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A group of students talking on the Ohio Wesleyan University campus
Courtesy of Ohio Wesleyan

With the fall semester coming up quickly, some colleges are giving students extra incentive to get vaccinated by handing out scholarships worth up to $25,000.

More than 600 colleges in the U.S. are requiring students and staff to get vaccinated against COVID-19. Many other schools haven’t mandated vaccinations, yet they are encouraging everyone to get the vaccine — sometimes by way of financial incentives.

Ohio Wesleyan University, for example, is opening up 50 last-minute spots to new students who are vaccinated, and it's promising each at least $25,000 in scholarship money, a sizable chunk of change at the liberal arts college where yearly tuition costs total nearly $50,000. The University of Wisconsin system, meanwhile, is setting aside nearly $500,000 for a scholarship lottery for vaccinated students.

They're hardly the only schools using creativity (and money) to encourage student vaccinations. Throughout the spring and summer, other universities and some states have been offering scholarship money — as well as campus cash and other incentives — to students who are willing to get vaccinated against COVID-19.