More than ever, a college degree is a significant financial investment — and one that some might choose to insure.
A college education is now the second-largest expense an individual is likely to handle in a lifetime — right after purchasing a home. Families with students in four-year public colleges shelled out more than $19,500 in 2015-16; at four-year private colleges, it was about $43,900, according to the College Board.
To that end, there are a growing number of tuition insurance policies available to offer some degree of a safety net.
Tuition insurance, also known as tuition refund insurance, covers families in the event that a student must withdraw from school, mainly for medical or psychological reasons, with a few obvious exclusions, namely flunking out or being kicked out for disciplinary reasons (although the extent of coverage varies from plan to plan).
"The college expenses that are borne by parents and students today are extraordinary and there is a way to protect it in case something unexpected comes up," said Joe Mason, the chief marketing officer of Allianz, one such insurance provider.
Increasingly, not all students who start college actually finish. Among students who matriculated at a four-year private nonprofit college in 2007 (the latest data available), just 52.8 percent graduated within four years, according to the National Center for Education Statistics. At public four-year colleges, it was 33.5 percent.