A California university hopes that paying students $75 to stay home over spring break will keep them from traveling

Melissa Wiley
·2 min read
UC Davis campus
Students cycle past Kearney Hall on the UC Davis campus. February 28, 2020. Nick Otto/The Washington Post/Getty Images
  • The University of California Davis is paying students to not travel over spring break.

  • Up to 2,000 students can apply for a staycation grant if they stay in Davis and get a COVID test.

  • The grants are worth $75 each and can be redeeemed at local businesses.

  • Visit Insider's homepage for more stories.

The University of California Davis is paying students $75 to stay local over spring break.

UC Davis Chancellor Gary S. May announced the "staycation grant" in a news release on March 5.

"As per state guidance, all non-essential travel should be avoided, and staying local is a good way to do your part in slowing the spread of COVID-19," UC Davis representatives wrote in a Facebook post about the program the following day.

The university is offering four different types of grants that can be redeemed at local Davis businesses: "Get Active, Get Artsy, Home Improvement, and Let's Stay In." UC Davis' spring break runs from March 22 to 24.

To be eligible for a grant, students must be actively enrolled, live in Davis full-time, stay in Davis for the duration of spring break, and schedule a COVID test during that time, per the Washington Post.

The university initially planned to offer the grants to 750 students, but expanded the number of grants to 2,000 after receiving enthusiastic responses from students, Sheri Atkinson, the university's associate vice chancellor for student life, told the Washington Post.

In fall 2020, UC Davis enrolled 40,032 undergraduate, graduate, and professional students, UC Davis' director of media relations Melissa Lutz Blouin told Insider. Currently, about 50% of students live in Davis, with 5,900 students living on campus, Lutz Blouin said.

Eligible students can submit a proposal and application by 5 pm PT today to receive a grant through a Google form using their UC Davis Gmail account.

Spring break looks a bit different this year, with many universities truncating or completely doing away with spring break to prevent the spread of COVID-19.

Though $75 may not seem like much, considering college students spend an average of $620 on spring break, Atkinson believes the program has encouraged a few to reconsider their spring break travel plans, she told the Los Angeles Times.

"I have the sense that it may have helped," Atkinson told the LA Times about conversations she has had with students. "Even if it was the students who were just already planning to stay, it's still trying to incentivize them to engage in healthy COVID practices."

"We hope that it has influenced our students' spring break travel plans, and we also hope that it gives positive reinforcement to those who had already chosen to stay put," Lutz Blouin told Insider.

Read the original article on Insider