Tuition fee insurance and the financial considerations of dropping out of university

Investing in your education is a big expense. Even though you don’t have to pay the money up front, you are taking on a debt of up to £50,000 for the tuition fees and accommodation, so what happens if you find yourself unable to finish the course due to illness?

Do you get a refund if you drop out of University?

The answer to that question is that it depends on when you drop out and the reasons for dropping out. Each university will have different terms and conditions around refunds for tuition fees and accommodation.

As a general rule though, if you have not yet received the tuition and Student Finance have not yet paid the university for it, then you are unlikely to have to pay for it going forward, but if you have received the tuition, or it has been paid for, it is less likely that you will get a refund.

  • If you leave in the first term you will be charged 25% of the tuition fees for that academic year.
  • In the second term, you will be charged 50%.
  • In the summer term you will have to pay for the whole academic year.

In most cases, with accommodation, you are committing to paying for a year’s worth of accommodation and unless you are able to find someone to replace you in your room, you will also be required to pay for that.

If you were to drop out, due to illness, half way through the second term of the academic year and tuition fees are usually paid in termly instalments. This means that the first term of the year has been paid for and you have had the tuition. The second term has also been paid for, but you have not had all the tuition. The third term has not yet been paid for.
You are committed to pay for your accommodation for the whole academic year.

This means that you would be losing £3,000 tuition fees and an estimated additional £3,000 for the accommodation – money which you would still have to pay back to Student Finance

Can you insure against this?

Most people wouldn’t travel without an insurance policy and most holidays cost a lot less than a year’s tuition fees, so why not insure your tuition fees?
When you are obliged to drop out of university due to ill health, the last thing you want to be worrying about is money, so having an insurance policy that covers you for your financial losses would provide peace of mind at a time when you need to concentrate on getting better.

What do tuition fee insurances cover you for?

Tuition fee insurance is currently offered by Endsleigh and Cover4Insurance in the UK.

Cover4Insurance offer a separate tuition fee insurance policy which is not tied in to contents insurance, which is often included if you are in halls.

Endsleigh’s offering is part of their student contents insurance policy and adding tuition fee cover will cost from £100/year upwards depending on how much you want to cover.
The insurance will pay the pro rata balance of any unused Tuition Fees and accommodation costs that you have already paid or are legally liable to pay following your enforced cancellation or early withdrawal from the course due to:

  • You becoming incapacitated due to an accident or illness
  • Your death
  • Your financially supporting parent or legal guardian suffering an injury, accident or redundancy.

When you consider we all take holiday insurance without thinking about it, maybe the extra £100 for peace of mind to cover your tuition fees and accommodation could be worth it?

What tuition fee insurance does not cover you for is if you drop out because you are not enjoying the course or because you don’t get the grades you need to continue.

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