Chicago — As many colleges and universities are planning for the fall semester, the number of colleges and universities requiring students to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 is increasing.
On Monday, the Atlanta University Center Consortium institutions, including Clark Atlanta University, Morehouse College, Morehouse School of Medicine and Spelman College, announced that they will require all students and faculty to be fully vaccinated.
“We continue to operate with the safety and well-being of our AUCC community at the forefront of our decision making,” read the announcement.
Most colleges and universities requiring COVID-19 vaccinations for students are private schools, including Boston University, Duke University, DePaul University, Loyola University Chicago, Columbia College Chicago, and more.
“Why is DePaul requiring students to be vaccinated? Simply put: safety, mutual care and social responsibility,” A. Gabriel Esteban, president of DePaul, wrote in email messages to students. “The health and safety of our community, and the communities in which our students, faculty and staff live, have driven DePaul’s decision-making throughout the pandemic.”
DePaul and Columbia College will only require the vaccine in students, not faculty or staff.
Columbia College will require the vaccine because it’s a key solution, especially since 18- to 29-year-olds have been the group with the highest number of cases in Chicago, according to a university statement.
“While we have leveraged testing and other precautions to resume certain limited student performances and projects, students being immunized will allow us to offer them more opportunities,” read the Columbia statement.
Loyola University Chicago said in an email Thursday to students, "we've determined that the most effective, efficient, and safest way to return to campus is to require all students to be vaccinated from COVID-19 before returning for the fall 2021 semester. Exemptions for medical contraindications or religious reasons consistent with our current policy will be granted."
California's large UC and Cal State systems is also requiring vaccinations.
A handful of universities, such as the University of North Carolina system, will not require students to be vaccinated for the fall, but they strongly recommend it.
“The University of North Carolina System remains committed to following guidance from public health officials and state law regarding vaccinations,” a university statement reads, according to WECT. “No federal or state public health official has directed that COVID-19 vaccinations be mandated for students at institutions of higher education.”
Northern Illinois University also plans not to require the COVID-19 vaccination, but instead asks students to get vaccinated.
“While vaccines are not mandated, NIU is strongly urging all members of our NIU community to get vaccinated as soon as possible,” according to the university’s website.