The University of Lethbridge has announced what it's calling the "most important contest in its 54-year history."

This fall, they're giving out free tuition to nine lucky, vaccinated students.

Through the 'It's Worth A Shot!' contest, registered students who receive a COVID-19 vaccination before 11:59 p.m. on September 8, 2021 will be eligible to win full tuition and fees for the fall 2021 semester.

The winners of the contest will be chosen on September 10, along with a number of other prizes, including three $500 gift cetificates to the school bookstore, twenty $20 Bridgebucks prizes and 100 U of L branded socks.

Winners will be asked to provide proof of their vaccination before they can accept their prize.

It's one of the first contests of its kind for post-secondary institutions in Canada and university student leaders are excited about what it means for the student body.

"We want to make sure that they're healthy and that they have a good experience this fall," said the U of L's vice-president of students, Kathleen Massey.

"So it's really so that we can get back to an in-person and safe experience at the University."

Worth, shot, contest

Of the nine students chosen, seven will be from the Lethbridge campus, one from the Calgary campus and the last will be a graduate student.

Some students from the university say the money could make all the difference and can't wait to get their name in the draw.

"It (free tuition) would mean a lot, it would be a huge weight off my shoulders for sure," said Mark Serebryansky.

"Having my tuition taken care of would just be a relief," said student union member Cayley Fleischman.

"I'm sure it would be for every student, but I'd really appreciate it."

By noon on Monday, they had already had over 400 students enter the draw and the hope is to have 80 per cent of the student population vaccinated by the fall semester.


Student union president Holly Kletke said she's excited about what the incentive could mean for the coming year.

"We're really encouraged to see this step by university administration," said Kletke.

"I think that it really shows a great commitment to a safe return to campus. Plus, it offers two full benefits, so I'm really excited for this contest and I'm excited for school in the fall."

Massey and the university hope the contest will encourage students who weren't sure about the vaccine to go out and get theirs in the coming months.

"We want to stand behind the importance of getting vaccinated before coming back to school in the fall and we think this is a very engaging way to do that," Massey told CTV.

For more information on the 'It's Worth a Shot!' contest or to enter the draw if you're an eligible U of L student, you can visit the university's website.