Withdrawal insurance guarantees tuition refunds

Attending college today can prove to be a substantial financial burden. Thousands of dollars go toward what is probably one of life’s biggest financial investments.

If an unfortunate event takes place, such as an illness or an injury, and a student is no longer able to attend college for the semester, then the voluntary withdrawal insurance plan offered by the College could be the student’s new best friend.

The general withdrawl refund policy at the College states that a student can obtain a refund, but specific guidlines will determine the amount of money he receives.

A voluntary tuition refund insurance option, called the Tuition Refund Plan, has been offered to students as an alternative to the College’s refund policy this year.

The Tuition Refund Plan, which is new this fall semester, ensures that students will be covered 100 percent throughout the semester, for a fee.

“It’s a good option for students who are already aware of pre-existing medical conditions,” Sferra said.

Under the general withdrawl policy, a student is only guaranteed a full tuition refund before the add/drop cut-off of the semester, which is during the first week of classes.

A student’s tuition is refundable by 50 percent after the add/drop week and before the end of the fifth week of classes. If the fifth week has passed, there is no refund at all.

According to Scott Sferra, manager of Student Accounts, the cut-off deadlines exist because, “if students use the College’s resources such as the student center, library or meal plans, they owe something for the services.”

Many students said they felt the initial cutoff dates were favorable, but some disagreed with receiving no money back after the fifth week of classes.

“I think the first two cut off dates and amounts are fair because the school has to protect itself from that loss of money somehow, but I do not feel that giving no refund after the first five weeks is fair,” Danielle Hacker, junior women’s and gender studies major, said.

Hacker suggested that it should be decided by a case to case basis.

Kimberly Gray, sophomore political science major, suggested the school may be trying to keep students from withdrawing from classes because of poor grades.