Recently, the COVID-19 vaccination mandates at the state and community colleges and universities may cause military veterans eligible for GI Bill benefits to drop classes and lose thousands of dollars per month in housing allowances if they refuse to take the vaccine.
Legislators changed rules to enable full-time virtual learning through December 2020 as the pandemic cleared campuses. These student veterans were required to take some of their classes in person. Still, full-time, virtual education would continue until December 2020.
People refusing the vaccine who are denied exemptions for religious or medical reasons have said they will leave their schools or move out of state or apply to private institutions with less stringent policy requirements if legislators fail to extend the deadline further or make other changes.
To receive total monthly housing allowances, veterans must attend at least one class on campus. Housing allowances depend on several factors, including where the service member lives and if they have dependents.
Several community colleges and private schools have vaccine mandates, as does the University of California and California State University systems. Some organizations and institutions are still offering weekly or bi-weekly testing as an alternative, while others are still working out requirements and possible exemptions.
California is the first state to require COVID-19 vaccines to be administered to primary school students once all federal approvals have been granted and extensive health care facilities and government agencies across the country have mandated these vaccinations. There are many places where people are pushing back instead of staying at their jobs.
A COVID vaccine continues to be the most effective method of preventing serious health complications and hospitalizations, says Hazel Kelly, a spokeswoman for the California State University System's chancellor's office. Students, including veterans, received several months to weigh their options.