Under “Get On Your Feet” bill, Colorado would repay first 2 years of student loans for grads who stay in state | AspenTimes.com

Under “Get On Your Feet” bill, Colorado would repay first 2 years of student loans for grads who stay in state

Elizabeth Hernandez
The Denver Post
Psychology major Abelard Palmer raises his degree holder in the air after graduating during the graduation for the college of letters, arts, and sciences and school of education of Metropolitan State University of Denver on Friday, May 11, 2018.
AAron Ontiveroz
The Denver Post

A bill in the works for Colorado’s upcoming legislative session would mandate the state pay for the first two years of student loans for new graduates of the state’s public colleges who commit to stay in Colorado and enroll in an income-based repayment program.

Students who qualify would have their monthly payment — determined by an income-based repayment program — paid in full by the state for their first two years out of college, relieving them of the financial responsibility as they get introduced to the workforce.

Senate Majority Leader Steve Fenberg, a Boulder Democrat, and Sen. Rachel Zenzinger, a Democrat representing District 19, plan to sponsor the “Get On Your Feet” bill, modeled after a program established a few years ago in New York.

“Students are graduating with so much debt that it’s, frankly, overwhelming,” Fenberg said. “People are going down a path or a career that isn’t what they even went to college for to start paying these off. They don’t have a chance to take a breath and figure out what they want to do. The concept is to give them two years of breathing room to actually be able to pursue the career they want to pursue.”

More than 761,000 Coloradans are repaying $27.7 billion in student loan debt, according to household debt statistics from the Federal Reserve Bank of New York.

Click here to read the full story from The Denver Post.


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