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University of Wisconsin system to offer scholarships in an effort to get students vaccinated

Students on all campuses aside from Madison are eligible.

The University of Wisconsin system is offering students a scholarship incentive to get the COVID-19 vaccine as the fall semester approaches.

President Tommy Thompson today announced the new program Sunday. Through the “70 for 70” incentive program, vaccinated students at campuses with a vaccination rate of at least 70% are eligible to win a $7,000 scholarship.

All system campuses aside from Madison are eligible for the program, which includes the border campuses of La Crosse and Superior. The campaign is expected to give away $500,000 in total.

“As we welcome students back to campus this fall, we want their experience to be as normal and safe as we can make it,” Thompson said in a statement.

“That means students should get vaccinated, and we will incentivize it knowing that high vaccination rates are critical to our success. The ‘70 for 70’ campaign is key to helping our universities achieve higher vaccination rates, especially in the face of the looming threat the Delta variant poses.”

Once a student system is vaccinated, they should notify their school, according to the announcement. If that campus reaches the 70% vaccination rate, all vaccinated students will be put in a drawing to receive the scholarships.

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Students must have received their full vaccination series by Oct. 15 to be eligible. If a campus fails to reach the vaccination target, the share of scholarships at the other schools will increase.

Student governments on campuses that reach the goal can also receive up to $5,000.

Like the University of Wisconsin system, the University of Minnesota will not require students to receive the vaccines this fall, but the University of Minnesota has not announced an incentive program for students.

In a statement to Bring Me The News Friday, the school said it was considering the possible effects of the Delta variant, but that its policy has not yet changed.

“With so many factors at play, including the introduction of variants into Minnesota, public health considerations are being reviewed, evaluated and discussed regularly by the University's administration, Boynton Health, the Health Emergency Response Office, and other public health experts at the University,” the statement reads.

“Should a change in the University’s public health approach be necessary, it would be promptly and broadly communicated.” 

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