The first thing Patrick Adams said to me was that he wanted to give his students some security in a tough economy.
Not an easy task, by a long shot. You see, Patrick Adams is the principal of DeLaSalle Collegiate High School, an all-boys Catholic high school in Warren, Michigan. Warren is one of the communities hardest-hit by the down economy. After all, Michigan led the nation with the highest unemployment rate for nearly a decade now.
As I listened to Patrick tell me about all the struggling families of his students, many who had been out of work for months on end, I knew I had his solution. That’s because our Brown and Brown office had come up with a new product made just for Patrick’s situation. It’s called the “Protector,” a commercial insurance product designed to keep students in school even if their parents or guardians lose their jobs and can’t pay tuition.
It works like this: in a specific school year, if parents or guardians have paid tuition in advance and then become unemployed, their money would be either refunded or earmarked for future high school tuition or, in the case of seniors, earmarked for college tuition.
“Protector,” covers more than just tuition payers who lose jobs. It also allows schools to refund tuition and fees in the event of tragedy (e.g. death or injury of a student); reversal of fortune (e.g. involuntary unemployment of a tuition payer); change in circumstances (e.g. relocation) or even academic or disciplinary dismissal.
In fact, for less than the cost of a dozen doughnuts per student per month, our tuition refund product protects private schools from the financial consequences of a student’s forced or voluntarily withdrawal from school before they complete the school term. For slightly more than that dozen doughnuts, public/private colleges can be afforded that same protection.
Not only does “Protector” remove financial risk but also does it serve to attract and retain students, delivering peace of mind to tuition payers who are understandably reluctant to enroll their students in these unsettling times. That’s something Patrick and his colleagues have got to like.
Although a traditional tuition refund program reimburses schools for tuition when a student withdraws for a named reason, our “Protector” program focuses on keeping the student in school, allowing them to continue their education. Because we are committed to that goal, every school is individually underwritten to ensure the best value for their circumstances.
To learn more about our “Protector,” program, ask Brown & Brown.
By Phillip M. Lyon
Brown & Brown of Detroit