Should you get college tuition insurance?

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Tuition insurance offers financial protection for students who withdraw from school halfway through the semester.

College tuition can be one of the biggest investments you make and the prices keep going up. In fact, in the last five years, tuition and fees increased by nine percent at public schools and 13 percent at private schools. But what if you pay the dues and then your child drops out unexpectedly?

College can prepare you for a career, but it doesn't come cheap.

"We often think once a student has applied and gotten accepted they've said yes, they've picked their school, that everything is all set," said Lindsay Page, EdD from the University of Pittsburgh.

Last year, the average tuition and fees plus room and board ran more than $20,000 for public schools and $45,000 for private colleges.

"There's paperwork that students need to submit for things like housing, for things like meal plans. Often times they have to pay deposits for all of those different things and if the family does not have a lot of resources, even paying those small deposits can get in the way," Page explained.

But what if you can't finish what you start? Tuition insurance offers financial protection for students who withdraw from school halfway through the semester. Most policies charge about one percent of the cost of school. So for a $30,000 semester, that's 300 bucks. A word of warning though: most plans only reimburse students who drop out for medical illnesses or injuries, not for academic or disciplinary reasons.

Last year, about 70,000 tuition insurance plans were written. Insurers say the number of claims they get citing mental health incidents has gone up. As many as one in four students at some elite US colleges are now classified as disabled, largely because of mental health issues like depression and anxiety.

Contributor(s) to this news report include: Julie Marks, Producer; Angela Clooney, Videographer and Editor.
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