Booted from class: Colleges penalize unvaccinated students as Delta surges

By: | September 8, 2021

After months of coaxing students with thousands of dollars in prizes — everything from gift cards to sports tickets to free parking — colleges are starting to punish the unvaccinated.

The institutions started the summer by waving the prospect of scholarships, laptops, game consoles and more in front to students who got a Covid-19 shot. Now, as millions move back to campus, hundreds of schools are mandating vaccines and penalizing students who resist without a medical or religious reason.

Quinnipiac University students who aren’t vaccinated will be fined up to $200 per week and lose access to the campus’ Wi-Fi until they get the shot. The University of Virginia booted more than 200 unvaccinated people from its rolls before the semester began. And Rutgers University, the first university in the U.S. to mandate vaccination for students, is threatening to disconnect email access and deny campus housing for students who don’t comply. Some colleges used similar tactics last year to get students to follow testing procedures.

The hard mandates, which put colleges on the front line of the nation’s newest culture war, could help decide when the latest resurgence of the virus subsides — and when the next one arrives.

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