Student loans and student debt

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Student debt relief for graduates working in NH?

Feb 13, 2017

BY: CCNH-LFDA Highlights

On Tuesday, February 14 the Senate Education committee will hold a public hearing on a bill to provide some student debt relief to college graduates who work in New Hampshire.

The bill, SB 228, establishes the “New Hampshire Graduate Retention Incentive Partnership” (NH GRIP) which provides $1,000 annually for four years to an in-state college graduate who is hired by a participating in-state employer.

The bill does not appropriate any state funds for starting the program.

Bill supporters point to New Hampshire’s aging population and argue that student debt relief programs would decrease the number of young adults leaving New Hampshire.  New Hampshire college graduates already have the highest average student loan debt at the time of graduation, compared to all other states. 

Bill opponents argue that it is difficult and costly to track students’ employment after graduation.  There are other ways to encourage young adults to stay in New Hampshire.  For example, the state could subsidize apprenticeship programs that train students for specific job openings in-state.  The state could also strengthen family leave protections for new parents.

The House is considering three similar bills: HB 603, HB 605, and HB 606.  Each bill would give New Hampshire college students a grant or scholarship for working in New Hampshire at least four years after graduating.  HB 605 would only apply to students working in the social services, and HB 606 would only apply to students pursuing careers in health care.

Do you support grants for college graduates who work in-state?  Share your ideas in the comments.

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