University offers students $75 to avoid spring break travel

DAVIS, Calif. (AP) — The University of California, Davis is offering students $75 to be used for “staycations” to encourage them to avoid nonessential travel during spring break.

Students who choose to stay home during the March 22-26 break will get the money in gift cards. Students’ response has been “awesome,” the university said in statement.

“The idea behind this was to provide a positive incentive for students to follow public health guidance,” Sheri Atkinson, associate vice chancellor for student affairs, told the Los Angeles Times.

About 50% of the student body is living either on campus or in the Davis area, she said.

To receive a gift card, students must apply by giving a basic description of their spring break plans. They must pledge to stay in town for their weeklong break and complete a COVID-19 test.

The university initially planned to give 750 such grants, but because of student interest, it upped the cap to 2,000. The anticipated $150,000 program will be paid through philanthropy and other university funds — not student fees or tuition, Atkinson said.

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