NEWS & ANALYSIS

VAX FOR CLASS: Cuomo Gives Scholarships for Vaccinations


If you want to take a “stab” at free college tuition, look no further than New York state, where Cuomo announced that 50 full scholarships will be given away to vaccinated students. 

New Yorkers ages 12 to 17 who have received at least one dose of the COVID-19 vaccine – or get one in the coming weeks – will be eligible for free tuition, room and board at State University of New York or City University of New York schools for four years, per the New York Post. 

“It is an incentive for students,” Cuomo said at a press conference Wednesday. “And by the way, it is an incentive for parents. You’re worried about paying college tuition, tell your 12 to 17 year old: go out, get a shot.” 

The state will hold a drawing of names for 10 scholarships every Wednesday over the next several weeks. 

“Get the vaccine and get it early,” Cuomo said. “It makes total sense. It’s free, it’s available, there’s no appointments. It’s smart.” 

The incentive program is the latest effort by New York state to convince residents to get vaccinated. Others include tickets to sporting events, lottery scratch-offs and free state park passes. 

To enter – and potentially win the scholarship – you must enter your information into a state website. 

Adolescents ages 12 to 17 are “by far” the lowest vaccinated age group in the state, Cuomo noted, so this will hopefully encourage them to “vax up.”