Pitt State awards vaccine incentives


The results are in from a campaign by Pittsburg State University to encourage COVID-19 vaccination among employees and students: Well over 3,000 individuals who are on campus regularly are now vaccinated. 

The incentive was announced on Aug. 9 and employees and students had until Sept. 17 to submit proof of vaccination. Incentives are being funded by the Higher Education Emergency Relief Fund (HEERF). 

“The goal was to have as many people on campus fully vaccinated by Oct. 1, which is when weather cools, more activities are held indoors, and the holiday season is not far behind,” said Howard Smith, provost and vice president for Academic Affairs.  


Approximately 4,480 students who attend class, live, or work on campus were eligible. Of those, 55% submitted valid vaccination records. Each will receive a $500 scholarship toward their tuition next semester, or, for those who graduate in December, a $500 refund. 

Additionally, a drawing will be held this month to pick two students, each of whom be awarded an $8,500 scholarship that will cover their tuition, fees, and room and board for one semester. 

To be eligible for the incentive and the drawing, students must attend classes on campus, or live or work on campus. 


Over 80% of the approximately 800 eligible employees submitted valid vaccination records. Each will receive a $1,000 incentive.  

All benefits-earning employees were automatically eligible to earn the incentive. For employees who are non-benefits earning, each department submitted a list who have contact with students on campus — for instance, an adjunct instructor who teaches in-person classes — for consideration. 


Since March 18, the university has held four vaccination clinics for a range of student audiences — including students living in residence halls, student athletes, student employees, and the general student body — and one for employees. 

Vaccinations also are free at any time at the Bryant Student Health Center and a variety of locations around Pittsburg. 

“We’re proud of our efforts as an institution and proud of the students and employees who took the step to help mitigate the spread of COVID-19 on our campus,” Smith said. “The more people on our campus vaccinated, the less likely disruptions will happen to our fall operations, students won’t miss as much class or as many activities, and everyone can have a safer, more productive semester.”