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College charging extra health fee for unvax students. How common?


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Posted (edited)

I was just reading headlines in Memphis news and wondering if others are hearing similar information from places where their students are heading to in the fall.  Doesn't personally impact us (we got the shots and only go on Rhodes campus for  Special Olympics events so we aren't students there, just curious on my part).

Just curious if this is part of the new norm, a growing trend, or in the non common so far group.  https://www.wmcactionnews5.com/2021/06/09/rhodes-college-charge-health-fee-unvaccinated-students/

Rhodes College to charge $1500 for those who are not vaccinated to cover mandatory covid testing fees.

update: stuff changes of course. ..  the college changed direction. vaccine is now mandatory. and unvaccinated students without cleared exemptions will not be allowed on campus.  So no extra fee is needed as far as anyone knows. 

 

Edited by cbollin
policies changed
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I'm also mainly seeing universities that are requiring vaccines to be on campus.   

I'm not surprised they would charge fees and I would expect to see more of this is places where the universities aren't allowed to require vaccines or are strongly discouraged.   All the covid testing, quarantine facilities, etc are very expensive.  

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Only Maryville and Vanderbilt are requiring vaccination for students in TN. I'm assuming this is Rhodes' way of requiring without requiring it. I have to say that I am kind of relieved L decided to go outside TN)

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On 6/9/2021 at 12:58 PM, cbollin said:

I was just reading headlines in Memphis news and wondering if others are hearing similar information from places where their students are heading to in the fall.  Doesn't personally impact us (we got the shots and only go on Rhodes campus for  Special Olympics events so we aren't students there, just curious on my part).

Just curious if this is part of the new norm, a growing trend, or in the non common so far group.  https://www.wmcactionnews5.com/2021/06/09/rhodes-college-charge-health-fee-unvaccinated-students/

Rhodes College to charge $1500 for those who are not vaccinated to cover mandatory covid testing fees.

 

I haven't seen this yet, but I wish my son's school would offer this option. 

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I think it makes a lot of sense. There's a cost associated with having a large unvaxed population. The people who are making the choice to be risky should shoulder a larger portion of that cost. 

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2 minutes ago, Farrar said:

I think it makes a lot of sense. There's a cost associated with having a large unvaxed population. The people who are making the choice to be risky should shoulder a larger portion of that cost. 

This.  Also those tests actually cost money.

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It makes sense that unvax students need to pay for their testing. DH had to get a covid test to attend an event earlier this year and his company paid $65 per test. The cost can add up, if the school is testing unvax students every two weeks. 

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Not all Us are reacting in a way where being vaccinated/unvaccinated is a big issue.  Many are simply asking unvaccinated individuals to mask.  Vaccinated individuals don't have to.  There is no requirement to submit proof of vaccination.  That is the sum total of how they have handled their return to campus as of this summer and their plans for the fall.  THis isn't just a single campus and not just in a single state.  This is most schools in several states.

Here is the typical wording of their policies:

Quote

Unvaccinated students will wear face coverings in all campus buildings, except residence hall rooms, individual study rooms, individual offices, or when eating in dining facilities. Vaccinated students will not have to wear masks except in campus health facilities and on campus transportation.

 

Quote

Those not fully vaccinated for COVID-19 are recommended to continue wearing masks, according to CDC guidance. 


 

Edited by 8filltheheart
Thought this was Kassia's thread about the vaccine card
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58 minutes ago, 8filltheheart said:

Not all Us are reacting in a way where being vaccinated/unvaccinated is a big issue.  Many are simply asking unvaccinated individuals to mask.  Vaccinated individuals don't have to.  There is no requirement to submit proof of vaccination.  

And it's completely non-enforceable on a college campus. As a professor, I am very unhappy with this kind of policy. If nobody knows who is supposed to mask, what's the point? 

Edited by regentrude
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Just now, regentrude said:

And it's completely non-enforceable on a college campus. As a professor, I am very unhappy with this kind of rule. If nobody knows who is supposed to mask, what's the point of having the rule? 

Honor system, I suppose.  

My only pt in posting was to factually point out that vax requirements or unvax fees that are posted in this thread are far from universal. 

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The honor system has not worked very well in terms of masking or not going out sick during the pandemic. It’s just practical. If students don’t vax, they raise the literal cost of doing business on campus and the risk of further lost revenue if there are more outbreaks. Make them pay the testing fees to keep things safer if they refuse to vaccinate.

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6 minutes ago, Farrar said:

The honor system has not worked very well in terms of masking or not going out sick during the pandemic. It’s just practical. If students don’t vax, they raise the literal cost of doing business on campus and the risk of further lost revenue if there are more outbreaks. Make them pay the testing fees to keep things safer if they refuse to vaccinate.

You have a right to your opinion.  My post is the factual policies that are being implemented across many places in the country. 

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Of the schools L applied to, only Vanderbilt and the Atlanta ones have required COVID vaccination for fall. None of the TN, MO, AL, or AR state schools are, and the TN privates often aren’t. 
 

I think Rhodes policy, where either vaccination or regular testing, and paying for it, seems like a reasonable compromise for the Southern states where governors are restricting requiring vaccination proof. 
 

 

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I'm in one of the plains states. None of the public colleges or universities in my state are requiring fees or vaccinations in the fall. I believe masks are encouraged for the unvaccinated but not required although that policy might vary by college system. Dd#2 will be attending one of these colleges in the fall.

My DD#1 attends college in Alabama where no vaccination is required, no extra fees are charged (At this time), and the policy on masks is an honor system as 8 posted.

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This certainly makes putting together a list of prospective colleges easier for us, but I really feel for the people who depend on these schools for their livelihoods. You can’t really blame the public universities because the state legislatures are essentially in control, but wow. How on earth did this become a political issue? 
 

It will be interesting to see how this affects applications in the next few years. 

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1 minute ago, bibiche said:

This certainly makes putting together a list of prospective colleges easier for us, but I really feel for the people who depend on these schools for their livelihoods. You can’t really blame the public universities because the state legislatures are essentially in control, but wow. How on earth did this become a political issue? 
 

It will be interesting to see how this affects applications in the next few years. 

I am 100% sure that COVID response was a major reason why Agnes Scott ultimately won with L. 

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37 minutes ago, Dmmetler said:

Of the schools L applied to, only Vanderbilt and the Atlanta ones have required COVID vaccination for fall. None of the TN, MO, AL, or AR state schools are, and the TN privates often aren’t. 
 

You can add SC and FL to the list of states that I know about.

I'm not sure regular testing is going to be occurring. I have not seen any information stating that that will be continued in the fall. It is not occurring this summer on the campuses I am familiar with.

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My Midwest/ Great Lakes small university is fully "business as usual" in the fall. They bought and rehabbed a couple of off-campus houses for quarantine, so no extreme additional cost for them to keep those available for that purpose.

Regionally, I'm seeing rewards for vaccination proof for both students and staff rather than requirement to have it. Our sports conference hasn't weighed in on testing/ vaccination yet, and what they say will probably be reflected in our campus policies. Forty percent of our on-campus students participate in a D3 sport. 

Edited by MamaSprout
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24 minutes ago, bibiche said:

State by state guide to schools which will be requiring the vaccine:

https://universitybusiness.com/state-by-state-look-at-colleges-requiring-vaccines/

In the Plains States, there are very few state colleges listed. Some private colleges, but very short lists.

I am unaware of any testing that will be occurring on campus in the fall at either of my kids' schools

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Posted (edited)

Original poster here.  Would have chimed back in sooner, but dealing with water heater and life.  knew we needed to replace that water heater, but let's just say, that got a priority push.  anyway......   So far, it sounds like the extra fee charged directly to students (for weekly testing) is not a new trend. Just one college in our area doing it their way. Seems like a better incentive to me (to go get the shot) than entering the contest to win a new car was.   I have a weird feeling that our special olympics may not be returning to Rhodes even if our athletes have both shots. hmmmm

appreciated everyone's thoughts and factual info.  thanks.

edit to add:

back to TN colleges......

a few weeks later.... CBU (Christian Brothers University) just announced requiring COVID vaccine and of course in CBU fashion they'll help students get it if needed.  Given that the main public center is adjacent to the campus....  should be easy to do that. go Bucs!

and exemptions for medical/religions is accepted with No fines and no extra fees like Rhodes (which is about 2 miles around the block from CBU).

 

Edited by cbollin
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Yeah, in terms of a trend, I think this was set to become the norm anyway but then the vaccines rolled through. We were going to have to have a lot of money to have ds tested at his summer intensive. But then they relented for the kids who are vaccinated.

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1 hour ago, RootAnn said:

In the Plains States, there are very few state colleges listed. Some private colleges, but very short lists.

I am unaware of any testing that will be occurring on campus in the fall at either of my kids' schools

Over all it looks like far fewer states are requiring it than not. 

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14 minutes ago, bibiche said:

Huh. Every single one of those damn “elite” colleges is requiring the vaccine. Go figure. 

The irony is that it's probably least necessary for them. If some of these barely at 40% states would require it for their state universities, that might make a positive difference in the rates.

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8 hours ago, bibiche said:

This certainly makes putting together a list of prospective colleges easier for us, but I really feel for the people who depend on these schools for their livelihoods. You can’t really blame the public universities because the state legislatures are essentially in control, but wow. How on earth did this become a political issue? 

Yep.

My son's private Jesuit school requires it. My public doesn't,  because of the political leanings of our state legislature; there won't be any Covid precautions, and faculty are forced to teach in person. I have words unfit for a public forum. 

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5 hours ago, bibiche said:

Huh. Every single one of those damn “elite” colleges is requiring the vaccine. Go figure. 

They don't have to cotow to conservative state legislatures who are unfriendly to higher education. 

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2 hours ago, regentrude said:

They don't have to cotow to conservative state legislatures who are unfriendly to higher education. 

I really suspect that's why Vanderbilt is willing to stick their neck out in TN. And why many of the Atlanta area privates announced within days of Emory doing so. Because the state legislature/Governor is unlikely to try to tell Vanderbilt or Emory what to do. 

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Just to add to the perspective....my ds is going to a private University in Washington, D.C.  They strongly encourage being vaccinated.  No fees but if vaccinated it will come with perks!  They also want to know if vaccinated (Upload proof) or not by July 31st.

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21 hours ago, Dmmetler said:

I really suspect that's why Vanderbilt is willing to stick their neck out in TN. And why many of the Atlanta area privates announced within days of Emory doing so. Because the state legislature/Governor is unlikely to try to tell Vanderbilt or Emory what to do. 

The TN legislature has very limited leverage over Vanderbilt, but I also don't think it was accidental that Vandy waited to make its announcement until the lege had gone out of session.

Vanderbilt, like Emory, also has a lot of out-of-state students.  For months the housing website had as part of the FAQ a question about whether a student could request a vaccinated roommate (answer: no) -- I have to imagine they were getting tons of calls from parents asking about this.

 

 

Edited by JennyD
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On 6/11/2021 at 9:02 PM, Farrar said:

I think it makes a lot of sense. There's a cost associated with having a large unvaxed population. The people who are making the choice to be risky should shoulder a larger portion of that cost. 

I haven't read all the responses but I agree.  My son's (public flagship) University has not made an official announcement yet.  But was hinting toward NOT requiring it.  But those that don't will be subject to regular testing and quarantine as all students were this spring.  All students with a local address were required to test twice a week spring semester.  And they had VERY little covid, that worked great.  So charging those more that will need those tests and require the school to have quarantine areas available makes sense to me.  I suspect a bunch of those students who've been dragging their feet will end up getting vaccinated after going through testing regularly again to access buildings.  They already have very high vaccinated numbers there.   

I do think if we're hitting high vaccine numbers with vaccines continuing to hold well and very low covid case counts it may become a moot point.  Seems harder where vaccine numbers are lower.   It will be interesting seeing how things move forward for sure.    

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On 6/12/2021 at 6:46 AM, regentrude said:

And it's completely non-enforceable on a college campus. As a professor, I am very unhappy with this kind of policy. If nobody knows who is supposed to mask, what's the point? 

I just went on a trip, and every hotel, store, and restaurant that had this type of sign was miraculously patronized only by completely vaccinated people.

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On 6/12/2021 at 6:42 AM, 8filltheheart said:

You can add SC and FL to the list of states that I know about.

I'm not sure regular testing is going to be occurring. I have not seen any information stating that that will be continued in the fall. It is not occurring this summer on the campuses I am familiar with.

 

On 6/12/2021 at 8:13 AM, RootAnn said:

In the Plains States, there are very few state colleges listed. Some private colleges, but very short lists.

I am unaware of any testing that will be occurring on campus in the fall at either of my kids' schools

I wonder how they’re thinking that’s going to work out in light of Delta increasing rapidly. Maybe they think all the unvaccinated are going to catch it over Summer? (Grim thought, actually, as they could be right.)

On 6/13/2021 at 3:24 PM, JennyD said:

.  For months the housing website had as part of the FAQ a question about whether a student could request a vaccinated roommate (answer: no) -- I have to imagine they were getting tons of calls from parents asking about this.

I wonder if that’s true even for immune compromised students or those legitimately unable to be vaccinated. Seems awful to tell them that’s just too bad and they’re just going to have to be sharing air all night with an unvaccinated person. Seems at least as reasonable as requesting a non-smoking or no alcohol roommate, which is a regular thing. 

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  • 3 weeks later...
On 6/22/2021 at 8:25 PM, KSera said:

 

I wonder how they’re thinking that’s going to work out in light of Delta increasing rapidly. Maybe they think all the unvaccinated are going to catch it over Summer? (Grim thought, actually, as they could be right.)

I wonder if that’s true even for immune compromised students or those legitimately unable to be vaccinated. Seems awful to tell them that’s just too bad and they’re just going to have to be sharing air all night with an unvaccinated person. Seems at least as reasonable as requesting a non-smoking or no alcohol roommate, which is a regular thing. 

From the university's perspective assigning roommates based upon vaccination status would be very different than on smoking and alcohol preferences.  From a purely logistical perspective, medical records are not handled by the housing department).  On another level, the university would be providing medical information about one student to another student.  I think most universities would handle the request of a student who is unable to vaccinate in the same manner and using the same procedure that other requests for housing based on medical needs is done. 

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7 hours ago, Bootsie said:

From the university's perspective assigning roommates based upon vaccination status would be very different than on smoking and alcohol preferences.  From a purely logistical perspective, medical records are not handled by the housing department).  On another level, the university would be providing medical information about one student to another student. 

I don’t think it needs to be so different. If it’s opt in, like any other self-disclosed special housing request, that would work fine. The housing department handles a lot of things like this. They handle medical documentation sent to approve emotional support animals. They handle gender inclusive housing requests, which require both parties to agree to the gender inclusive arrangement. None of those are considered a violation of student privacy (I don’t think university housing would be bound by HIPPA anyway, would they?) 

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4 hours ago, KSera said:

I don’t think it needs to be so different. If it’s opt in, like any other self-disclosed special housing request, that would work fine. The housing department handles a lot of things like this. They handle medical documentation sent to approve emotional support animals. They handle gender inclusive housing requests, which require both parties to agree to the gender inclusive arrangement. None of those are considered a violation of student privacy (I don’t think university housing would be bound by HIPPA anyway, would they?) 

So, if the university says that students can voluntarily provide immunization status to the housing department and then request to room only with another student who has voluntarily provided that information, what happens in the situation that was mentioned--a student cannot be vaccinted but wants to room only with a vaccinated student? --that would not be a mutual opt-in situation in which both parties are freely choosing the same conditions.

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45 minutes ago, Bootsie said:

So, if the university says that students can voluntarily provide immunization status to the housing department and then request to room only with another student who has voluntarily provided that information, what happens in the situation that was mentioned--a student cannot be vaccinted but wants to room only with a vaccinated student? --that would not be a mutual opt-in situation in which both parties are freely choosing the same conditions.

They would have to come up with a plan for that or let those students have single rooms. I imagine there would be vaccinated university students willing to volunteer to room with those unable to be vaccinated. My college student's primary aim with regard to taking Covid precautions is not to infect anyone else. As such, it is possible they would be agreeable to rooming with someone who couldn't be vaccinated in order to help protect them. I'm certain there are others who would do the same.

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I have to say I get having to pay an extra fee if unvaccinated. I just paid our monthly healthshare fee today, and it made me wonder if our fees will be going up, since a lot of Christians aren't willing to get vaccinated, and therefore may end up with Covid. At this present time my feelings about that are not very sympathetic, and I certainly hope we don't end up having to pay higher amounts.

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  • 4 weeks later...

Right now, vaccinations not required at either of my college kids' schools. Masks required at one. Students who upload their vax card get $20 in meal credits. Entry testing is offered and requested for students living on campus. 

Entry testing is required at the other, but only for unvaccinated students. I'm not sure how this is going to be checked or enforced because the "mandatory" every other week testing last year wasn't enforced at all. They are requesting vaccinated students bring or send in a copy of their card but not mandating it.

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The insurance rates are not affected by vaccination status at either of my kids’ schools. One is requiring the vaccine, and giving students a $100 bonus if they get it done by August 20. The other is not requiring the vaccine, but is requiring masks, and will require non-vaccinated students to get tested weekly. Those who don’t want to get tested have to upload their vaccine information.

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On 8/5/2021 at 10:45 PM, RootAnn said:

Right now, vaccinations not required at either of my college kids' schools. Masks required at one. 

Entry testing is required at the other, but only for unvaccinated students. 

Quoting myself to update that school starts the 18th & 23rd, respectively, for my two college students. The latter one has two covid cases already & has requested mask usage in two areas on campus (athletic space, food service space), probably because that's where the kids on campus are right now (athletes move in early). 

It'll be interesting to see if they move to requiring masks again. 

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On 8/5/2021 at 7:45 PM, RootAnn said:

Right now, vaccinations not required at either of my college kids' schools. Masks required at one. Students who upload their vax card get $20 in meal credits. Entry testing is offered and requested for students living on campus. 

Entry testing is required at the other, but only for unvaccinated students. I'm not sure how this is going to be checked or enforced because the "mandatory" every other week testing last year wasn't enforced at all. They are requesting vaccinated students bring or send in a copy of their card but not mandating it.

I'm really regretting not thinking this through last spring. If he was on campus my son could at least be sperated from a positive contact in quarantine facilities but now he is sharing a home with others who may or may not be vaccinated and if they become sick he has to quarantine until he is no longer a contact and he won't be able to get away from them. If they pass it from one to another he could be quarantined for months if he wants to do things properly, which we always have. 

 

Feeling stupid now. Probably screwed up another year. 

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