(Minneapolis, MN) – Coronavirus vaccination will be optional for students and staff returning to University of Minnesota campuses this fall.

The University of Minnesota won’t require COVID-19 vaccinations at any of its five campuses. On Monday, university president Joan Gabel announced the decision, saying staff, students, and faculty don’t need to be vaccinated to return to campus this fall. Gabel said that officials consulted with public health experts, school members, and considered vaccination rates and infection data in making the decision. The university is pushing a public information campaign to encourage vaccinations, but says getting the vaccine is a “complex and personal issue.”

President Joan Gabel said, “This approach is very similar to our M Test approach from last fall, which proved that clear messaging can be as effective, if not more effective, than mandatory policies,” referring to the U’s coronavirus testing initiative. Gabel also said staff and their spouses who get vaccinated will be rewarded with points they can accumulate to reduce what they pay for health insurance in 2023.

The Chronicle of Higher Education has identified 494 U.S. colleges are requiring students and/or staff to get vaccinated before fall, including five private colleges in Minnesota.