Chancellor's Message

Vaccinated students eligible for prizes, including free tuition
Chancellor Doug Girod and Provost Barbara Bichelmeyer sent the following message to students August 13, 2021.



We are excited to announce that students at the University of Kansas Lawrence and Edwards campuses will be eligible to receive a range of prizes after uploading their COVID-19 vaccine records to the Watkins Health Services’ student portal. The prizes include free tuition, upgraded parking passes, and $5,000 cash awards.


KU will also offer $40 gift cards to 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. Disclosure and participation in this program is completely voluntary.


Weekly prizes available


Other prizes will be awarded through weekly drawings conducted on 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 dining 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.


How students can qualify for prize drawings


In order to qualify for the weekly prize drawings, students need to upload a completed vaccine card to Watkins Health Services through the secure student portal. Instructions on how to upload the information is available on the Watkins website. Any student who has completed a vaccine series at any time is eligible to upload their card and will then 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 and incentivize vaccination or testing, along with donated items from other partners.


Get your vaccine


Vaccination is the best way each of us can protect ourselves and our community against the effects of COVID-19 and the Delta variant. We believe these incentives will provide encouragement for students who haven’t yet received a vaccine as they return for the fall semester, as well as an incentive for those who have already completed their vaccine sequence.


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


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




Doug and Barb


Douglas A. Girod


Barbara A. Bichelmeyer
Provost & Executive Vice Chancellor

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