Monthly Archives: July 2021

With Mental Health on the Rise Among College Students, GradGuard Tuition Insurance Provides Viable Options for Families

GradGuard’s student insurance program provides refunds when colleges may not to students who medically withdraw due to mental health conditions and other covered reasons.

Phoenix, AZ (July 21, 2021): GradGuard, one of the largest providers of student insurance programs in the country, has broken another barrier in the tuition protection landscape by becoming the first and only program in the country to cover mental health as a condition. The growth in student mental health concerns looms as another risk to the investments families make when paying for college.

“The growth of mental health conditions in college students is a real risk to the investment families are making in higher education,” said John Fees, Co-founder, and Managing Director of GradGuard. “Though colleges and universities are providing robust services to support their students, they are unlikely to provide a refund if a student cannot complete the semester.”

“If a student has a controlled pre-existing condition like serious anxiety or mental health conditions, and they are medically cleared to attend school, we will cover them. If they must withdraw under the recommendation of a licensed professional in their state, tuition insurance can cover their housing, their tuition, and student fees.  GradGuard’s tuition insurance can help reduce the stress students face in these situations and help everyone focus on the well-being of the student.”

GradGuard’s coverage of mental health comes as data confirms the spike of mental health cases on college and university campuses. Among the troubling trends:

• 2020 report by the American College Health Association found more than half of nearly 9,000 students surveyed experienced anxiety or depression

• A nationwide study published by the Journal of Adolescent Health found that rates of moderate to severe anxiety and depression among U.S. college students rose substantially over the last few years — from 18% and 23%, to 34% and 41%, respectively.

• 2020 survey by American Council on Education found 68% of college and university presidents say student mental health and well-being is top concern

Like it did with COVID-19, GradGuard – thanks to its partnership with Allianz Global Assistance – is the only insurance program provider in the country to reimburse up to 100% of the financial losses when a student needs to withdraw because of a covered reason such as covered mental or covered physical illness.

Most higher education institutions only provide a partial refund of tuition during the first five weeks of a semester, and virtually no schools provide refunds for academic fees or housing, however, GradGuard’s tuition insurance can provide a refund for the total cost of college when a school may not.

“As we have been since our beginning, we’re going to be there for schools and families to support students on their path towards graduation,” said Fees. “If COVID-19 demonstrates one thing, schools and students are financially vulnerable.  It should be clear to students and families that higher education institutions cannot afford to provide refunds and families should not expect to get a refund if their student is forced leave school because of mental health issues, CO1VID-19, accidents, injuries, or many other reasons, including the unexpected death of a tuition payor.”

“The idea of losing money can create even more financial stress for students and their parents. GradGuard enables students and families to make the decision on whether to withdraw is based on the well-being of their student and not just the money at risk.

GradGuard’s tuition insurance provides affordable coverage up to 100% of the cost of college including student housing, tuition and academic charges” said Fees. “In addition, each policy also includes Student Life Assistance that helps families through the logistics that may accompany an unexpected student withdrawal.

About GradGuard
GradGuard is a technology-enabled pioneer in developing innovative protections designed to reduce the financial risks of college life. Since 2009, GradGuard has been trusted by more than 400 colleges and universities and since its founding, has protected more than 800,000 students and families. For more insights on #collegelife follow @GradGuard on social media.

For more Information:
Natalie Tarangioli

Terms, conditions, and exclusions apply. Plan(s) underwritten by BCS Insurance Company or Jefferson Insurance Company. AGA Service Company is the licensed producer and administrator of these plans. Plans include insurance benefits and assistance services. Contact AGA Service Company at 800-284-8300 or 9950 Mayland Drive, Richmond, VA 23233 or


Partnership to include League of Legends and Rocket League tournaments, summer camp, and  a speaker series in conjunction with the university’s back-to-school events

YPSILANTI, MICHIGAN (July 15, 2021) – Global esports organization Gen.G and Eastern Michigan University (EMU) announced a new slate of esports programming to gather students, alumni and local community members. Events will include a Summer Showdown Tournament, an esports summer camp, and a Gaming Career Speaker Series.

The Summer Showdown Tournament is an invitational tournament for 5v5 League of Legends on July 24 through 25 and 3v3 Rocket League on July 31 through Aug 1. Local universities, high schools, as well as other collegiate teams outside the region with strong performances will be invited to participate. Spectators will be able to watch the matches on the EMU Esports Twitch channel. Students from the esports program will also curate up to 20 hours of additional weekly Twitch programming on the official EMU Esports Twitch page.

“Eastern Michigan University created several innovative gaming programs — for prospective and current students, and alums — last year even while students were studying remotely,” said Chris Park, Chief Executive Officer at Gen.G. “We are thrilled to continue that great work together this summer in a big way.”

Other upcoming programming includes the revival of the Eagles Gaming Club, EMU’s  on-campus esports club, by students that will bring curated events to the EMU community. Those interested can reach out to the club via Discord.

“The overall interest among students in collegiate esports is reaching new levels every year,” said Eastern Michigan University President, James Smith. “Having Gen.G, a recognized international leader in the esports world, as a partner is a tremendous asset to the University and our students. Engaging students in gaming competitions is a fun and exciting way to create new friendships as well as establish campus pride. Even more significant, from my standpoint, are the opportunities to share with our students the many career prospects in the exploding esports industry – which can include everything from arts and graphics, to business and marketing, to science, cybersecurity and technology.”

EMU and Gen.G have also launched an esports summer camp, where registration is still open and those interested can sign-up here.

Fresh off of their victory in the Temmo cup, EMU will continue to support competitive teams in various leagues during the 2021-2022 school year.

Heading into the end of summer, EMU will also host a Gaming Careers Speaker Series, which will teach students across various majors how they can apply their traditional degree to the gaming industry and seek other professional opportunities in the space.

The university encourages local high school students, alumni and community members to participate in events at EMU Esports to get a better feel for campus life and enjoy the gaming community.


About Gen.G:
Established in 2017, Gen.G is the leading esports organization connecting the United States and Asia. Currently ranked no. 6 in the Forbes list of the “World’s Most Valuable Esports Companies,” Gen.G is the only major organization that owns and operates top teams in the world’s leading esports markets — China, South Korea and the United States. Its unique portfolio of teams, winners of seven global championships to date, includes the Seoul Dynasty franchise of the Overwatch League; 2014 and 2017 League of Legends world champion team in South Korea; the world’s top all-female Fortnite team, based in Los Angeles; and the NBA 2K League’s historic expansion franchise in Shanghai.

United under #TigerNation, Gen.G’s core mission is to help fans and athletes use the power of gaming and esports to get ahead in and beyond the competition. The company has quickly become a commercial and thought leader, building a global, inclusive and cross-cultural future for sports entertainment. Its widely acclaimed initiatives include: #TeamBumble, the leading team platform for the empowerment of women in gaming; and Gen.G Elite Esports Academy, the world’s first fully-integrated academic esports program. Gen.G’s teams, content creators and corporate staff work out of their offices in Los Angeles.

About Eastern Michigan University
Founded in 1849, Eastern is the second oldest public university in Michigan. It currently serves more than 16,000 students pursuing undergraduate, graduate, specialist, doctoral and certificate degrees in the arts, sciences and professions. In all, more than 300 majors, minors and concentrations are delivered through the University’s Colleges of Arts and Sciences; Business; Education; Engineering and Technology; Health and Human Services; and, its graduate school. EMU is regularly recognized by national publications for its excellence, diversity, and commitment to applied education. For more information about Eastern Michigan University, visit the University’s website.

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Best of the Best Campus Apps Named by Modo in the 2021 Appademy Awards

Appademy Awards from Modo recognizes universities and colleges for app development, design and UX, and this year, new categories like virtual commencement to reflect how campuses have adjusted to the pandemic

CAMBRIDGE, Mass. – Modo Labs is the top no-code app building platform for higher education and enterprise, and today it published the winning college apps in the annual Modo Appademy Awards. This juried award recognizes colleges and universities that have built exemplary digital experiences in apps built on the Modo platform.  Click to tweet this news.

“The Appademy Awards not only recognizes the dedicated and creative efforts of colleges using the Modo platform but it also is a glimpse into the priorities and needs of institutions of higher education,” said Matt Willmore, senior director of product marketing at Modo. “In this year’s entries, we saw excellent examples of the ways that college apps made tasks easier, such as registering for classes and paying fees, and also substituted for many in-person college experiences like orientation and graduation.”

One trend that was noted by judges is that while some app capabilities were created out of urgency due to the pandemic, these ended up being features colleges kept when it became clear that students and staff were comfortable using them. Features such as ticket requests for games, registration, and add/drop appointments are now permanent and available even as restrictions lift.

“It’s impressive to see the variation and creativity of the app development teams. We saw again and again in this year’s applicant pool that colleges did more than get tasks done, they created digital experiences and options for students to engage with their college in ways we’ve never seen before and in ways that kept college an engaging, immersive experience,” added Willmore.

The 2021 Appademy Awards include one overall Best Unified App and two categories for student engagement and app design, and winners came from every region including the Cayman Islands and Australia.

Best Overall

• Best Unified App – Winner: University of California, Merced

• Second Place: Vassar College

Best Apps for Student Engagement

• Best Health and Wellness App – Winner: Vassar College

• Second Place (TIE): University of California, Berkeley and University of Redlands

• Best Recruiting and Admissions – Winner: St Francis College

• Second Place: University of Rhode Island

• Best Commencement – Winner (TIE): University of Central Florida and University of Connecticut

• Second Place: Santa Monica College

• Best New Student Orientation – Winner: The George Washington University

• Second Place: Northern Arizona University

• Most Innovative App for Communication – Winner (TIE): California State University, San Bernardino and University of Houston

• Second Place (TIE) University of Texas Arlington and Assumption University

Best Apps for Design and Experience:

• Best Overall Design – Winner: Santa Monica College

• Second Place: California State University, Channel Islands

• Best Student-Driven App – Winner: Northern Arizona University

• Second Place: California State University, East Bay

• Best Marketplace – Winner: University of California, Berkeley

• Best App Personalization (XModule) – Winner: University of Houston

• Second Place: Carson-Newman University

• Best Desktop Experience – Winner: Humboldt State University

• Second Place: Penn State University

David Osburn, assistant director for communications and mobile strategy at Vassar College which won for Best Health and Wellness app said that the college redesigned the app this year giving special attention to helping their communities manage through the health crisis. “We’re thrilled that Vassar Mobile has been recognized with the 2021 Health and Wellness Appademy Award! This year has been a challenge for everyone’s mental and physical health and wellness. We’re proud of the work we’ve done to provide our audiences with quick and easy access to tools and resources that can help during such a trying time.”

Appademy Award winning designs and “plays” serve as leading practice examples and models for other institutions around the world including the more than 300 using the Modo no-code platform.

See a webinar announcing the winners here.

About Modo
Trusted by hundreds of the world’s most recognized universities and brands from around the world, the Modo no-code app platform offers enterprise-scale mobile engagement and communication capabilities that allow users to quickly and easily create unified mobile campus and workplace experiences that increase connectivity for employees, students, faculty, and guests. Using Modo, customers quickly unlock innovation and digitally transform their organizations by empowering the domain expertise of any person within their organization, regardless of technical skill set. For more information, visit, @ModoLabs

For the media: Find images of the winning apps here:


Media Contact:
Jennifer Harrison for Modo Labs