Advisng Family Financials

Half of Students Entering College Worry They Won't Graduate

Forty Eight percent of students and their parents think they may need to withdraw from school

More and more advisors find themselves detouring from retirement-income planning to help clients develop strategies for financing higher education.

RICHMOND, Va., Aug. 18, 2017 /PRNewswire/ — Prospective college students are arriving on campus already doubting their ability to reach graduation with nearly half anticipating the need to either temporarily or permanently withdraw from their degree program.

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.

The Allianz Tuition Insurance College Confidence Index survey results also revealed:

  • Nearly half (43 percent) of current students indicate they’ve thought about withdrawing;
  • The majority (53 percent) are less than very confident they will graduate within four years; and
  • 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.

A lot at stake for parents

“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. “Over one-hundred colleges and universities rely on Allianz to provide tuition protection to increase their students and families’ confidence and peace of mind.”

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
  • Physical health condition – 60 percent

“After a certain point in the semester, most universities refund only a partial amount of tuition paid by students and their families. Fortunately, tuition insurance provides 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,” said Mason.


Allianz Tuition Insurance College Confidence Index
(Percentages indicate those who are less than “very confident”)
sample size = 2,004 Americans



Parents of

Parents of

That you/your child
will finish college
without needing to
permanently withdraw





That you/your child
will finish college
without needing to
temporarily withdraw





That you/your child
will finish within 4
years of starting the
college program?






Additional survey findings reveal:

  • Just 52 percent of students said they’re “very confident” they won’t permanently withdraw from college at some point;
  • Parents and students often aren’t aware of their current (or prospective) school’s refund policy – half indicate no awareness, and just one in eight respondents (16 percent) say they are very confident they know it; and
  • Nearly 8 in 10 parents (78 percent) say they’d be worried about making student loan payments if their child had to withdraw from their college program.

To learn more about Allianz Tuition Insurance, visit


These are some of the findings of an Ipsos poll conducted on behalf of Allianz in May 2017. For the survey, a sample of n=2,004 Americans (college students age 17-25: n=1,001 and parents n=1,003 were interviewed online via Ipsos’s American online panel. The precision of Ipsos online surveys is measured using a Bayesian credibility interval. In this case, with a sample of this size, the results are considered accurate to within ± 2.5 percentage points, 19 times out of 20, of what they would have been had all American college students (prospective and current) and parents been polled. The credibility interval will be larger within sub-groupings of the survey population.




Allianz Global Assistance USA
Allianz Global Assistance USA (AGA Service Company) is a leading consumer specialty insurance and assistance company. We serve 25 million customers annually and are best known for our Allianz Travel Insurance plans. In addition to travel insurance, Allianz Global Assistance USA offers tuition insurance, event ticket protection, registration protection for endurance events and unique travel assistance services such as international medical assistance and concierge services. The company also serves as an outsource provider for in-bound call center services and claims administration for property and casualty insurers and credit card companies.