Governor Hochul Announces First Round of Winners for New ‘Vaccinate, Educate, Graduate’ Vaccine Incentive Program for 5- To 11-Year-Olds to win a Full SUNY or CUNY Scholarship

Today, Governor Hochul announced 10 winners of New York’s “Vaccinate, Educate, Graduate” vaccine incentive program. The Governor also personally called several parents to share her congratulations that their child would be able to attend SUNY or CUNY on scholarship.  

“The ‘Vaccinate, Educate, Graduate’ program provides the life-changing opportunity for young New Yorkers to win free tuition to a SUNY or CUNY college or university,” Governor Hochul said. “As we enter the holiday season and the risk of transmission increases, it is absolutely critical that we stay vigilant. The vaccine is the surest way to keep you and your loved ones safe – it’s free, easily accessible, and most importantly safe for five- to 11-year-olds.” 

Parents and guardians of children ages 5 through 11 who receive their first vaccine dose by December 19th can enter the “Vaccinate, Educate, Graduate” incentive program for a chance to win a full scholarship to any two- or four-year SUNY or CUNY college or university for their child. The scholarship includes tuition, room, and board.  

Winners of the State’s incentive program will receive two or four years of full-time study in any SUNY or CUNY Associates or Bachelor’s degree program, which includes the following: 

  • Tuition: The full cost of in-state tuition at a New York State or City University. 
  • Non-tuition Costs: Room and board and allowances for books, supplies and transportation up to the average cost at SUNY colleges. 
  • Residence: Students living on campus will receive a higher room and board allowance than commuter students. If housing is not available for students on campus, they will receive the same allowance as students living on campus. 

Below is the list of winners. Other identifying information is not available to protect student privacy. 

  • Cecilia S. – Broome County 
  • Ivan Y. – New York City 
  • Andreas B. – Naussau County 
  • Juliette D. – Westchester County 
  • Cris Anzen B. – New York City 
  • Jocelyn R. – Monroe County 
  • Owen S. – Queens County 
  • Lily R. – Albany County 
  • Elizabeth E. – Erie County 
  • Tristan C. – Queens County 

CUNY Chancellor Félix V. Matos Rodríguez said, “Congratulations to the first winners of the ‘Vaccinate, Educate, Graduate’ program, young New Yorkers who are now protected against COVID-19 and also have an invaluable scholarship awaiting them. We commend parents and guardians across New York who have already had their children vaccinated and urge others to take this very important step in our ongoing effort to subdue the pandemic. We thank Governor Hochul for conveying the great value of inoculating our children.”  

SUNY Chancellor Jim Malatras said, “Vaccinations are the key to ending the pandemic so I applaud Governor Hochul for her leadership in creating incentives to get more shots in the arms of New Yorkers. The Vaccinate, Educate, Graduate Vaccine Scholarship Incentive Program does just that by offering an exciting opportunity to get free tuition and room and board at one of our great SUNY schools.  I congratulate all the first round winners and thank Governor Hochul for continuing New York’s fight against this virus.”   

New York State Higher Education Services Corporation President Dr. Guillermo Linares said, “Congratulations to the first ten winners of the Vaccinate, Educate, Graduate Vaccine Scholarship Incentive Program on receiving one of fifty scholarships!  Ensuring that all school age children have the opportunity to get fully vaccinated is a major step toward winning the fight against the coronavirus.  This important program is helping to preventing the spread, while also allowing kids 5-11- years old to be eligible for a chance to win a full-ride scholarship to one of New York’s world-class institutions.”  

Parents and guardians can enter on behalf of their eligible children here and those without internet access may call 1-833-697-4829 to submit an entry over the phone. New York State will administer the random drawing each week, and winners will be verified by the New York State Department of Health and New York State Higher Education Services Corporation. 

Only one entry per child will be accepted, and children must have received their first COVID-19 vaccination at least one day prior to their entry. Entries will be carried over through all the ‘Vaccinate, Educate, Graduate’ program’s drawings. Additional information is available in the Official Rules.  

Parents and guardians are also encouraged to visit the State’s new website, for information, frequently asked questions, and new resources about the COVID-19 vaccine and children. The State has recently added ready-made materials to support pediatric providers and localities administering the vaccine to children on-the-ground, including new posters and stickers available here

New Yorkers looking to schedule vaccine appointments for 5- to 11-year-old children are encouraged to contact their child’s pediatrician, family physician, county health departments, Federally Qualified Health Centers (FQHCs), rural health centers, or pharmacies that may be administering the vaccine for this age group. Parents and guardians can visit [], text their ZIP code to 438829, or call 1-800-232-0233 to find nearby locations. Make sure that the provider offers the Pfizer-BioNTechCOVID-19 vaccine, as the other COVID-19 vaccines are not yet authorized for this age group. At this time, New York State’s mass vaccination sites are currently being utilized for people aged 12 and older, while our #VaxToSchool pop-ups are focused on 12- to 17-year-olds. Additional programming and events focused on 5- to 11-year-olds will be announced soon. 

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