KU students eligible for vaccine incentives, including free tuition

LAWRENCE — Fully vaccinated students at the University of Kansas’ Lawrence and Edwards campuses will be eligible to enter a drawing to receive incentives including free tuition, upgraded parking passes and a range of other prizes after uploading their COVID-19 vaccine records to the Watkins Health Services student portal.

In addition, KU will offer $40 gift cards from the KU Bookstores to the first 4,000 students who receive their first dose of a vaccine sequence at on-campus vaccine appointments and clinics as students return for the fall semester. These students will also be eligible to receive a $10 KU Dining gift card after setting an appointment and returning to receive a second dose of vaccine. Participation in this program is completely voluntary.

Other prizes will be awarded through weekly drawings conducted Fridays starting Aug. 27 and running through Oct. 29.

  • Three students will win a cash prize equivalent to one semester’s worth of undergraduate in-state tuition, valued at $5,091.
  • Three students will win a cash prize of $5,000.
  • Two students will win a gold parking permit that allows them to park in any non-reserved colored or housing lot on campus.
  • Four students will win $1,000 in KU Dining Dollars that can be spent at retail locations on campus and in residential halls.
  • One student will win an Apple Products Package, including an iPad, AirPods and an Apple Watch, courtesy of Pepsi.
  • Other students will win packages, including sets of two football and men’s basketball tickets, to a variety of games — including the Kentucky and Missouri basketball games — from the Chancellor’s Office.
  • Students will also be eligible to receive gift cards provided by Adidas and Rally House and other local retailers and restaurants, courtesy of Truity Credit Union and the KU Alumni Association.

In order to qualify for the weekly prize drawings, students need to upload a completed vaccine card to Watkins Health Services through a secure portal. Instructions on how to upload the information is available on the Watkins website. Any student who has completed a vaccine record at any time is eligible to upload their card and will be entered into the drawings.

The incentives were paid for using approximately $235,000 of federal Higher Education Emergency Relief Fund dollars designated to help higher education institutions fight the pandemic, along with donated items from other partners. 

“We know that vaccination is the best way each of us can protect ourselves and our community against the effects of COVID-19 and the delta variant,” said Andrew Foster, KU’s emergency management coordinator. “We believe these incentives will provide encouragement for students who haven’t yet received a vaccine as they return for the fall semester.”

Students may set an appointment to receive a vaccine at Watkins Health Services by registering for an appointment through the Watkins Student Health Portal. Also, several walk-in clinics will be available during the first part of the semester. Clinic dates, times and locations:

  •  Saturday, Aug. 21, noon-2 p.m., Watkins Health Services building
  •  Monday, Aug. 23 through Friday, Aug. 27, 10 a.m.-2 p.m., Level 4 of the Kansas Union, Traditions Area
  •  Tuesday, Aug. 31, and Wednesday, Sept. 1, 3-7 p.m., Lobby, Ambler Student Recreation Fitness Center

Additional details on the incentive program are available at the Protect KU site, and additional prizes may be posted later at that site.

Fri, 08/13/2021


Andy Hyland

Media Contacts

Andy Hyland

Office of Public Affairs