BOWLING GREEN, Ky. — Western Kentucky University is incentivizing students to get the COVID-19 vaccine by giving away multiple prizes that could enhance their school experience. 

What You Need To Know

  • Prizes consist of scholarships, parking passes, iPads and $1,000 checks

  • Drawings will take place each Friday through Oct. 1

  • More than $25,000 in scholarship money will be given out to students

  • The university is not requiring vaccines and is still operating under a mask mandate

The school is currently not mandating the vaccine for students, but coming up with strong incentives as a way to get some students thinking. 

“We have gift cards to the WKU store all the way up for five full tuition for the semester scholarships," said Jace Lux, director of media relations "So that is pretty substantial. We also have iPads available for our students and same with faculty and staff. We have 25 $1,000 checks for students and staff too."

Despite the incentives, some students like Macey Broughton are still not sold on the idea. 

“I guess it would just be more of a personal rather than like incentive decision," said Broughton. "I just think it would be a personal decision to do it.”

Students like Tayshaun Hassell are on the other side. It was already a thought, but now the incentive-based opportunities are one of the many reasons he is on board. 

“Since me not being vaccinated before, with all the incentives, it has definitely pushed me forward to get vaccinated," said Hassell. "It has a good incentive base. You go out, get vaccinated, help the community and then get something in return for it. That will push a lot of people to get it in what we are trying to do."

Hassell also said that he has elderly family which is crucial in his decision.

“I was definitely thinking about it before because I have elderly family members, and I would hate to see bad stuff happen to them," said Hassell. "Now with this going on, it’s pushed me to do it. It's a lot of benefits to it."

Even though the vaccine might not be for Broughton, she understands the importance it can have and will have for others.

“I think its a good thing for people, especially if they can’t afford it," said Broughton. "Or just need the extra stuff to get it.”

WKU is still operating under a mask mandate indoors regardless of vaccination status and will continue to do so untill further notice.