Parents worry about their students in many ways.  We are worried about having the money to support their student, we worry about the risks that may interefere with the investment they make in college, we worry about the academic progress their student makes towards graduation and probably most frequnetly we worry about the health and well being of their college student.  

What may surprize some families is how interconnected the health of their student is to their progress towards graduation.  

In fact, a recenty study by Michigan State University indicates 52% of students in a recent study indicated significant illness would be a primary “shock” that could cause them to withdraw from college.  (Michigan State Study* by Pleskac, T.J., et al.)

As a result it is particularly important for families to stay alert to the health of their student and to be aware of trends in illnesses and accidents that impact students lives.

 Student health trends are reported annually by the American College Health Association.   According to its Fall 2011 study National College Health Assessment Reference Group Executive Summary, college students reported a diagnosis of:

11.5% or more than 2.1 million college students were treated for strep throat

4.9% or more than 900,000 college students have a chronic health condition:

1.8% or more than 300,000 college students experienced mononucleosis

As a result it is vital for students and their families to realize that a “shock” may occur and to be prepared for the unintended consequence.   In some cases, a health issue may require a student to take an incomplete or apply for a medical withdrawal from the academic term.  In the worse case, the student just suffers through the illness and puts themselves in academic jeopardy by failing a majority of the courses.   

In this situation, parents are urged to advocate for your student and to idenfity the alternatives available to your student.  If you are worried or would find it to be a hardship to suffer a potential financial loss from completing a medical withdrawal, then you should consider purchasing tuition refund insurance which will refund your losses in the case of an unexpected illness, injury or accident.   Tuition refund insurance is available through GradGuard or in some cases through your school by Sallie Mae or AW Dewars.  

In any case, remember that all paid members of College Parents of America also receive $5,000 of annual tuition refund insurance or $2,500 per term.   So take comfort in knowing that one of the primary concerns of college families is part of your annual membership.

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