PHOENIX (3TV/CBS 5) - The cost to get an education is not cheap, and with COVID-19 still lingering, college students in Arizona worry they could lose money they spent on school if they get sick. Some are turning to tuition insurance.
"We would cover students who purchase a plan prior to the start of school and become ill with COVID and need to leave," said Natalie Tarangioli with GradGuard.
She said getting a refund would require a medical withdrawal from school.
"It's tuition, room and board, academic fees, books, any expenses really," said Tarangioli.
"Most people will be exposed to other people on campus, and there's no way really to stop it, so that just really concerns me when our state is like the worst in the country," said Mimi Hymel, a sophomore at Arizona State University.
Her mom spends close to $12,000 a semester for school, a lot of money for a time when life on Arizona campuses is not guaranteed.
"People are super concerned about it," said Mimi's mom, Allison. "A lot of parents are talking about it."
In an email, ASU said, "ASU does offer a medical and compassionate withdrawal request for students. A medical or compassionate withdrawal request may be made in extraordinary cases in which serious illness or injury (medical) or another significant personal situation (compassionate) prevents a student from continuing his or her classes, and incompletes or other arrangements with the instructors are not possible."
A potential refund will be considered, but it's not a done deal and is on a case-by-case basis.
For tuition reimbursement at Northern Arizona University, there's a link to fill out a form called the Term Withdrawal and Reimbursement Petition. That form has a section that says, "Turning in this form and documents does not guarantee a tuition reimbursement and may negatively affect your financial aid." It also says you must give specific reasons for why your petition should be approved.
The University of Arizona said in an email, "In order to be eligible for a refund of tuition, program fees and fees, students must drop courses or withdraw from the University by the specified refund dates."
Tarangioli said that's common for many universities but might not be possible for people who get COVID-19 late in the semester. The insurance at GradGuard will cost you 1 or 2% of your tuition.
"I think it would be worth it when you have an investment like that," said Allison.