Updated Aug 18, 2018

The big picture: Tuition insurance is covering costs for stressed out students

Students taking a test. Photo: Frederick Florin/AFP via Getty Images

College students are being left with immense payments in tuition for classes they never finished after quitting mid-semester because of mental health breakdowns from stress and anxiety.

The big picture: As college tuition rises and pressure increases on students to do well, tuition insurance has become a popular fallback option among students when dealing with tuition payments in the middle of the school year, Douglas Belkin of the Wall Street Journal reports.

Situational awareness: College costs have continued to rise in the United States. The average cost of tuition was $34,740 in 2017 — a nearly $20,000 dollar increase from its mark in 1988, according to data from the College Board.

As costs have increased, the pressure on students to perform well has also increased with 61% of students saying they’ve sought counseling in a 2016 survey by the American Psychological Association reporting anxiety issues.

Between the lines: That anxiety causes some students to leave school and, once they leave, they're stuck with tuition payments. That's where tuition insurance comes in.

  • Most policies charge about 1% of the cost of school, so a semester that costs $30,000 would only cost about $300 in insurance.
  • As it becomes more popular, Belkin writes, more schools are working with insurers. "At least 200 schools now work with insurers, offering the coverage to families when the pay the tuition bill."

Yes, but: Most schools have a deadline for reimbursement about halfway through the semester, Belkin writes, but most students are unaware of it.

  • Once the deadline passes, families are unable to get a refund on costs for the semester.

Go deeper: College tuition costs have risen behind austerity.

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Coronavirus dashboard

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  1. Global: Total confirmed cases as of 7 p.m. ET: 1,094,068 — Total deaths: 58,773 — Total recoveries: 225,519Map.
  2. U.S.: Total confirmed cases as of 6 p.m. ET: 273,880 — Total deaths: 7,077 — Total recoveries: 9,521Map.
  3. Public health latest: The CDC is recommending Americans wear face coverings in public to help stop the spread of the coronavirus.
  4. 2020 latest: Wisconsin's governor called for a last-minute primary election delay. "I think a lot of people cheat with mail-in voting," President Trump said on the 2020 election, as more states hold primaries by mail.
  5. Business updates: America's small business bailout is off to a bad start. The DOT is urging airlines to refund passengers due to canceled or rescheduled flights, but won't take action against airlines that provide vouchers or credits.
  6. Oil latest: The amount of gas American drivers are consuming dropped to levels not seen in more than 25 years, government data shows. Trump is calling on the Energy Department to find more places to store oil.
  7. Tech updates: Twitter will allow ads containing references to the coronavirus under certain use cases.
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Government will cover uninsured patients' coronavirus treatment

Azar at Friday's briefing. Photo: Win McNamee/Getty Images

The federal government will cover the costs of coronavirus treatment for the uninsured, Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar said at a White House briefing Friday.

How it works: The money will come from a $100 billion pot set aside for the health care industry in the most recent stimulus bill. Providers will be paid the same rates they get for treating Medicare patients, and as a condition of those payments, they won't be allowed to bill patients for care that isn't covered.

More states issue stay-at-home orders as coronavirus crisis escalates

Data: Axios reporting; Map: Danielle Alberti/Axios

Alabama Gov. Kay Ivey issued a stay-at-home order on Friday as the novel coronavirus pandemic persists. The order goes into effect Saturday at 5 p.m. and will remain in place through April 30. Missouri Gov. Mike Parson also issued a statewide social distancing order on Friday.

The big picture: In a matter of weeks, the number of states that issued orders nearly quadrupled, affecting almost 300 million Americans.

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