HILLSBOROUGH COUNTY, Fla. — Some schools in the Tampa Bay area are getting creative in their ways to get people vaccinated for COVID-19, even offering up money to college students.
Hillsborough Community College rolled out a new incentive program giving its students vaccinated against COVID-19 opportunities to cash in.
“It’s a great incentive, especially because there are some people who are not getting vaccinated nowadays, so this will encourage a bunch of people, I guarantee you,” said JP Magalhaes, an HCC student.
The program works in two ways. First, all residents of Hawks Landing, the student-affiliated housing located on the HCC Dale Mabry campus, who show proof of full vaccination by October 31 will get a $300 rent credit for November.
Hey Hawks, protect yourself & those around you by getting the COVID-19 vaccine. All currently enrolled students who show proof of full vaccination by November 5 will be entered into a $2,000 drawing.
— HCC Florida (@HCCFL) September 22, 2021
Second, currently enrolled HCC students who show proof of full vaccination by November 5 will be entered into a drawing to win a $2,000 incentive. The college says 50 students will be awarded through the raffle.
“In the last 24 hours, we’ve had over 930 students sign up for this program,” said Dr. Ken Atwater, the Hillsborough Community College president.
Dr. Atwater says through the CARES funding, they were able to offer incentives for their students to be vaccinated. He says there is an online form for students to send a copy of their fully vaccinated card to become eligible.
“It’s sort of two-fold: get vaccinated, keep a safe environment, while at the same time, get an opportunity to actually earn some incentive funds that will help you remove the financial barriers you may have coming to HCC,” said Dr. Atwater.
The college says it strongly encourages everyone to get vaccinated against COVID-19 to protect themselves and those in the community.
HCC students like Magalhaes explained why they think the “shot to win” is worthwhile.
“It’s a chance to get free money and to pay for your college tuition, so why not enroll in this simple form?” said Magalhaes. “Just complete a quick form, get vaccinated, it’s not that hard. There are plenty of opportunities to get vaccinated, so why not do it?”