Kansas figured out that getting people to move there is a lot easier than building a bustling arts community, having vibrant nightlife options or cultivating a hot singles scene--all you have to do is pay off their student loans. Bloomberg's Jenna Smialak reports on the state's new program which offers up to $15,000 in student-loan repayment over five years to get people to live where people don't really want to live, or um, "areas beset by population declines." It's not a bad idea for both the state and the 411 graduates and applicants for the program, since student debt figures are pretty grim at the moment. The number of loans have tripled, and the figure is over the $1 trillion mark according to the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, and the average debt for students is around $21,000 according to the Federal Reserve Bank of New York. Other towns and states are considering adopting similar programs (you're in luck if you want to move to Niagara Falls, N.Y.), but it's Kansas' neighbor Nebraska that is most concerned. Smialak writes:
“Most definitely we will lose a qualified, skilled workforce to Kansas,” Nicole Sedlacek, director of economic development for Holt County, Nebraska, said in a telephone interview. The region saw an almost 10 percent drop in its population between 2000 and 2010, while neighboring counties lost as much as 22 percent in the past two decades.