Even before the pandemic, Eden Schiano, 19, had concerns about his first year of study.
Schiano suffered from anorexia in high school and was unsure how the fall of 2020 would go as a beginner at Virginia Commonwealth University.
Being most isolated in her dorm quickly took a toll. "I was in my dorm and taking courses online and starting to lose weight," she said. In October, Schiano decided to retire.
Either for mental health issues or concerns for Covid, the number of students taking time off increased last year.
However, retiring in the middle of the semester can come at a steep financial cost. [1
College plans to recover, although cost is one of the biggest concerns.
Hundreds of colleges say Covid vaccines will be mandatory The number of colleges and universities has said they will offer refunds of fees and room and board if campuses have to close again, reimbursement policies vary from school to school – and almost everyone has drawn the line in teaching.
Depending on when a student withdraws during a semester, the school's reimbursement policy can repay a significant amount (especially if it is within the first month of the semester, although it varies by school.)
However, refunds are usually offered on a sliding scale, and most schools do not give money back at all after the fifth week of tuition.
Typical school reimbursement policy
There is another way: Many schools also offer third-party education protection, or it can also be purchased directly through a supplier such as GradGuard or AWG Dewar.
Education insurance, also known as reimbursement insurance for education, generally covers families for medical or psychological reasons, with a few obvious exceptions, such as flunking or being kicked out for disciplinary reasons (although the scope of coverage varies from plan to plan.
GradGuard's tuition insurance starts at $ 39.95 for $ 2,500 coverage per term, although most families purchase $ 10,000 coverage per term, starting at $ 106, to protect their pocket expenses, not including loans and grants. It covers tuition as well as financial losses from room and board and academic fees.
Schiano said that her education insurance helped alleviate the pressure to stay in school despite her deteriorating condition.
"It took away the shame and guilt factor. Having to go and feel that this was going to be such a burden for my parents," she said.
Although nearly two-thirds of parents, or 63%, said their child's plans for high school have returned to what they were before the coronavirus crisis, costs remain one of the biggest concerns.
Tuition and fees plus room and board for a four-year private college averaged $ 50,770 in the 2020-21 school year; At four-year public colleges, it was $ 22,180, according to the College Board, which tracks trends in college rates and student aid.
When you add other expenses, the total tab can be more than $ 70,000 a year for students at some private colleges or even international students attending four-year public schools.
At the same time, there are cases of Covid increasing again, and the possibility of more campus closures has triggered new interest in reimbursement policies for college and school insurance.
Trisha Jung recently purchased a GradGuard policy for her stepdaughter, who will be a junior at Appalachian State University in Boone, North Carolina. "It just seemed like a good idea, based on the world these days."
Jung, who is from Nashville, Tennessee, said there was nothing she would have considered before the pandemic. "Life is very full of unexpected events," she said.
"Since the inception of Covid, we have seen dramatic interest from schools, students, and families," said Natalie Tarangioli, marketing director at GradGuard, which now operates more than 400 colleges.
Before the pandemic, health conditions such as mononucleosis and pneumonia were among the best medical conditions that stood in the way of upgrading in time, or at all.
"The real concern last year was that students should get Covid; this year there is extra concern for mental health and well-being," Tarangioli said.
Already, "we have more than doubled the number of tuition insurances sold this fall compared to the previous one," she added.
Subscribe to CNBC on YouTube.