New York state is giving parents a scholarship incentive to get their younger children vaccinated against COVID-19.

Governor Kathy Hochul made the announcement on Tuesday during a COVID-19 briefing at the Mount Vernon Neighborhood Health Center in Westchester County.

Under the “Vaccinate, Educate, Graduate” program, children ages 5 to 11 who received their first vaccination dose by December 19 will be will be entered into a raffle for a freed ride scholarship to SUNY and CUNY schools.

"Finally, the COVID-19 vaccine is here for young New Yorkers age 5 through 11," Governor Hochul said. "Our critical work to make the vaccine accessible and available to all eligible children and their families is underway - and we will creatively support and celebrate those who get vaccinated. The 'Vaccinate, Educate, Graduate' program is an extraordinary opportunity for children to win free tuition to a SUNY or CUNY college or university, and I urge parents and guardians to help their children get vaccinated and enter into this once-in-a-lifetime program."

There will be 50 scholarships given out over the next five weeks.

Winners of the state's incentive program will receive two or four years of full time study in any SUNY or CUNY Associates or Bachelor's degree program, which includes the following:

  • Tuition: The full cost of in-state tuition at a New York State or City University.
  • Non-tuition Costs: Room and board and allowances for books, supplies and transportation up to the average cost at SUNY colleges.
  • Residence: Students living on campus will receive a higher room and board allowance than commuter students. If housing is not available for students on campus, they will receive the same allowance as students living on campus.

Meanwhile, more than 350 school districts throughout the state have plans to offer the vaccine in schools.

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