Commitment—and incentives—to get vaccinated

Commitment—and incentives—to get vaccinated


Next week, Rowan University will celebrate in-person Commencement for the Class of 2021. Over the course of four days, we will honor our graduating class through 20 ceremonies. I am so pleased by what we have accomplished this year. We have engaged in meaningful education, provided countless hours of student support, returned our athletes to active competition, and have held in-person and virtual student activities.

Our success required the combined efforts of our employees, faculty and students and a shared commitment to the health of our host communities.

More work ahead

This academic year, we performed more than 25,000 symptomatic and asymptomatic tests to ensure residence halls could remain open. We reported our travel plans and conducted personal daily health assessments. Many of us have obtained our COVID-19 vaccine. However, our work is not done. 

As the pandemic continues and, in fact, rages in other parts of the globe, we in the United States are fortunate that increasing vaccine availability and acceptance have resulted in decreasing infection, hospitalizations and deaths. However, vaccination acceptance rates are beginning to flatten—and that trend is concerning as we look forward to the next academic year.  

Rowan University is committed to assisting Gov. Murphy and the state of New Jersey in achieving the goal of fully vaccinating 70% of adults. We are equally committed to ensuring that our students, employees and neighbors are safe. We have worked together all year to create vibrant campuses and meaningful learning opportunities. As a University community, we must continue to work together to ensure that public health continues to improve.

Vaccination incentives

After much discussion among our medical and public health experts and University leadership and a review of all options, we are implementing the following: 

  • Rowan University will require—and provide an incentive—for all students to be vaccinated. The requirement and incentive apply to all students who will live in campus residences, in affiliated housing or attend classes in person. 
  • Full-time students who show proof of vaccination before August 7, 2021, will receive a $500 credit to their fall 2021 course registration bill. Residential students will receive an additional $500 credit to their housing bill. Part-time students will receive a prorated credit based on the number of courses taken in the fall. The incentive program includes all students who already have been vaccinated. 
  • Students may opt out of the vaccination requirement in accordance with guidelines for the emergency use authorization of the current vaccines.
  • Residential students who are not vaccinated will be required to undergo weekly COVID-19 testing. Other students, such as athletes and those who are in majors where there is close contact with others, still may be required to test, even if vaccinated. 

Employees, too

Our students should not bear the burden of ensuring our community health on campus. This is shared work and only with a shared commitment to increasing vaccine acceptance among our entire community can public health be assured. As such, we are also asking our employees to commit to vaccination. Employee incentives are being developed in compliance with union regulations. We thank those who have already participated in this critical campaign.  

Easy to get

For those who are ready, vaccination centers are currently offering walk-up service, including the Gloucester County Mega Vaccination Site (1400 Tanyard Road, Sewell) and our School of Osteopathic Medicine in Stratford (visit Students who need transportation to the mega site can contact

Our message today is simple. We believe the path to normalcy is through widespread vaccination and we want our entire community to commit to reaching the goal of widespread vaccination. If we work together, we can reach this goal and offer the Rowan University experience that we all deserve. Thank you for doing your part.

Very truly yours,

Ali A. Houshmand, Ph.D.


Rowan University