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NY To Offer College Scholarships To Young People Who Get Vaccinated

The fountain at the University at Albany
Ian Pickus
The fountain at the University at Albany

In an effort to get more younger people vaccinated against COVID-19, Governor Andrew Cuomo says the state will be giving away a free college education to 50 New Yorkers between the ages of 12 and 17 who agree to get a dose.

Younger people became eligible for the COVID-19 vaccine later than older people, and they are getting vaccinated at much lower rates. 

Cuomo says beginning next week, all 12 to 17-year-olds who agree to get vaccinated at a state site will be eligible for a weekly drawing to receive free tuition and room and board at a public college. 

“We will raffle off, on a weekly basis, full tuition, room and board scholarships to any public college or university,” Cuomo said. “For four years.”   

The governor says the names of those vaccinated will remain in the drawing in subsequent weeks, so their chances of winning will grow over time. Ten names will be chosen each week until July 7, for 50 scholarships in total.   

Those who already got at least one dose of the vaccine can join the drawing by applying through the state’s vaccine website.  

The offer is the latest in a series of vaccine incentives the state has offered in recent weeks, including free baseball game tickets, a lottery ticket for a $5 million drawing and a two-day pass to a state park.

Karen DeWitt is Capitol Bureau chief for New York State Public Radio, a network of public radio stations in New York state. She has covered state government and politics for the network since 1990.
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