In the last 40 years, the city of Niagara Falls– once an industrial town– has lost half of its population. To tempt young grads into moving there, the city has become one of a few across the country to offer to pay of student loan debt. The City’s Urban Renewal Agency will sponsor up to 20 grads in its pilot program, paying them an extra $291 a month to live there: it’s an investment of $200,000 the city hopes will pay off big time. The move is strategic because student loan debt and the prices of higher education continues to soar. The average college graduate now has about $23,000 in debt. Across the country, other communities are adopting similar programs, and the Kansas City program has already received nearly 350 applications. Niagara Falls is hoping for similar, if not better, results, and also hopes that the famous Buffalo winters will not be off-putting.
The program is still in early development, but proponents hope that 2013 grads can be the first to test it. Developers are paying specific attention to Niagara University and NCCC grads. You can read more about the future of the plan here.