MSU Denver awarding 5 students with a shot at free tuition if they get COVID-19 vaccine

MSU Denver awarding 5 students with a shot at free tuition
if they get COVID-19 vaccine 1

Metropolitan State University of Denver is offering five undergraduate students a shot at free college tuition in exchange for getting vaccinated.

Eligible students will be entered in a drawing to win one of five scholarships covering the cost of tuition and fees that aren’t covered by financial aid awards for the upcoming academic year, up to $8,164 for the full year or $4,082 each semester.

The drawings, dubbed the Rowdy Return Scholarship, will happen after Aug. 1, the university said.

To qualify for the randomly selected drawing, students must:

  • Complete a COVID-19 vaccine verification form — emailed by MSU Denver to all students this month — by Aug. 1
  • Have received their first vaccine dose by July 19
  • Be registered for the fall semester
  • Fill out a 2021-2022 Free Application for Federal Student Aid or Colorado Application for State Financial Aid form

“When we set the goal for a full return to campus for fall, our hope was that our students would answer the call, get vaccinated and help us reach that goal,” said MSU Denver President Janine Davidson. “Our goal is now on the horizon, and the Rowdy Return Scholarships are one way for us to reward our students for their commitment to public health.”

The winners’ vaccination statuses will be verified with the state’s immunization database before being given the award.

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The scholarship amounts will vary by individual and are set up to cover the gap between financial aid awards and the amount owed, the university said.

“We see students who are in that difficult spot of being just beyond the threshold of qualifying for programs like Pell grants but who also aren’t able to meet the estimated financial contributions,” said Mary Sauceda, associate vice president of Enrollment Management at MSU Denver. “Those are the students who could benefit most from an incentive like this.”

The state is also doling out scholarships for post-secondary opportunities to the tune of $50,000 in exchange for student inoculations.

On Friday, Colorado will announce the first winners of the scholarship program alongside the second $1 million cash winner — all randomly selected individuals who have received their COVID-19 shots.

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