This State Just Announced A New Plan To Fix Student Debt

Photo: David McNew/Getty Images.
New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced on Tuesday a plan to ease the burden of student debt for college graduates in his state, outlining a new student-debt forgiveness program.

The program, called “Get on Your Feet,” aims to help recent graduates begin their post-college lives by investing in their homes and careers instead of paying off enormous education bills. For those enrolled in the program, the state of New York will pay up to two years of student-loan bills. The program will allow graduates to invest their money in things such as homes and career opportunities that aren’t always possible with a $600-a-month student-loan bill.

Though it’s not going to make those New York City sitcom apartments any more realistic, it will have a genuine impact on current students' financial futures. Without the immediate burden of debt, young people will be able to begin saving for homes for their families or take unpaid internships to advance their careers, contributing more in the long run to the state economy. “With this program, we are telling recent graduates: If you invest in New York's future, we will invest in yours,” Cuomo, a Democrat, said in the statement.

Of course, it won’t mean change for everybody. There are quite a few rules and stipulations regarding the colleges the students attended and their income levels after graduation. Additionally, enrollment is open only to students who graduated after December 2014, so anyone who is already in debt is out of luck.

But it’s a step in the right direction at a time when families are asking for institutional solutions to the inflated cost of education. Many of the 2016 presidential hopefuls have made educational debt a part in their policies, if not a central one. Democrats Bernie Sanders and Hillary Clinton have pledged to make higher education more affordable, and several Republican candidates— including Donald Trump — have said that the weight of student loans is too much.
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