University of Kansas students can get gift cards, chance at cash prizes and free tuition for getting vaccinated

Jason Tidd
Topeka Capital-Journal
Students at the University of Kansas will be eligible for incentives if they are vaccinated against COVID-19.

The University of Kansas has announced its COVID-19 vaccine incentives, joining a growing list of colleges and universities enticing students to get vaccinated as the delta variant spreads.

Students vaccinated at KU will get gift cards and a chance to win prizes, including free tuition.

"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, in a Friday news release. "We believe these incentives will provide encouragement for students who haven’t yet received a vaccine as they return for the fall semester."

Fully vaccinated students at the Lawrence and Edwards campuses who upload their vaccination records are eligible for weekly drawings on Fridays from Aug. 27 through Oct. 29. Prizes include the cash equivalent of a semester's worth of undergraduate in-state tuition, $5,000 in cash, parking permits, KU Dining Dollars, Apple products, gift cards and tickets to football and men's basketball games, including the games against Kentucky and Missouri.

The university is also offering $40 gift cards to KU Bookstores to the first 4,000 students who get their first vaccine dose at an on-campus clinic. Students who return for a second dose can get a $10 KU Dining gift card.

"We know we can count on our students to make good decisions — which includes getting a vaccine if they haven't yet done so — as they return for the fall semester," Chancellor Douglas Girod said in a statement on the incentive webpage.

Earlier this week, Kansas State University and Pittsburg State University announced incentive programs. K-State is also holding weekly drawings for a variety of material prizes and a possible grand prize of $1,000 in cash.

Pitt State is awarding a $500 scholarship to every vaccinated student with regular on-campus classes, and students are eligible for a grand prize of $8,500, which equates to a semester's worth of tuition, fees, meals and housing.

Students at KU can schedule a vaccination appointment online via Watkins Health Services.

There will also be walk-in clinics, including from noon to 2 p.m. Aug. 21 at the Watkins Health Services building, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Aug. 23-27 at the Traditions Area on Level 4 of the Kansas Union and 3-7 p.m. Aug. 31 to Sept. 1 in the lobby of the Ambler Student Recreation Fitness Center.

The incentive program is being funded through about $235,000 in federal COVID-19 relief money. Additional incentives were provided by several partners, including Adidas, Pepsi, Rally House, the KU Alumni Association and Truity Credit Union.