What is a SHA Membership?
A "Membership" with SHA provides a family with an Emergency Contact as a temporary adult authority for their boarding school student(s) in the event a student experiences a medical or mental health emergency, criminal justice involvement, suspension/expulsion, or any other situation that requires a student to access services off campus that fall outside the responsibility of the student’s school. The "Membership" provides access to emergency & support services in the event they are needed, acting as assurance for parents and schools during an emergency situation in which parents/guardians are not immediately available. SHA does not obtain legal guardianship as the Emergency Contact unless pre-arranged with parents.
Why does my student need an Emergency Contact?
In the last several years, boarding schools have begun to narrow their responsibilities for students in need of off-campus services, such as transportation, hospitalization, and emergency housing. To remain enrolled in school, students are now required to have an Emergency Contact on file who can act quickly on parents’ behalf. Additionally, during this public health emergency surrounding COVID-19, an Emergency Contact can organize medical quarantine for COVID-19 exposure or provide transportation and housing if faced with a campus closure.
What constitutes an emergency for which my student might need Student Health Advocates’ services as my student’s Emergency Contact?
Any event that requires a student to quickly access off-campus services for which a parent would typically be responsible would activate SHA’s role as Emergency Contact as directed by the school and/or parents. Examples of emergency situations might include campus closures; medical or mental health emergencies, including medical quarantine for COVID-19 exposure/infection; criminal justice involvement; and school suspension/expulsion. SHA’s temporary authority ends once students have returned to campus or traveled elsewhere with parental consent.
What do you mean by off-campus or additional services? How are they charged, and how much do they cost?
The Membership provides access to services in the event they are needed to address emergency situations while students are away from home. Any services provided when SHA’s role as Emergency Contact is activated incurs a separate cost as services are provided. Examples of additional services that would be billed separately include:
Please note that the above list is not exhaustive. Whenever possible depending on the urgency of the situation, SHA will provide quotes for services before charging the credit card on file. Depending on the nature of the service, the service may be billed hourly or at a flat fee.
What happens if my student tests positive for COVID-19 while on campus?
As long as your student is fully enrolled in a Membership, SHA will provide emergency medical quarantine services at a professionally-vetted hotel approved for medical quarantines. Please see our website for information about the medical quarantine process.
Can SHA help my student get a COVID-19 test or other off-campus medical services?
Yes. If your student requires a COVID-19 test that is not offered by your student’s school, SHA can help arrange for off-campus testing that meets your testing requirements, e.g., test type and results turnaround time, whenever possible. SHA cannot guarantee, however, that all testing requirements can be met in a particular geography. SHA works with a number of testing facilities, but if a current testing partner does not meet your requirements, you will need to specify which facility you would like your student transported to based on your school and home country’s requirements. If the student's school is able to arrange testing that meets the school's requirements, SHA recommends that parents arrange testing directly with the school to ensure compliance. SHA will arrange any other medical services needed (whether or not COVID-related) off campus for which the school is not responsible, such as off campus doctor’s visits.
What happens if my student’s boarding school suspends room and board?
In the event a school suspends room and board, SHA will work with students’ families to house and transport students as needed to a hotel, airport, or elsewhere while parents determine the next course of action. SHA has previously worked with students whose schools have suspended room and board but have continued to offer on-campus instruction for day students. In such circumstances, a longer term off-campus housing arrangement can be arranged so that the student can continue to attend classes on campus.
Can I enroll when I need the service, e.g., my student becomes ill?
Yes, but SHA strongly advises against waiting for an emergency to enroll, as services cannot be guaranteed at that time. There will also be an "expedited processing fee" to get services in place within 48 hours of receiving the membership request.
How long does the Membership cover my student in the event of an emergency?
Enrollment in the "Membership" runs from the date of enrollment (the date payment is received) to the end of the time period listed on the "Certificate of Emergency Contact", or the end of the student’s academic semester/year (whichever comes first).
Do you offer Membership and support services for summer terms?
Yes! See SUMMER PROGRAMS
How do I enroll in a Membership?
Can I disenroll from the Membership?
You may disenroll your child at any time; however, SHA does not issue refunds for the Membership once services have been used. See our Refund Policy for further details.
Will you tell my student’s school that SHA is my student’s Emergency Contact?
Yes. SHA communicates with all School partners about every enrollment, although we recommend you also communicate this information to your school administration directly. SHA will provide a proof of membership to every school. We also recommend you send your "Certificate of Emergency Contact" to your School contact so they can contact us when needed in an emergency.
PRE-CAMPUS ARRIVAL QUARANTINE
What is a Pre-Campus Arrival Quarantine, and how much does it cost?
Schools and their state/local governments may require international and domestic out-of-state students to undergo a quarantine process before arriving on campus. SHA’s pre-campus arrival Quarantine service can be tailored to the requirements needed to satisfy local policy requirements, including length of stay and COVID-19 testing. Students enrolled in this Quarantine service will be picked up at the airport or other transit facility and transported to the quarantine hotel where they will be supervised 24/7 by an onsite chaperone. Students will have access to three meals a day via a contactless food delivery service. Quarantine services are quoted individually to reflect length of stay, hotel, transportation, and other services that might be required for a specific student. To date, Quarantine services have ranged from approximately $3,500 to $5,000.
What is the difference between a medical quarantine and Pre-Campus Arrival Quarantine?
When a student tests positive for COVID-19 while on campus, the student may be required to leave campus to undergo “medical quarantine” before returning to campus or leaving the state to travel elsewhere. See our website to learn more about the medical quarantine process. Please see the previous question for details about Pre-Campus Arrival Quarantine.
How do I know if my student requires Pre-Campus Arrival Quarantine?
Contact your school administration to request information about your school and state/local government’s quarantine policies for out-of-state travelers.
Does my student have to enroll a Membership to undergo Pre-Campus Arrival Quarantine?
Yes. All students accessing any kind of SHA services, including Pre-Campus Arrival Quarantine, must be enrolled in a membership (this is for every student member's safety and security).
What hotels do you use for quarantine? Can my student stay in a different hotel?
SHA works with a network of 3-star+ hotels that are vetted for quarantine capabilities, including appropriate sanitation, distancing, proximity to COVID-19 testing sites, and reduced capacity. SHA cannot ensure that safety standards are met at hotels that we do not work with; thus, SHA prefers that students stay at our current hotel partners. If you strongly prefer your student stay at a specific hotel, SHA is willing to learn more about your needs and assess our ability to offer our services at other hotels, though we cannot make any guarantees.
Who provides supervision if my student stays in a hotel?
SHA works with licensed home health care agencies to provide 24/7 onsite chaperones who stay with students in separate rooms and supervise their activity and assess for safety. Chaperones undergo extensive background checks, including criminal justice involvement and substance use. Chaperones are trained in CPR and mental health first aid. Chaperones are often certified nursing assistants (CNAs) and are supported around-the-clock by their agencies’ supervisors.
Are homestay quarantines available?
Homestay quarantines are unavailable at this time due to COVID-19 concerns. We hope to offer homestays as soon as possible.
Which boarding schools do you work with?
SHA currently works with a variety of private schools across the Mid-Atlantic and New England region, with more joining every month. Our student members come from 6 continents. SHA works closely with schools to ensure we are providing services for their students who require local support during an event that requires them to leave the school for any reason.
Do you communicate with students’ schools?
In most cases, parent(s) directly enroll their students in SHA’s Membership programs. While SHA may communicate with schools to coordinate arrangements for students, SHA does not act as an official liaison between parents and schools unless needed in an emergency situation. For routine questions about school policies and other school matters, parents may obtain such information directly from school administrators to ensure the information they receive is current.
Is financial aid available?
At this time, SHA is not able to provide financial support or waivers for our Members; however, some schools have expressed interest in subsidizing SHA Membership Fees for their students. Ask your school administrators if they might be able to provide financial support for SHA enrollment. SHA currently partners with a nonprofit organization that provides scholarships to international students studying at US boarding schools and subsidizes SHA’s enrollment fees as part of the students’ scholarship award.
Is SHA a form of medical or health insurance?
SHA is not an insurance company and does not provide health insurance coverage. Most boarding schools provide health insurance to cover the cost of medical services, such as doctor’s visits and treatment in urgent care facilities off campus. As a student’s Emergency Contact, SHA will provide transportation and supervision if a student needs to access routine medical services off campus. In the event of an emergency that requires an Emergency Department visit or hospitalization, the student will likely be transported by ambulance. In this situation, SHA can provide supervision until a parent or other guardian is present.
Are your services available to international students?
Yes. SHA works with students from the US and abroad who are attending boarding school in the US. SHA does not work with students attending boarding schools outside the United States.
Will SHA staff accompany my child on a domestic or international flight?
No. SHA is unable to accompany students on flights.
Do you have information about your services available in other languages?
At the moment, our enrollment documents are available in English only. Please contact us if we can assist you with the enrollment process. Our website can be translated into other languages using online tools, such as Google Translate and Bing Translator. (Enter https://studenthealthadvocates.com in the left box, select language, and click on the URL in the right box to go to the translated site.) Here are links to a few translated versions of our website:
How long have you been in business?
SHA’s founders began building the company in 2018 by researching schools and families’ needs and recognizing that schools and families struggle to address student emergency needs. SHA expected to launch in fall 2021. Instead, the company began operations in 2020 as the urgency for emergency contact services accelerated amid the global pandemic and as schools increasingly began to require or urge families to engage an emergency contact firm like SHA.
What payments methods are available?
SHA currently accepts all major credit cards, as well as bank wire, check and other forms of payment. Contact us with any questions.
What are your refund and cancellation policies?
We are confident that you will be completely satisfied with Student Health Advocates' services. In the event that your needs are not met, please contact us so we can address your concerns. SHA will refund 100% of the payment less $100 for services canceled more than 48 hours before the scheduled start time of the service, e.g., pick up time for transportation to the airport. Refunds will not be provided for paid services that are canceled within 48 hours of the scheduled start time. Refunds for booked services that the student has partially utilized will be refunded on a prorated basis less a $100 processing fee. Refunds will be issued within 15 days of receiving the request. We are confident that you will be completely satisfied with all of Student Health Advocates' services.
If your needs are ever not met, please contact us right away so we can make it right!
The "membership" is 100% refundable up until the point the student arrives on campus, or receives any services from SHA or it's caregivers. Memberships will be completely refundable after the student has enrolled and the following circumstances occur: 1) new US State Dept. travel restrictions prohibit the student's entry into the United States, and/or 2) the student's school suspends room and board before the student has departed his/her home country. Once any SHA service has been delivered as part of the "membership", the cost of the membership cannot be refunded. Memberships are also non-transferrable.
Payments for any booked services, such as transportation and hotel rooms, are refundable up to 30 days after payment is made as long as the service has not been used. SHA will refund 100% of the payment less $100 for services canceled more than 48 hours before the scheduled start time of the service, e.g., pick up time for transportation to the airport. Refunds will not be provided for paid services that are canceled within 48 hours of the scheduled start time. Refunds for booked services that the student has partially utilized will be refunded on a prorated basis less a $100 processing fee. Refunds will be issued within 15 days of receiving the request.
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Who should I contact if I have additional questions or concerns?
Please contact us or call us at +1 844-742-2255 (844-SHA-CALL). We look forward to learning how we can best meet you and your family's needs.