college tuition

Wait-HOW many students doubt they’ll graduate?

A new study reveals surprising information about students' confidence in their ability to reach college graduation.

Nearly half of students entering college are arriving on campus already doubting their ability to reach graduation, according to a new study.

According to the 2017 Allianz Tuition Insurance College Confidence Index, 48 percent are less than very confident they will finish college without dropping out permanently, and 55 percent think they will need to take at least some time off.

Doubts around graduation are prevalent among current college students as well, with 43 percent of current surveyed students indicating they’ve thought about withdrawing. A majority (53 percent) of current students said they are less than very confident they will graduate within four years.

Parents, too, anticipate the likelihood that withdrawal might be necessary. More than half of all parents surveyed (52 percent) lacked full confidence that their student will graduate within four years.

(Next page: Students worry about additional, unplanned semesters)

Students and parents alike realize that the implications of additional, unplanned semesters are significant–85 percent agree that the financial repercussions of withdrawing could be severe. Among those surveyed, the average financial loss resulting from college withdrawal was estimated to be more than $11,000. Additionally, 10 percent of respondents estimate their potential loss to be at least $25,000.

Current and prospective college students identified the following as the most likely reasons they may withdraw from their college program: family emergency (69 percent); stress (66 percent); mental health condition (66 percent); and a physical health condition (60 percent).

Just 52 percent of students said they’re “very confident” they won’t permanently withdraw from college at some point, and the survey also revealed that parents and students often aren’t aware of their current (or prospective) school’s refund policy–half indicate no awareness; just 16 percent say they are very confident they know it; and 78 percent say they’d be worried about making student loan payments if their child had to withdraw from their college program.

“There’s a lot at stake for parents and students, including the possibility of suffering a financial loss from dropping out. If students want to return to school, some families may not be able to fund the additional semesters needed to graduate,” said Joe Mason, chief marketing officer at Allianz Global Assistance. “After a certain point in the semester, most universities refund only a partial amount of tuition paid by students and their families.”

Tuition insurance can provide a refund to families “for both tuition and other academic expenses when students unexpectedly are forced to leave school for a reason covered by their policy,” he added.

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Laura Ascione

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