ANN ARBOR, Mich. – Colleges and universities across Michigan have different COVID precautions and requirements in place as students head back to school.
Some colleges and universities are giving away parking passes, upgraded meal plans and even scholarships to encourage students to get the COVID-19 vaccine before heading back to campus.
“I’m vaccinated and I got vaccinated pretty early on when, like, the vaccines are rolling out,” Anjali Brown said.
Brown is headed to the University of Michigan this fall. She’s going to study philosophy and biology. She said the decision to get vaccinated was an easy one to make.
“I’m going to feel safer on campus knowing I’m vaccinated and, like, I’m living in the dorms of first year. And everyone who lives on campus has to be vaccinated. So, that I think, relieves a lot of pressure on my side because I think I would be more worried about it,” Brown said.
She said she received an email from the university indicating that 76% of students are vaccinated.
“I didn’t know before hand, like, how many students have reported their status and also knowing because I’m going to be living with people that are vaccinated. That makes me feel a lot better in terms of going into campus and I definitely do feel more confident, you know, knowing those two things,” Brown said.
Most colleges and universities already require students, faculty and staff to be vaccinated against COVID-19. That includes University of Michigan and Michigan State University.
“The short answer is, every college has its own specific policy. The long answer, the broad race responses pretty much every campus is going to have some sort of vaccine policy in place,” Eva Dodds, with Collegewise Detroit, said.
As vaccination numbers change, schools are pivoting their policies. Some even require students who don’t want to get vaccinated to stay home and complete their coursework online.
“I’ve had two parents tell me that I’ve had some students who are already in college say to me that they’re angry that they have to get the vaccine, but they got it because there’s no way they’re staying home for a year,” Dodds said.
Brown said she’s optimistic about what the fall will bring and she’s hoping as the school year continues, cases will continue to drop and college life will get easier.
“The class of 2021 has shown us all how to be ready for change and they’re going to do great things for us. They’re our future and they’re handling our present better than most of us so I look forward to seeing how they handle their first year in school,” Dodds said.
In certain cases, if unvaccinated students are allowed on campus, those students will likely be required to continue getting tested to be able to attend class and could also be excluded from certain activities.