New York State is incentivizing parents to get their children vaccinated against COVID-19 by offering 50 four-year, full-ride scholarships to any public college or university in the state.
The program, “Vaccinate, Educate, Graduate,” was announced Tuesday by Gov. Kathy Hochul.
The scholarship covers the cost of tuition, fees, room-and-board and other expenses. It runs through Dec. 19 and will consist of multiple statewide drawings. Children ages 5 to 11 who are vaccinated before Dec. 19 are eligible.
Ten winners will be announced every week starting Nov. 24.
“Our critical work to make the vaccine accessible and available to all eligible children and their families is underway — and we will creatively support and celebrate those who get vaccinated,” Hochul said during the announcement.
“The ‘Vaccinate, Educate, Graduate’ program is an extraordinary opportunity for children to win free tuition to a [State University of New York] or [City University of New York] college or university, and I urge parents and guardians to help their children get vaccinated and enter into this once-in-a-lifetime program.”
State University New York (SUNY) Chancellor Jim Malatras said vaccinations were the key to a more normal academic and campus experience throughout SUNY.
“Now that even younger individuals have an approved vaccine option, this is another huge step to seeing the finish line of this pandemic, and we must continue to do all we can to encourage everyone to get their shot. I applaud Gov. Hochul for offering this new incentive along with an opportunity to attend one of our campuses tuition free. We truly hope families across our state take advantage of this offer.”
The program is only available to residents of New York, as well as lawful permanent residents or U.S. citizens, and will use federal COVID-19 relief funds to cover the cost.