top of page
  • Writer's pictureJeff Boron

FDA Approves Vax.. What's It Mean for Public & Private College Students?

Here at Send Your Kids to College we are dedicated to helping students and their families navigate through the college planning process. We are a local non-profit here in Western New York that serves anyone who needs help planning financials for a future at a college or university. This past few years has been a whirlwind for everyone, especially people attending college and school. We hope everyone is doing well, and staying safe, as we enter another new school year.

Today it was announced that the vaccine created by Pfizer-BioNTech is officially approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). It was suspected that once this move was made official, that many if not most colleges and universities would begin to mandate the vaccine. Regardless of what side you stand on politically, it's obviously important to be well informed and fully prepared.

Let's take a look at what the FDA approval being official could mean for students both off campus, and on.

Mandates Coming?

Many large schools around the country are already stating that mandates are coming. President of Louisiana State University said on August 12th, 11 days before today's official approval by the FDA, that they would swiftly mandate the vaccine once it was approved.

SUNY Says So

If you were planning on attending a SUNY school this fall, and planning to be on campus, you were already basically mandated to receive a vaccination. This of course left some question marks for remote or virtual classes, or if students could choose to get the vaccine or not. It was assumed, (and now states on SUNY website), that it would be mandated for all students once approved.

"With the U.S. Food and Drug Administration's full approval of the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine, the state-mandated directive for all students to be vaccinated is now in place for all SUNY campuses."

Back in July, SUNY Chancellor Jim Malatras teased the need for students to be vaxxed, but more based on the idea of being stuck in the dorms.

“Don’t find yourself stuck in your dorm room, while your friends meet up at a campus sporting event or live music performance,” Malatras wrote in a USA TODAY Network op-ed at the time.

Just 21 days later, as the Delta variant started to spread, the tune changed, as a new SUNY policy required students, faculty and staff to be fully vaccinated or tested weekly for COVID.

“Either we do our civic duty to get fully vaccinated, or we risk sliding back into rising cases, hospitalizations and fatalities as COVID-19 variants spread in mostly unvaccinated populations,” Malatras said in a statement at the time.

The tune is a bit different today, now that the vaccine has officially reached FDA approval.

But some public and private New York universities were already on track for very high vaccination rates even before this approval today. Some well above the statewide average of about 70% over 18 in New York.

According to, Binghamton, Oneonta and Purchase, were already reporting student vaccination rates between 80% and 90%. Cornell University, one of the first private schools to impose a student vaccine mandate, reported 96% of on-campus population had already been vaccinated as of last week. Syracuse, another early mandate supporter, reported 90% of students and 97% of faculty had been vaccinated.

Stay tuned as we follow this story and will update as the saga continues. We wish the best to all Western New Yorkers attending school or college this fall. Please don't hesitate to give us a call if you ever have any questions regarding planning for college.


bottom of page