Niagara Falls' Student Loan Offer Actually Luring Grads
More than 200 people have inquired about new plan so far
By Evann Gastaldo,  Newser Staff
Posted Jul 3, 2012 11:35 AM CDT

(Newser) – Niagara Falls' plan to lure recent graduates by paying their student loans is actually working: More than 200 people have asked about renting or buying a place there since the program began just last month. And not just locals; some of the interested parties are from as far away as Hawaii, the Buffalo News reports. Just 20 of them will actually be selected at first, with higher priority given to those who buy a home and those who are interested in community service; they are expected to move in by the end of the year.

"If we get those types of people in our community, those are going to be our future leaders," says the community development director. Officials also hope the program will draw more businesses to the area, and keep it from dropping below a population of 50,000 during the 2020 census—at which point it would lose key funding. But the plan does have its opponents, and one—the city council chairman—calls it "probably the biggest waste of money we've ever proposed," adding that "unless you … eradicate criminals, 20 kids renting isn't going to solve any problems."