By Ryan Hill

DAVIS (CBS13) — UC Davis is enticing students to stay in town for Spring Break with cash.

Some students said it’s been a trying year, to say the least.

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“We all need a break especially this year. It’s been really tough,” Maria Tilve, a UC Davis student, said.

The school is offering students $75 to stay in town over the break. The money is limited to only a few hundred students who apply for a Spring Break grant offered by Healthy Davis Together.

It’s a partnership between UC Davis and the city of Davis aimed at preventing the spread of coronavirus.

“We’re providing these grants that they can engage in one of four activates that we’re calling the Get Active grant, the Get Artsy grant, the Home Improvement grant, and the Let’s Stay In grant,” Sheri Atkinson, the Associate Vice Chancellor For Student Affairs, said.

Atkinson told CBS13 the university did see a small surge after Winter Break when some students traveled. She said the goal is to try to prevent that moving forward into the spring quarter.

The first 750 applicants who meet the grants’ requirements will get a $75 gift card. The requirements are: you have to be a current registered UC Davis student, live in Davis full-time and stay in the city for Spring Break, which is March 22nd – March 26th.

Lastly, students will need to have a COVID-19 test scheduled during Spring Break.

Students can apply here: bit.ly/spring-break-grant The deadline for the grant initiative is March 10, 2021, at 5 p.m.

But, how will the university ensure the students who receive the grant gift cards are actually staying on campus for the holiday break?

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Atkinson told CBS13 that the university requiring that all of the grant gift cards be picked up in-person at the respective businesses when Spring Break starts.

The Spring Break schedule COVID-19 test is another measure that will ensure that students are staying in Davis, according to Atkinson.

CBS13 asked Atkinson if it a possibility that a student could come to get their grant gift card, get a COVID-19 test and still travel for Spring Break.

“It’s possible. I believe our students are pretty honest and part of the agreement is that they are agreeing to the conditions of this grant,” Atkinson said.

She also added she trusts students who have applied for the grant are going to engage in ways that are, “authentic and true to the intentions behind the grant.”

Many students feel that will be the case for whoever receives the grant.

“Just speaking about Davis, I think the people are very trustworthy. It’s a good, educated community and I don’t see people exploiting this,” Mohammed Seed, a UC Davis student, said

“I feel like if students say they’re going to stay, they’re going to stay. I feel like a lot of us are pretty truthful,” Malaika Smith, a UC Davis student, said.

UC Davis did a similar grant during the Halloween weekend with the concern of gatherings and possible community spread of the coronavirus.

Health officials still recommend avoiding non-essential travel to slow the spread of the virus.

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Nationally, health officials are voice concerns about Spring Break parties. Some are calling it the “perfect storm” to spread variants.  Some schools, like Ohio State and New York State, have canceled Spring Break altogether.