News Briefs

Kansas universities offering incentives to boost COVID-19 vaccinations

By: - August 13, 2021 5:03 pm
The University of Kansas is joining with other public universities in Kansas to offer incentives to increase voluntary vaccination for COVID-19 as fall classes start in August. (Tim Carpenter/Kansas Reflector)

The University of Kansas is joining with other public universities in Kansas to offer incentives to increase voluntary vaccination for COVID-19 as fall classes start in August. (Tim Carpenter/Kansas Reflector)

LAWRENCE — Fully vaccinated students on the Lawrence and Overland Park campuses of the University of Kansas will be eligible for drawings of the cash equivalent of a semester’s in-state undergraduate tuition, cash prizes of $5,000, special parking permits as well as football and basketball tickets.

KU officials said Friday the program to encourage voluntary vaccination against COVID-19 included awarding $40 gift cards from the KU Bookstores to the first 4,000 students who got their first dose at an on-campus clinic upon return for the fall semester. Students would be eligible for a $10 KU Dining gift card after receiving a second dose.

Elsewhere, Pittsburg State University said vaccinated students would be eligible for scholarships. Fort Hays State University offered vaccinated employees a $400 prize for completion of the vaccination sequence. Kansas State University plans to conduct weekly prize drawings for vaccinated students.

“The more people on our campus vaccinated, the less likely disruptions will happen to our fall operations,” said Howard Smith, PSU’s vice president for academic affairs.

Students and employees will be required to present COVID-19 vaccination records to university officials o become eligible for the rewards.

KU is scheduled to start weekly drawings on Fridays starting Aug. 27 and running through Oct. 29.

“We know that vaccination is the best way each of us can protect ourselves and our community against the effects of COVID-19 and the delta variant,” said Andrew Foster, KU’s emergency management coordinator. “We believe these incentives will provide encouragement for students who haven’t yet received a vaccine as they return for the fall semester.”

Additional details on the incentive program can be found at the Protect KU site, and that’s where information about additional prizes may be posted.

The KU incentives were paid for using $235,000 of federal Higher education emergency relief funding designated to help higher education institutions fight the pandemic and through donations from other university partners.

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Tim Carpenter
Tim Carpenter

Tim Carpenter has reported on Kansas for 35 years. He covered the Capitol for 16 years at the Topeka Capital-Journal and previously worked for the Lawrence Journal-World and United Press International. He has been recognized for investigative reporting on Kansas government and politics. He won the Kansas Press Association's Victor Murdock Award six times. The William Allen White Foundation honored him four times with its Burton Marvin News Enterprise Award. The Kansas City Press Club twice presented him its Journalist of the Year Award and more recently its Lifetime Achievement Award. He earned an agriculture degree at Kansas State University and grew up on a small dairy and beef cattle farm in Missouri. He is an amateur woodworker and drives Studebaker cars.

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