January 4, 2007

Scholarships and Tethers

Posted in Scholarships, Student Loan News at 2:18 PM by Joe From Boston

Yes you read that heading right. There are some attempts in the works to provide scholarships or forgivable loans to students who agree to stay and work in the given state for a certain number of years after graduation. If they move before their “contract” is up, they repay the loans. Read more about it here:

Tethering Students to Their States

New state scholarship programs proposed in Indiana and Wisconsin would offer funds to students attending in-state institutions, with strings attached — or, as the man behind the Wisconsin proposal puts it, “tethers.”

“If we can’t lure them here, let’s tether them here,” said Mark O’Connell, executive director of the Wisconsin Counties Association, a lobbying organization, and a member of the Commission on Enhancing the Mission of the Wisconsin Colleges, a group created to advise the network of 13 two-year colleges in the state.The commission, appointed by the chancellor of the University of Wisconsin Colleges in August, submitted a report late last month calling for an investment in new scholarships pegged to residency requirements post-graduation. “If we can’t lure people to our state, smart, young people, let’s give them education and then require them to stay here a certain number of years,” O’Connell said.

For all of the talk of pushing students into the wider world to ensure they’re prepared for today’s international marketplace, a parallel challenge for state and local policymakers is to ultimately keep those same students close to home – to stem the brain drain to the country’s urban centers, mostly in the East and West, as the manufacturing jobs once supporting the heartland continue to bleed abroad. A new, purely merit-based proposal from the Republican governor of Indiana, Mitch Daniels, would provide up to $20,000 for residents who pursue a four-year degree at private or public institutions in-state, and $5,000 for those obtaining two-year degrees, in the form of forgivable loans that would not have to be repaid if a student stays in Indiana to work for three years after graduating. The “Hoosier Hope Scholarships” would be funded by franchising the Hoosier Lottery to a private contractor. Under current estimates of upfront proceeds from the contract, about 1,700 scholarships, including several hundred designated for students seeking two-year degrees, would be awarded per year, said Jane Jankowski, spokeswoman for Governor Daniels. The proposal is expected to be debated by the Indiana General Assembly this spring.

In Wisconsin, the proposal is far less defined. Details haven’t been hammered out and the chancellor of the state’s two-year colleges, who received the report just before Christmas, has not yet had the opportunity to review the recommendations with the president of the UW System or the regents, a spokeswoman said. But O’Connell, whose committee recommended another task force be appointed to study the purposely vague “Wisconsin Accord” further, envisions a set of need-based scholarships with post-graduation residency and work requirements that would ultimately be self-funding through increased tax revenue.”


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