Colleges in the 2021-2022 Academic Year & Coronavirus (Part 2)

Ironically, this year there will be ONLY single and doubles at Scripps as they implement COVID measures. Freshman/Sophomores are guaranteed on campus housing and the college has secured an entire building in the Claremont Graduate School for the extra needed space – this will largely be occupied by juniors I believe.

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Michigan has multiple rate types. So everyone does not pay the same for the various rooms. Quads are not necessarily considered a downgrade because they’re not 4 kids stuffed into a double. It all depends on the layout of the room. A quad is often 2 doubles with a bathroom between the 2 rooms.

Nor do they at the other schools my kids attend.

If you’re in a forced triple you pay less, a quad doesn’t pay less because it could be like a suite where they share a bathroom, a single pays more, financial aid is based on a double. If you want a single you need to come up with the difference. I know plenty who did that. No one wants a forced triple. My daughter wanted a double. Triple was her last choice. Many also don’t want a triple for other reasons.

@homerdog We’ve always been able to pick our own food plan but my kids don’t attend NESCAC schools. At UM you can upgrade to a slightly higher one. When visiting UVA this was the first time we had ever seen that everyone had the same plan. I liked that idea since there is so much food insecurity on college campuses and they don’t want kids to skip meals, etc. But my daughter had the lowest food plan, my son I’ll need to pay for a higher plan, and my other one I had pay for a different plan. The first one this year her school is now going to everyone on the unlimited plan and a lot of parents are complaining about it and the cost but I can’t imagine it’s much more since not everyone eats unlimited food and the school knows that and will adjust for it in the cost.

At a college with varying quality and desirability campus dorm rooms which all or nearly all students live in, “equity” means choosing one, since it is hard to get both:

  1. Students pay different rates based on the quality and desirability of the specific dorm rooms.
  2. Students all pay the same rate, to avoid causing family-SES segregation in the campus dorms.

It’s not about getting a better room. Sometimes it’s about having personal space or about who you get along with, or if you have special needs, etc. It’s not about a room costing more money that makes it more equitable.

Paying the same rate doesn’t exclude any of those preferences you may have. Typically, the school will try to accommodate your preferences along with preferences of all other students as best as it can using some computer program.

There are going to be major visa issues for foreign students. The consulates are months behind in processing US passport renewal for citizens living abroad, certificates of birth for US citizens who gave birth abroad, and other forms citizens need. Visas are lower in priority.

Appointments are at a premium and being sold on the black market.

I guess I just don’t agree with someone having to pay the same rate for a different room. There are plenty of people who don’t qualify for financial aid but would love a single. They shouldn’t have to pay more (or less) than the next person. Likewise, there are people who really can’t afford a single and are on financial aid and loans (I know plenty) who it’s worth extra paying for to get one. Every room type is different. This is not a case where all things are equal and we are comparing apples to apples.

I know there are big gaps in equity but making all kids pay the same for a dorm room is not going to solve the issue. If that were the case then they should make tuition equal for everyone as well regardless of who can or can’t pay. So whether you can afford the expensive tuition or not give everyone the same amount to pay so that a family who really should receive financial aid but is just outside the limit or has the “wrong” kind of debt or has other issues will actually be on a level playing field.

As hard as we try it’ll never be equitable.

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I can’t remember which school I saw doing this and I’m sure there are more but I saw someplace offering a deferral of a year if you’re an international student. But only a year.

I’m not sure I understand your point. For these schools, there’s one tuition and one price for rooms (and perhaps only one meal plan), all students pay the same price, regardless whether they end up in a single or double (or something else). Whether they are on FA or full pay also has nothing to do with it. If they’re on FA, their family contributions will be the same regardless what type of room they end up getting.

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We are talking mostly about small liberal arts schools where housing for freshmen is just pretty equitable. Rooms aren’t all that different from each other. Then, for sophomore year, same thing. Sophomores all get a certain kind of housing. Most juniors and seniors live on campus, too, and those kids usually get promoted to more apartment style living - again equitable. So it’s not a matter of some kids getting squished into some crummy room and others in the same grade living the life in some beautiful new spacious dorm

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There’s a lot of off campus housing available in the town of Amherst in part because a lot of the UMASS Amherst students do not live on campus. At a LAC, I get that part of the experience is that everyone lives together, but would think it would be preferable to allow slightly more kids to live off campus than to crowd them up in dorms. Just ironic, that Amherst was so adamant that they couldn’t have all students back this year because they wanted everyone in singles, and now they are fine with triples!

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I can see 3 in a triple each paying the same 2 in a double, but not 3 in a double (they should not have to pay the same for less square footage)

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Perhaps they believe that the pandemic will really truly be completely over by the fall.

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Amherst College will be requiring vaccination for all students, although with medical and religious exemptions ( Fall Vaccination Requirement for Students | Messages from President Biddy Martin | Amherst College ). Presumably, they believe that will be enough to prevent outbreaks in higher-density dorm living situations, and that there will not be a new variant that evades the vaccines enough to cause outbreaks among vaccinated students.

However, even colleges that do not require students to be vaccinated may be taking the position that vaccination availability converts the risk of COVID-19 from an involuntary risk to a voluntary risk, so they can “go back to pre-COVID-19 normal” without imposing a large amount of involuntary risk on students (and others like faculty, staff, and others in their communities).

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Perhaps they also have restrictions on visitors in the dorms and so forth. “Pre-Covid-19 normal” is a standard that seems a bit premature to be signaling, and allowing living density (shared bedrooms and bathrooms, dining etc) to go over 100% capacity shows a level of confidence about the next few months that risks appearing more hopeful than evidence-based. Health experts are not assuming a sudden leap to “normal.” Colleges can and should still minimize involuntary risk this coming year by some common sense measures over and above the vaccine mandate. I’d think over-packing the dorms is an obvious “no-no” from a public health perspective.

I’m not a fan of overcrowding dorms of course. No one wants that. But why do you think it would be a health issue if everyone is vaccinated? I agree that there should be rules about visitors. Not that students will abide by those rules but it would be best to not have unvaccinated people in the dorms I guess. When will it be time to just say that vaccines are readily available and those who choose not the get one take on their own risk?

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The real unknown is how long the vaccines work.

But aren’t there some studies that show that they could last a really long time? Will we only really know the answer to this when vaccinated people start coming down with Covid? No one seems to be suggesting that.

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I really hope so because if you’re cramming kids into dorm rooms and the vaccines don’t last 12 months that’s not a good scenario.

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I just asked D21’s school about random roommate assignment and vaccinated vs. unvaccinated. So far her school is not requiring kids to be vaccinated and says they won’t until full FDA. They asked zero questions about Covid in the roommate questionnaire. This year they tested twice weekly and if your roommate tested positive, you went into isolation. I can see a lot of tension and problems putting unvaccinated kids with ones who are vaccinated. It will be interesting to see what they respond with.