A liberal arts college in Memphis, Tennessee, is set to charge students who have not been vaccinated against COVID-19 an extra $1,500 in tuition per semester.
Rhodes College, which requires the vaccine for faculty, staff, and students, laid out the policy in a June 8 letter. The money is supposed to “cover the costs of mandatory testing.”
“In anticipation of FDA approval, we are strongly recommending all students be vaccinated this summer in order to not prevent or delay your return to campus in August. Immediately following FDA approval, students will be required to be vaccinated to access campus,” the letter states. “Upon returning to campus non-vaccinated students will be charged a $1500 per semester Health & Safety fee to cover the costs of mandatory testing as outlined below.”
Similar to other colleges, Rhodes students who wish not to get vaccinated are permitted to file for a religious or medical exemption. If accepted, these students must be tested each week and bear the brunt of the costs.
Students across the country have protested mandatory vaccines, including at Rutgers University, which mandated the vaccine for its 71,000 students. One student, Sara Razi, said, “I’m not anti-vax, I’m anti-mandate. My education should not be restricted based on my personal decision to receive the COVID-19 vaccination. Vaccinations are a personal and a private choice and students should have the right to choose whether or not they want to take a vaccine that is experimental.”
A law student at Vanderbilt University recently told The Federalist that students are afraid to speak out against the administration’s vaccine mandate.
“I am constructively indebted to the school, and so is anyone else who has taken more than one year at the school,” Carolyn Kraft said. “At this point, my option is to take a backseat or get kicked out or drop out and lose all my money.”
Rhodes College did not respond to The Federalist’s request for comment.