No Debt for Higher Education?

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Niagara Falls - Ashford University

Having no debt when you graduate from college is rarely a reality for most students. It’s a challenge that almost every student must consider when they choose to attend and receive a higher education, but does it have to be?

“How willing are you to move after graduation?” might be a better question to ask and here’s why. The city of Niagara Falls is willing to pay back (some) of your debt if you move there after graduation. Here’s how it works – Niagara Falls will reimburse $3,492 a year for 2 years if you move there under their program. That’s almost $7,000. Pretty nice, right? In the Live NF initiative, Niagara Falls plan to reimburse 20 graduates (5 are already filled) and you must apply to be accepted.

20 people is really a small number for a city of over 50,000, but their population is falling, and they are searching for ways to reverse that and for ways to do it quickly. One way is to slowly repopulate with what they call “urban pioneers” and they are still accepting applications if you’re interested. And it appears to be catching on as five other cities have asked for advice on how Niagara Falls is running this progressive higher education program. Their Director of Community Relations, Seth Piccirillo said they can give no advice yet because “we’re still writing the book.”

It’s an interesting tactic to get bright higher educated minds to move after graduation and invest in a community with nothing more than their presence and what they wrote on an application. I’m not sure if it’s the right move for every one (or every city), but it might be right for some – hopefully the type that Niagara Falls wants living in their town.

Written by: Travis Taggart
Travis is a regular contributor to the Ashford University blog.

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