Some universities and colleges in the North Dakota University System are using part of the Federal Higher Education Emergency Relief Funds to provide a reward to students for being vaccinated.
As of Friday, seven schools in the system are giving students $100 for providing proof of vaccination.
At Minot State, students who are taking at least one class on campus qualify for the $100 check.
Kevin Harmon, the vice president of Student Affairs, said the university believes the program has been successful in increasing the number of students who are vaccinated. He said there are around 500 on record.
“Quite honestly our baseline, you know, without having required it before, there was really no reason to submit it,” said Harmon. “However, we did have just about over a 100 on record in August. “
He said it’s important that students are vaccinated because it helps reduce the number of cases and it keeps students in class.
“They still can try to participate virtually, but it’s just not the same. You know if you have to spend one week to three weeks outside of the classroom, that’s not productive for a student. It’s hard enough being a college student, no less not being able to attend class,” Harmon said.
Minot State freshman Madalyn Meagher said she got vaccinated after she and her family caught the virus.
“I figured that after all that happened, I should get vaccinated to keep it from happening again,” said Meagher. “And just so that I could feel safer going out with my friends and going to school.”
Meagher said she saw the $100 vaccine incentive in the weekly update and she submitted her proof.
She said that if she wasn’t already vaccinated, the reward would have motivated her to do so — and now she hopes it influences others too.
“Obviously everyone has their own opinions about the vaccination,” said Meagher. “But, for those who might be on the verge of considering getting vaccinated, it might just help push them to go ahead and get it.”
Students at Minot State have until Oct. 22 to submit their vaccination proof and they can do that on the student portal.
The deadline for presenting proof of vaccination differs among the state’s colleges and universities.
The participating schools are and the deadlines are:
- Dakota College at Bottineau: Oct. 15
- Lake Region State College: Oct. 22
- Minot State University: Oct. 22
- ND State College of Science: Oct. 31
- North Dakota State University : Oct. 31
- University of Grand Forks: Nov. 10
- Williston State College: No date listed but, call 701.774.4200 for more information.