Small town anywhere is dying. A lack of young blood, not to mention highly-educated, innovative blood, is killing them. People are moving on to bigger and better things in areas with higher populations.
Student loans are killing millennials. The average grad carries more than $25,000 in debt if they took out loans, and that’s just the average. Oh, and student loans don’t die. They follow you forever and ever, even through most bankruptcies.
Innovative Communities Will Pay Off Your Student Loans–Just for Moving There
Some of these communities are seizing an opportunity to create solutions for both groups. They are offering to help repay student loans for graduates that establish their residences within their community’s boundaries.
Truly innovative problem solving, it presents real solutions to both parties. Here are three of the major programs for cities that will pay your student loans that have already started or are deep into the works:
Kansas Rural Opportunity Zones Program
Location: Kansas. In any of these 71 counties.
Requirements: Establish residency in one of the above mentioned counties on/after July 1, 2011. Have outstanding student loans along with an associates, bachelors, or post-graduate degree. You must have lived outside of Kansas and made no more than $10,000 in Kansas income for the five years prior to establishing residency.
How much will they pay?: Up to $15,000.
How it works: The state pays 20% of your student loan balance over the course of five years, up to $3,000 per year for a total of $15,000. Payments will go directly to the lender. Keep in mind that any payments made to your lender will be taxable.
Where to apply: Kansas Department of Commerce
Live Niagara Falls Program
Location: Niagara Falls, New York
Requirements: Associates, bachelors or post-graduate degree. They originally recruited at local colleges, but are open to other applicants from far-off places. You must also move to the the city of Niagara Falls.
How much will they pay?: Up to $7,000.
How it works: You’ll get up to $3,500 from the city to pay your student loans over two years in the form of reimbursements.
Where to apply: LiveNF website, which should be live again in February 2017.
Saskatchewan Graduate Retention Program
Location: Anywhere in Saskatchewan, Canada
Requirements: You must have graduated from an approved program after January 1, 2010. That program must be equivalent to six months of full-time scholarship and must have rewarded you with a certificate, diploma, undergraduate degree, or journeypersons certification. You must live in or move to Saskatchewan.
How much will they pay?: $20,000 Lifetime max. You will receive up to $3,000 if you have a one-year certificate/journeyperson/diploma, up to $6,400 for a two-year certificate/diploma, up to $15,000 for a three-year undergrad degree, and up to $20,000 for a four-year undergrad degree.
How it works: During the first four years, you get 10% of your tuition reimbursed to you as a nonrefundable tax credit, as long as you file your taxes in Saskatchewan. For the next three years, you get 20%, up to the maximum amount for your certification/degree. If the credit is more than you owe in taxes, you can carry the credit over for up to ten years.
Where to apply: Saskatchewan’s Graduate Retention Program
Didn’t find a program you like? There are occupation-based student loan repayment programs across the USA. Click here to check some of them out.
The sad part is that my county isn’t listed in Kansas–though I live near one of them. If I had a better car, I might have thought to move out there!
Ouch! That really stinks. Maybe a good reason to get a better car…but it would really depend, I suppose. Would require some serious number crunching.
These sound like pretty cool options. Unfortunately it is a relatively small amount considering the career potential you may be giving up. It is the areas that don’t have such programs where most of the good jobs are. Plus there are numerous other disadvantages.
Absolutely. You’d have to be comfortable with the small town lifestyle to uproot and move to any of these places. Perhaps there’s bigger cities in the whole of Saskatchewan…but for the most part… Hopefully these programs create bigger economies for these areas.
WOW, that’s kind of incredible that they would do that. I fortunately don’t have any student loans. But if I did, I would seriously consider moving to one of these places to take advantage of these offers. Who doesn’t want free money?!
Me either! But if I did I would, too. I guess it’s just a matter of making sure you have employment once you get there.
Wow, that’s amazing! I’m not surprised, because really, it’s important to keep the economy going with educated, young people. Saskatchewan isn’t small town though. It’s considered a city – I think – it’s not a big city, but big enough to be a city.
Haha sorry about my faux pas….I have to admit I’m just learning about Canada via my blogosphere friends. I’m loving it, but I’m still a newb! Thanks for the info!
Wow, looks like I need to move to one of these cities!
It’s definitely worth looking into.
The cost of tuition continues to rise so I think these programs are a wonderful idea and it would be good if they could be rolled out all across North America. Interesting to see that Sask is participating in the program.
They may have even been the ones who originated it from what I can tell.
You are a wealth of info, Brynn! How in the world does one acquire all this info? I mean, besides following you! 🙂
Haha…all the more reason to follow!
This is an interesting idea. Mine will be paid off next month so I won’t be able to figure this out. Goes to show there is a tiny advantage to not paying off these loans immediately.
I’d say if you can pay it off yourself that’s amazing. If you’re needing help, though, or just a recent grad looking to start your career, these places want you!
Great info and so important–school loans continue to snow us. Will be a day of incredible happy-dancing when they are paid off!
School loans are the worst! It’s great that they allow so many to receive an education, but man, can they be hard to get rid of.
Considering that the cost of higher education has skyrocketed over the past few years, it’s great that some states are participating in this program. With the economy being as tough as it is on new college graduates, many of them need help just finding a job. It’s so awful that many of them are unemployed for months after graduation, and carry huge student loan debts to boot.
Amen. I can’t tell you how many business majors I know that are coffee shop barristas.
I was trying to think of a “we aren’t in Kansas anymore” joke, but failed. Instead I’ll just say that it’s incredible how many opportunities are out there like this. I heard about the Niagara one on the radio last week. Didn’t sound like something I could have done, but a good opportunity for the right person.
Lol no one can come up with zingers all the time. 🙂 I hope the Niagara one goes through….it’s still passing through their city legislatures as far as I know.
This is awesome. I am hoping that doctors will have similar options to work for a small, community hospitals for 5-7 years if the community pays for their education. It’s win-win for both parties.
I bet if you were a doctor and opened up a practice/worked for a local community hospital they’d pay your loans. There’s no specifics on what you have to have studied as far as I know. That’s a great application.
wow, that is beyond awesome. I have never heard of such a thing! I wish Oregon made the list!
I know…I wish there were somewhere in PA….or eastern Ohio…
I hope some counties in Georgia/Alabama catch on to this…but it’s hard when unemployment is so high. There are just naturally more jobs in bigger cities. Great post!
That would be very cool. I bet if these programs are successful more places will hop on the band wagon. I think the reason they’re doing this is because they are smaller communities and hope to have more qualified people working in their towns along with spurring job creation.
that is awesome
What a great post, I had no idea about any of this. Of course I don’t think I could ever move from Vancouver to anywhere in Saskatchewan (I’m a city lover) I think that’s such a great thing that the government will pay for some or all of your schooling!
Absolutely! You’d have to be willing to make a lifestyle sacrifice, but I do have many friends who love the country lifestyle anyways. It’s for some, but definitely not all.
This sounds awesome. Wouldn’t it be great if everywhere was like this. I think education is so important. I am actually surprised there isn’t more effort made to make it affordable for everyone to go.
Oh, it would be so wonderful. An educated populous is the key to having a booming economy in my opinion. Wish more places recognized and invested in it that way.
Super informative! I never really considered moving to Kansas, but I’m willing to give it a second thought if they’ll pay for my kids education!
Through this particular program they’ll only pay for it after the fact, so you can totally go to Kansas if you want to live nearby, but the key would be encouraging your kids to establish their residences there upon graduation!
I wish canada would do something like that too.
Saskatchewan is in Canada.
shit should I have moved to Saskatchewan??
Maybe! If you can deal with the lifestyle I’d say, yeah, probably. Some people need the city life, and it’s not worth being miserable over it. At least that’s my opinion. But it does seem like a great financial move.
This is a cool post! I had no idea these kinds of programs existed…
I’m always tempted by these types of programs, then I’m like…. but it’s Saskatchewan. :S
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Fantanstic post, FF! During the dot com boom many companies were assisting new hires with student loan payments. I received ~$7500 over a period three years. In today’s dollars, it equates to ~$26K.
When I compare what is being offered now to what I received way back, it falls short by ~$6k – $19k. While times have changed, cost of education has sky rocketed and the tuition payment incentives from potential employers have not gone up.
However, I am glad to see that cities are taking the initiative to pull in younger crowd. Every dime matters, the offers seem reasonable. Each person needs to evaluate if it makes sense for their particular situation.
Wow, that is incredible! The dot com boom was something else. I do want to note that cities and states across the country have career specific programs–I’ll tidy up that post and update it for next week. They may be more lucrative than the programs that only require ANY college degree.
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