A tip for recent graduates: Move to Kansas, and you could get $15,000 of your student loans paid off by local government. Hit by shrinking populations, a number of Kansas counties are offering the program to people with degrees who owe student debt—if they're willing to live full-time in the county. Meanwhile, the city of Niagara Falls, NY, is putting $200,000 toward a similar loan payoff program. So far, only local graduates are eligible, but the city hopes to expand the plan, which will provide grads with up to $3,500 a year for two years.
With Niagara Falls' population down to about half of what it was 50 years ago, "we've lost a lot of talent, a lot of brain power," says a local official. "For 50 years we've been asking ourselves: how do we keep our young people?" The answer came to him after seeing so many headlines about student debt, he tells Good Morning America. In Kansas, the plan appears to be working. "Our hope was that we'd get young professionals to move," says an official. "Physicians, nurses, lawyers, accountants." With 338 applications so far, "that's what we have seen."