New Jersey May Pay Students' Loan Debt to Live in Poor Cities

Lawmakers in New Jersey have proposed paying part of college graduates' student loans if they agree to live in cities in need of revitalization.

A New Jersey lawmaker has proposed paying recent college graduates to live in cities in need of revitalization like Camden, above. (Photo: FlickrCC/Adam Jones)

The migration of the middle class from the cities to the suburbs has plagued a number of cities across the country in recent years. To combat the urban blight that often occurs as a result, lawmakers in New Jersey have proposed paying college-educated individuals to live in areas in need of revitalization.

The Neighborhood Scholar Revitalization Pilot Program would pay $7,000 toward up to 600 recent college graduates' student loan debt if they live in Camden, Trenton or Jersey City for two years. The fund would be partially funded by businesses participating in the Urban Enterprise Zone program, who in turn could claim tax credits for their contributions. The legislation has so far passed committee along party lines, but has yet to be voted on by the full Assembly.

Connecticut has a similar program
, which offers a homebuyer tax credit to recent public university graduates who choose to stay in the state after college.

Brian Peteritas is a GOVERNING contributor.