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Ten vaccinated teens could score free four-year ride to SF State

San Francisco State University is offering free tuition to ten teens as part of a drawing aimed at encouraging more of The City’s youth to get vaccinated against Covid-19.

More than 90 percent of San Francisco’s youth, aged 12 to 17, are fully vaccinated, but San Francisco Unified School District Superintendent Vincent Matthews said Monday that the school district has its goals set higher, adding:

“We want 100 percent. Our young people are leading the way and we are going to do everything we can to encourage them to make that happen.”

The scholarship program will fund four years of undergraduate tuition, which is a value of nearly $30,000 based on current tuition cost of $7,484 per year. If a student winner already has federal and/or state financial aid to fully cover the cost of in-state tuition and fees, the students will instead be awarded $2,000 per academic year. Scholarship awards will be applied directly to university student accounts for each individual. 

Teens must apply for the drawing at the following six locations in The City:

  • Monday, Oct. 25, 1 p.m. to 4 p.m.: Visitacion Valley Neighborhood Vaccination Site
  • Tuesday, Oct. 26, 3:30 p.m. to 6 p.m.: Malcolm X Academy School
  • Wednesday, Oct. 27, 2:30 pm to 5 p.m.: Balboa High School
  • Friday, Oct. 29, 4 to 6 p.m.: Ella Hill Hutch Community Center
  • Tuesday, Nov. 2, noon to 4 p.m.: Mission District Neighborhood Vaccination Site
  • Saturday, Nov. 13, 10:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m.: McCoppin Elementary School

To be eligible to apply, teens between the ages of 12 to 17 must reside in The City, have received at least the first dose of the two-shot Pfizer Covid-19 vaccine prior to entry to the drawing and currently not enrolled nor previously enrolled at a college or university. The teen cannot be an immediate family member of an employee who works at the university.

At each site, teens will fill out a form to enter the drawing and university staff will be available to provide entry assistance and verify qualifications are met. Teens can receive the vaccine at participating sites, but it is not a requirement.

Ching Wong/SFBay A view of SF State on 19th Avenue in San Francisco, Calif., on Monday, October 18, 2021. (Ching Wong /

Mayor London Breed applauded the incentive and encouraged teens to take a shot, saying:

“Those who are still holding out waiting to get vaccinated, here’s your chance at a full ride in your backyard at San Francisco State University.”

University President Lynn Mahoney addressed concerns on declining community college enrollment during the pandemic, especially among Black and Latino students, noting that the scholarship drawing just might help.

Mahoney said:

“It is to support the city in its efforts to get back to normal by getting us as close to 100 percent as we can have vaccination rates, but it’s also about reminding students that there’s nothing more important, as they view their own upward mobility and their family’s upward mobility, than attending college.”

Mahoney said the scholarships are funded through the San Francisco State University Foundation Board of Directors.

The drawing will take place on Nov. 15 and winners will be announced on Nov. 22, officials said.

More information about the scholarship program can be found on the university’s website. The scholarship program is a joint effort between the university, the school district and Department of Public Health.

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