While most students at the University of Michigan and in local public schools have returned to in-person learning, Social Work student Julia Hettich and her five children are continuing to learn from home. Hettich said since her children are all under 12 and cannot be vaccinated, returning to school poses a risk for their safety. 

“We as parents have felt like we’ve had to hold the burden of the COVID-19 pandemic after vaccines started becoming common because everyone else got to go back to normal,” Hettich said.

The Michigan Daily spoke to student parents regarding their experience after the first month of in-person classes. Each student said they had to weigh many factors — like the age and number of their children and their access to family support — when deciding how to proceed this fall. 

“I feel like I am almost a burden”: Student parents face hardships with in-person, virtual pandemic accommodations