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Virginia Tech Disenrolls 134 Unvaccinated Students As Colleges Begin Cracking Down On Covid Violations

Topline

Virginia Tech has disenrolled more than 100 students who failed to submit proof of vaccination before the start of the fall semester, a university official said Tuesday, making it the second college in the state to launch its crackdown on violations of stringent Covid-19 protocols. 

2 Sep 2000: A general view from the stands of Lane Stadium during the game between the Virginia … [+] Tech Hokies against the Akron Zips in Blackburg, Virginia. The Hokies defeated the Zips 52-23.Mandatory Credit: Doug Pensinger /Allsport


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Key Facts

Some 134 students did not submit vaccination documentation or receive a medical or religious exemption by the start of classes on August 23 and were therefore disenrolled, Mark Owczarski, the associate vice president for University Relations at Virginia Tech, told Fox8

Owczarski said the university “does not know whether any of these students were not planning to return for reasons unrelated to the Covid-19 vaccine requirement,” as some students pull out due to unforeseen circumstances every year.

The university tried to contact these students about the requirement—which was announced in June—and would welcome them back if they do provide proof of vaccination, Owczarski said.

About 95% of Virginia Tech’s 37,000 enrolled students have been vaccinated against Covid-19, according to a dashboard run by the school, as well as 88% of university employees, who have until October 1 to meet a requirement set earlier this month. 

Surprising Fact 

The students disenrolled for violating the Covid-19 vaccine mandate make up about 0.4% of Virginia Tech’s student population. They also could represent between $2 million and $3 million in undergraduate, in-state tuition fees and room and board, The Roanoke Times calculated based on average cost estimates. 

Key Background 

Virginia Tech appears to be on the earlier side in terms of cracking down on its mandates. It follows the University of Virginia (UVA) which two weeks ago announced it had disenrolled more than 200 students who didn’t comply with the school’s vaccine requirement, including 49 who were enrolled for fall courses. “A good number” may not “have been planning to return to the university this fall at all,” said university spokesperson Brian Coy. A few other smaller colleges, including Xavier University in Louisiana, appear to have started disenrolling students but have not yet released full tallies. 

What To Watch For 

There will likely be more announcements from colleges in the coming weeks as many appear to have set their deadlines for vaccine mandates in early September. New Jersey’s Montclair State University, for example, said last week it had about 480 students at risk of being disenrolled with its September 2 deadline fast-approaching. Hundreds of colleges across the U.S. currently require Covid-19 vaccinations.

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