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New York To Offer College Scholarships To 12- To 17-Year-Olds Who Get Vaccinated

Tero Vesalainen

In an effort to get more younger people vaccinated against the COVID-19 virus, Governor Andrew Cuomo said the state will be giving away a free college education to one New Yorker a week between the ages of 12 and 17 who agrees 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 said 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 said the names of those vaccinated will remain in the drawing in subsequent weeks, so their chances of winning will grow over time. One name will be chosen each week until July 7, for 10 scholarships in total.

Those who already got at least one dose of the vaccine can join in to 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 dollar drawing and a two day pass to a state park.

Karen has covered state government and politics for New York State Public Radio, a network of 10 New York and Connecticut stations, since 1990. She is also a regular contributor to the statewide public television program about New York State government, New York Now. She appears on the reporter’s roundtable segment, and interviews newsmakers.