuition insurance specifically for a scenario where a student has to leave college because of a COVID-19 diagnosis.

“If you do get sick with COVID and you purchase this policy before school and you get so sick that you need to leave, we got your back,” Natalie Tarangioli, with GradGuard, said.

The cost of the policies are roughly 1-2% of the total tuition cost. So for instance, if your tuition is $20,000, an insurance policy with GradGuard would cost about $400.

“This isn’t drop-out insurance. This isn’t ‘I changed my mind and I want to go to different school’ insurance, and this also isn’t ‘my campus is closed and all my classes are online now’ insurance,” Tarangioli explained. “That’s just not what tuition insurance is.”

In other words, a student would need a doctor’s certification that he or she is withdrawing explicitly because of a COVID-19 diagnosis.

“No one wants to think, ‘Oh my gosh, my kid’s never gonna be the one that has to leave school unexpectedly,’ but it could happen to you.”

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