Universities in Kansas and Missouri offer appointments, incentives to get students vaccinated

Tracking Coronavirus

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — As students plan to return to their lives on college campuses, universities in both Missouri and Kansas take different approaches as they work to convince students to be vaccinated.

Northwest Missouri State University is offering scholarships and other incentives to students who are fully vaccinated. Prizes include a $5,000 scholarship, parking passes, dining credit, and a gift card to the bookstore.

Northwest students will begin moving back to campus on August 14. The fall semester begins Wednesday, August 18.

Missouri State University in Springfield, Missouri, is offering students similar incentives. Missouri State is giving away free tuition, housing, meal plans, books and computers. There are weekly prize giveaways and a grand prize drawing.

Kansas State offered incentives to students to get vaccinated this spring. The University gave away computers, smart watches, massages and gift cards.

The University of Kansas doesn’t have an incentive plan, but said students can easily schedule an appointment for a vaccination through the patient portal.

State law limits the ability of KU and K-State to require vaccinations or proof of vaccination.

That is not the case for smaller, private universities on the Missouri side of the metro that are bypassing incentives and instead requiring COVID-19 vaccines for students before they return to campus in the fall.

William Jewell and Rockhurst University both begin the fall semester in August.

William Jewell confirmed it would require both students and employees to recieve the vaccine. As with other vaccines, the college will also accept exemptions for personal or religious beliefs, and also for medical conditions.

Students attending Rockhurst University will need to fill out an online form or request a exemption waiver. Rockhurst says students will not be required to show a vaccination card as proof of vaccination.

While students are required to be vaccinated at Rockhurst University, faculty and staff are not required to receive the shot. The University says it strongly encourages them to get the vaccine. Staff members who enroll in a class at the school are required to be vaccinated, just like all other students.

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