Ten lucky teenagers will score free tuition to San Francisco State University under The City’s latest play to get even closer to a 100% vaccination rate among youth.
“We want to get more kids vaccinated,” Mayor London Breed said on Monday at a press event on campus. “Those who are still holding out waiting to get vaccinated, here’s a chance for a full ride in your backyard to San Francisco State University.”
The scholarships will fund four years of tuition for 10 prospective students ages 12 to 17. For students paying out of pocket, that’s nearly $30,000 total. If winners already qualify for federal or state tuition aid, the price difference would be covered or grantees will get an additional $2,000 per year if their full tuition is already covered.
“It’s one thing to say go to college, it’s another thing to say you have the dollars to make that happen,” said San Francisco Unified Superintendent Vincent Matthews, who completed his undergraduate, master’s and doctorate degrees at S.F. State with the help of Cal grant. “I have no doubt that if I did not have those dollars, I would not be standing in front of you today,” he said.
Teens can enter the competition on six dates at vaccination sites at schools and community centers across San Francisco from Oct. 25 to Nov. 13:
— Oct. 25: 1 to 4 p.m. at Visitation Valley Neighborhood Vaccination Site
— Oct. 26: 3:30 to 6 p.m. at Malcolm X Academy School
— Oct. 27: 2:30 to 5 p.m. at Balboa High School
— Oct. 29: 4 to 6 p.m. at Ella Hill Hutch Community Center, 1050 McAllister St.
— Nov. 2: Noon to 4 p.m. at Mission District Neighborhood Vaccination Site
— Nov. 13: 10:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. at McCoppin Elementary School
San Francisco already has a high turnout among teens eligible for the COVID-19 vaccine. About 90% of youth ages 12-17 are fully vaccinated, according to San Francisco data.
Students must live in San Francisco and receive at least one dose of the two-shot Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine prior to entering the competition. Families of SFSU employees, current students and people previously enrolled at S.F. State are not be eligible.
Nearly 98% of S.F. State students attending in-person classes this fall are vaccinated. The university’s COVID-19 safety policy requires students to show proof of vaccination for in-person activities.
In addition to trying to keep cases down among incoming students, especially incoming freshmen living on campus, S.F. State President Lynn Mahoney said the latest vaccine push will combat another worry on the horizon for college leaders: declining enrollment.
“I worry about in particular what this (pandemic) will do to the rate of college attendance,” Mahoney said Monday, citing declines in enrollment at California’s community colleges and college-going rates among Black and Latino students in particular.
Many young adults, however, are not eligible for the contest despite being part of an age group with the lowest vaccination rate in The City. About 84% of adults between 18 to 24 years are vaccinated in San Francisco, and only 76% of adults between ages 25 to 34 have received at least one dose.
“We were focused on this group because it’s our largest incoming group,” Mahoney said. “We’ll see how this goes and then we will consider transfer students, as well.”
The scholarship program is a joint effort between S.F. State, San Francisco Unified School District and the San Francisco Department of Public Health. It is funded by the San Francisco State University Foundation Board of Directors.
More information for students to apply can be found at https://together.sfsu.edu/vaccinescholarship.