Unvaccinated Students Face Campus Penalties

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The University of Virginia (UVA) disenrolled more than 240 students who had not received the COVID-19 vaccine as of late August. Two other universities, Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University (VA Tech) and Xavier University (XU) in Louisiana, followed suit shortly after. 

The three schools were among more than 400 colleges and universities nationwide mandating that students get vaccinated before returning to campus for the fall term.

Nearly 96 percent of UVA students confirmed they had been vaccinated against COVID-19, including 97 percent of students who live on campus, according to a press release.

At the time of the release, the university had granted 335 permanent vaccine waivers and 184 temporary waivers. The temporary waivers were in place for students who had experienced difficulty obtaining the vaccine but promised to do so as soon as possible.

VA Tech disenrolled more than 130 unvaccinated students, less than 0.4 percent of its total enrollment, before the start of the fall semester, according to the school’s website. XU did not disclose the number of disenrolled students but stated that a majority of the campus population had been vaccinated.  

The decisions come after several colleges and universities across the U.S. announced a “COVID fee” for unvaccinated students. Schools such as West Virginia Wesleyan College and Birmingham-Southern College in Alabama say these fees are intended to cover increased COVID-19 testing costs and to encourage vaccination. Quinnipiac University went one step further by fining unvaccinated students a maximum of $2,275 a semester.

This article was published in our October 2021 issue.