College to Charge Unvaccinated Students $1,500 ‘Health & Safety’ Fee

Non-vaccinated students will be required to undergo weekly COVID testing

Image Credits: Washnockm / Wikimedia Commons.

Starting Fall 2021, Rhodes College will charge unvaccinated students $1,500 per semester to “cover the costs of mandatory testing.” 

The school, located in Memphis, Tennessee, announced the policy in a June 8 letter

Rhodes College will require the COVID-19 vaccine for all students, staff, and faculty on campus after the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) formally approves the vaccines. As of this writing, the school strongly encourages vaccination. 

Students who choose not to receive the vaccine can file a medical or religious vaccine exemption before the start of the Fall semester. Non-vaccinated students will also be required to undergo weekly COVID testing. 

Rhodes College Vice President for Student Life Meghan Weyant told WREG3 asymptomatic testing was free for all students in the Spring semester, but as vaccines have become available, the college expects students to get fully vaccinated.  

“As we prepare to welcome our returning students home and the largest incoming class in Rhodes history, we believe a campus-wide commitment to vaccination will really allow us to do our part in getting our students back on campus for the academic experience that we know they so much want,” Weyant said. 

She added that she has not received push back from students saying they don’t want to take the vaccine. “The response has been positive,” she said. “Students want to be back on campus.” 

Weyant said in the same interview that international students who do not have access to vaccines in their home countries will be offered a chance to take part in a vaccine clinic upon arrival. 

Campus Reform reached out to Rhodes Director of Communication Dylan Sandifer asking for a breakdown of expenses included in the $1,500 fee as well as the reasoning behind the fee. This article will be updated accordingly. 

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