DVC Students Awarded Nearly $1.2 Million in Vaccination Incentives, Though Some Say They Have Yet to Receive Payments


Photo by Jernej Furman via Flickr. CC BY 2.0.

Last October, the Contra Costa Community College District (4CD) offered $150 to all students who provided proof of full vaccination by Nov. 1. The incentive was created as part of a districtwide initiative to reward individuals for “helping to keep our communities safe,” as stated in emails from 4CD regarding COVID-19 policies.

Checks were scheduled to arrive at students’ homes and accounts throughout December, but based on currently available information, not all of those payments appear to have been received.

According to 4CD Director of Communications and Community Relations Tim Leong, about 55 percent of the district’s incentive payments went to students at Diablo Valley College, with the remaining payments disbursed among students at Contra Costa College and Los Medanos College.

“A total of 14,357 incentive checks were issued throughout the district, 7,942 of which were sent to DVC students,” for a total of just under $1.2 million, Leong wrote in an email to The Inquirer.

Nonetheless, several DVC students have voiced complaints about having not received the promised payments, and have requested anonymity in case of potential backlash for speaking out.

One student specifically voiced a desire to remain anonymous due to their potential loss of not only the incentive payment but even possibly their financial aid as well.

“Someone in my family received theirs, but I didn’t,” one student told The Inquirer. Another stated that they knew someone who had “submitted their documentation after the original deadline” and had “received an incentive, but I did not.”

In some cases, not receiving the promised payment has frustrated students who say they are saddled with other economic and academic concerns.

One second-year student remarked that “receiving my W-2 [tax form] for DVC tuition before my promised incentive check was a massive slap in the face.”

Another second-year student, eager to enroll in courses for the spring semester, said “it was very ironic that I got the money, so [DVC] had my [vaccination information] and still didn’t initially let me sign up for my classes.”

Leong responded to these and other complaints, stating that many students submitted their vaccine documentation using personal emails instead of their InSite email accounts.

“Submissions such as these could not be connected to student accounts within 4CD’s student information system, and as such, no incentive checks could be awarded in response,” Leong wrote.

In addition, he said 4CD had received back nearly 200 checks that were returned to the district due to incorrect mailing addresses, totaling roughly $30,000.

But Leong said that any student who was vaccinated by the November deadline and hasn’t received their check has a right to the funds and should contact the college cashier’s office.

“If a student who submitted their valid proof of vaccination on or before November 1 has not received their incentive check in the mail, they should confirm that their mailing address is correct on InSite.”

For further information, students can consult the school’s COVID-19 vaccine requirement FAQ page, located here.