WISCONSIN — The UW System says it is not requiring students to be vaccinated, but doing so could shave thousands of dollars off the cost of their education.
As part of a new incentive program, UW System President Tommy Thompson announced today that students who choose to get their vaccine could be eligible for one of 70 scholarships.
The '70 for 70' campaign gives vaccinated students a chance to earn one of the $7,000 scholarships, so long as their University has at least a 70 percent overall vaccination rate. The percentage was chosen based on the percentage estimated to need herd immunity.
“As we welcome students back to campus this fall, we want their experience to be as normal and safe as we can make it. That means students should get vaccinated, and we will incentivize it knowing that high vaccination rates are critical to our success." Thompson said.
UW System is also working closely with student government officials and other student organizations to promote the campaign. Student governments that help their campuses reach the 70 percent threshold will receive additional money for their school up to $5,000.
To receive the scholarship, students must receive their full series of vaccinations by Oct. 15. All UW System school students except for UW-Madison students are eligible.
If some universities don’t meet the 70 percent threshold by then, the share of scholarships awarded in the drawing will increase at universities that did meet the threshold. The campaign is expected to cost the around $500,000 -- funded by the UW System.
Numerous UW universities have also announced or are planning their own incentive programs.