Updated January 12: Omicron’s rapid spread has disrupted the start of the spring semesters across the country. While some schools have delayed start dates, others have pivoted to online learning, while still others have changed their vaccination requirements. Several schools now require booster COVID-19 shots when they were optional just a couple of weeks earlier.
In light of the changing landscape, Poets And Quants For Undergrads has updated our vaccination and booster chart for our ranked business schools. (Scroll to chart below.) We’ve also added a section about which schools are changing plans for spring semester, according to information provided by BestColleges.com. Check with your school for the latest COVID updates, or email updates to firstname.lastname@example.org.
UNDERGRAD B-SCHOOLS REQUIRING COVID VACCINATIONS
For undergrad business students, heading into 2022 must feel a little like deja-vu. The variant is new, but the uncertainty about school Coronavirus protocols is strikingly similar. With omicron surging across the U.S., many of the top graduate business schools are moving to remote learning for the first several weeks in January. Plans are still in flux for others.
There is a key difference to the start of 2021 and the start of 2022: The availability of COVID vaccinations and boosters.
When COVID-19 vaccinations started rolling out early this year, many colleges and universities organized inoculation drives to get as many students and employees as possible to get the jab. The Chronicle of Higher Education announced that nearly 550 colleges planned to require vaccinations for at least some students and employees. This fall, several of the Ivy League colleges and their business schools reported high vaccination rates among its students, some reaching almost 100%. Cornell University reported a 99% vaccination rate while Harvard University reported a 95%.
MOST STUDENTS SUPPORT SCHOOL VACCINE MANDATES
Many students were in favor of the push. A June 2021 survey by Inside Higher Ed and College Pulse found that most college students – 7 out of 10 – supported required COVID-19 vaccinations in order to hold in-person classes. On the other hand, another survey, this one by Intelligent.com, a website that researches higher education programs, found that 55% of unvaccinated college students lie about their status at schools that mandate the vaccine.
To shed light on the differing college responses, UniversityBusiness.com, an online magazine covering two- and four-year colleges and universities, published earlier this month (December 2021) its complete list of colleges and universities mandating vaccination this academic year, including the upcoming spring 2022 semester. Using this list, we checked vaccination and booster requirements for every business school ranked in our 2021 ranking of the best undergraduate business schools. (Keep watch for our 2022 undergraduate b-school ranking coming in January.)
CHART: B-SCHOOLS THAT REQUIRE VACCINATION
As shown in the chart below, the higher the school lies on the P&Q ranking, the more likely it is to require vaccinations and boosters. In fact, all of the top five schools, and seven of the top 10, require students and staff to be vaccinated and boosted. There are also regional trends, with most northeastern schools requiring vaccinations but few Texas schools doing so. (In October, Gov. Greg Abbott issued an executive order prohibiting any Texas entity – including state universities – from requiring COVID-19 vaccinations, and the state is suing the Biden administration over its vaccine mandates for federal contractors, private businesses and healthcare workers.)
Other schools are only requiring employees and faculty to be vaccinated but “strongly encouraging” students to be vaccinated as well. Some schools – such as Southern Methodist University and Auburn University – started requiring employee vaccinations in October in order to comply with the federal contractor mandate, but have since paused those efforts after a federal judge issued a nationwide injunction against enforcement of the mandate on December 7.
In other words, everything is changing quickly. The below chart of undergraduate business schools was up-to-date as of December 21, 2021, but check with your individual school for the latest in their COVID-19 protocols.
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