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Colleges hope students get COVID-19 vaccines for fall semester – but can they require it?

Colleges hope students get COVID-19 vaccines for fall semester – but can they require it?

USA TODAY

Chris Quintana
May 30, 2021
After more than a year of online classes, regular coronavirus tests and mask mandates, most of the nation’s colleges are gearing up for what passes for a  normal return to campus in the fall.
The widespread availability of COVID-19 vaccines is making that possible, but colleges are likely to remain wary. Though nearly half of adult Americans are fully inoculated, only about 30% of 18- to 24-year-olds have reached that benchmark, according to data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
College students pose a high risk to efforts to control the pandemic. Last September, counties home to universities suffered many of the nation’s worst COVID-19 outbreaks. But colleges are determined to find ways to resume full, in-person courses. Students and professors struggled with online learning, and universities lost revenue tied to in-person costs such as dorms, meal plans and even athletics.
So some colleges will require students to provide proof they received COVID-19 vaccines. Here’s what you need to know about those requirements – and exceptions to them.
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