'COVID fee': 2 colleges in West Virginia, Alabama billing unvaccinated students

Students unvaccinated against COVID-19 will have to pay more than their vaccinated classmates to attend West Virginia Wesleyan College or Birmingham Southern College this fall

West Virginia Wesleyan College announced it will be charging a non-refundable $700 "COVID fee" this fall to students who are not vaccinated or fail to submit proof of vaccination by Sept. 7.

Additionally, unvaccinated students will be required to provide a negative COVID-19 test before arriving on campus. And the test has to be administered no earlier than seven prior to arrival.


A healthcare worker displays a Covid-19 Vaccination Record Card during a vaccine and health clinic at QueensCare Health Center in a predominately Latino neighborhood in Los Angeles, California, on Aug. 11, 2021. (Photo by Robyn Beck / AFP) (Photo by

Anyone who becomes infected will be given 48 hours of "contained housing." After that, the student is responsible for quarantining off-campus, or else they will be charged $250 to stay on campus for the duration of their quarantine.

Birmingham Southern will charge unvaccinated students $500 to offset the cost of weekly testing and quarantining, the school said on its website.

In May, Alabama Gov. Kay Ivey made it illegal for private businesses and public institutions to refuse services to those not inoculated. But Birmingham Southern’s policy would not deny access to the unvaccinated.

RELATED: History of vaccine mandates in the United States

"Pursuant to state law, BSC will not mandate the COVID vaccine as a condition of attendance. However, unvaccinated individuals remain subject to increased public health guidelines," the school said.

All 1,300 students will be initially charged the $500 fee, regardless of their vaccination status. But only the vaccinated students will receive a refund.

This story was reported from Atlanta.