In light of this somber anniversary and the tragic loss of a KCOM student this week, this topic is extremely important.
If the worst should happen, and you/your spouse should die or become totally and permanently disabled, your Stafford (Federal) loans will be forgiven.
This is not so with private loans. If you have a co-borrower, or you have a family, this is especially important. Your estate, or your co-borrower, will be left with those loans.
We strongly recommend a life insurance policy. While I am no expert on life insurance, I do know that term policies can be purchased for something like $15 per month. If you have a co-borrower, make the co-borrower your beneficiary.
Don't leave your loved ones a mountain of debt to remember you by.

Thanks for the advice! I was also under the impression that if I passed awy that ALL of my loans, Federal & private, were forgiven. Thankfully, I have enough life insurance to cover that amount but this is very important for folks w/ families to know.

…the tragic loss of a KCOM student this week…

I had not heard anything about this. Is everyone OK back there?

It was very unfortunate; a first-year dual degree student collapsed during the annual triathlon. It was after the swim event, just as he was about to get on his bike. I'm sorry I don't remember the technical term for what happened, but it was an apparently undiagnosed heart problem, somewhat similar to John Ritter's. (Or at least from a layman's POV it seemed that way).
He was an athlete in excellent health, or so it seemed. This was not his first triathlon. He left behind a wife and two young daughters. It was very sad.

Our thoughts & prayers go out to him, his family & the KCOM community.