New York giving away 50 full college scholarships to vaccinated teens

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Here’s a “shot” at a free college education.

New York will give away 50 full scholarships to state universities to kids and teens who have been vaccinated against COVID-19, Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced Wednesday.

New Yorkers ages 12 to 17 who have received at least one dose of the vaccine — or get one in the coming weeks — will be eligible for free tuition, room and board at State University of New York or City University of New York schools for four years, Cuomo said at a press conference.

“It is an incentive for students,” Cuomo said at a press briefing in Manhattan. “And by the way, it is an incentive for parents. You’re worried about paying college tuition, tell your 12 to 17 year old: go out, get a shot.”

The state will hold a drawing for 10 scholarships every Wednesday over the next several weeks — meaning kids who have already been vaccinated or get a shot soon will have better odds of winning, Cuomo said.

“Get the vaccine and get it early,” he said. “It makes total sense. It’s free, it’s available, there’s no appointments. It’s smart.”

The scheme is the latest bid by the state to encourage more New Yorkers to get vaccinated — by offering everything from sporting event tickets to lottery scratch-offs to free state park passes as prizes.

To win the free school, young people must enter their information into a state website to enter the raffle.

Kids ages 12 to 17 account for just 5 percent of COVID-19 tests in the state and 10 percent of the positive results — the biggest gap of any age group, Cuomo said Wednesday.

They are also “by far” the lowest vaccinated age group in the state, he noted.

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