In hopes of getting more students vaccinated, Auburn University is starting an incentive program to give out various prizes — including a $1,000 scholarship and A-zone parking for a semester — to select fully vaccinated students and student organizations.
The program will begin in the fall semester, the University announced in an email sent to students Monday afternoon. Student Affairs will randomly select winners throughout the semester.
Individual student prizes include a $1,000 scholarship, A-zone parking for the semester, an unlimited meal plan, 25 meal swipes for Central Dining or Tiger Zone dining halls, a Campus Recreation Group Fitness semester pass, a weekend camping package for two, a weekend water sports package for two, priority class registration, lunch for four with President Jay Gogue and a VIP parking pass and free regalia for graduation.
Student organization prizes include free reservations for either the Student Center Ballroom or Student Act Ballroom, custom organization Under Armour apparel, sweatshirts, Yeti cups or coolers, a free food truck meal, free spray tans, a catered meal and a Samford Hall clock tower tour.
The University, which has said it will not require students to get the vaccine before returning to campus, introduced the incentive program "to emphasize the importance of vaccines to a successful fall semester." Other universities across the nation have begun similar incentive programs to encourage students to get vaccinated.
Ella Cummings, junior in civil engineering, said she thought the program was a good idea and that it might motivate her to get the COVID-19 vaccine.
“I haven’t gotten vaccinated," Cummings said. "But I probably would if I could get a scholarship or free parking."
Johanna Key, a master’s student studying nutrition, said while there will still be some who don't get their shots, it may sway some vaccine-hesitant students.
“I think it’s a good idea," Key said. "I think some people are just not willing to take it just because of what their friends are saying, but money is a good incentive, so I think it might help out a lot."
Students can enter the program through a form on AUInvolve for the opportunity to win. Winners will be contacted through their Auburn email address, at which point they will have to provide proof of vaccination. In the case of student organizations, multiple members will be required to show proof of vaccination.
The prizes are only available to fully vaccinated students, which requires either two doses of the Moderna or Pfizer vaccine or one dose of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine.
Students participating in dual enrollment or who are benefit-eligible employees of the University are ineligible for the incentive program. Those who enter can't win twice.
Prizes are non-transferable and may be restricted to certain dates. The website also warns students that prizes such as the $1,000 scholarship may affect their financial aid award package, and students are therefore recommended to consult with Student Financial Services to learn of any impact the prize may have on existing financial aid.
Reporting for this story was contributed by Evan Mealins.
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Charlie Ramo, junior in aerospace engineering, is the content editor of The Auburn Plainsman.