Two state senators, Republican Dan Innis and Democrat David Watters, from New Hampshire are sponsoring a bill, Senate Bill 41, that would pay off student loan debts for graduates who pursue STEM degrees at colleges and universities within the state.
The bill allots $4 million in funding over two years, 2018 and 2019. Senate Bill 41 does not call for funding beyond those two years into 2020. The New Hampshire Higher Education Assistance Foundation would dole out the funding with a cap of $5,000 on the maximum scholarship.
The proposal is not unwarranted. New Hampshire students have the third highest average student loan debt in the nation. The typical New Hampshire college graduate owes roughly $35,000. A sum that large at the end of four years is a big deterrent for students who are deciding on postsecondary schooling.
In order to compete in a global economy, the United States needs more students to pursue degrees in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM). But the cost of an education can often get in the way. Pursuing a higher education degree is more expensive than ever with American students collectively racking up over $1.4 trillion in student loan debt.
The fear of graduating in massive debt—and then not being able to pay off those bills—keeps students from enrolling in college. It makes sense that lawmakers are trying to find ways to offset the cost of a higher education.
The Student Loan Report reached out to Senator Watters for comment, but we have not received a response.
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