Sen. Kent Eken aims to forgive student loans for Greater Minnesota residents

ST. PAUL, MINN – In a bold move that would have a large impact on Greater Minnesota communities, Sen. Kent Eken (DFL-Twin Valley) had a bill hearing in the Senate on Tuesday that would help address the staggering amount of student loan debt burdening hundreds of thousands throughout Greater Minnesota. The bill creates a student loan forgiveness program for workers in Greater Minnesota and aims to address the following:

  • Stem the growing sum of student debt in Greater Minnesota. The average student debt total is $30,894, ranking Minnesota 3rd in the nation. (OHE Report, Oct. 2015)
  • Support Greater Minnesota communities by attracting and retaining an educated workforce.
  • Serve as a tool for economic development throughout the state, allowing recent graduates to play a larger role in local economies.

“The amount of student loan debt Minnesotans are carrying is staggering – it’s accumulated to about $27 billion. It is incumbent upon the state legislature to take action to remove some of this burden. Lessening the student loan debt isn’t just good for individuals and family budgets – it puts more money back into the economy – and in Greater Minnesota that could be the difference between just surviving – and thriving,” said Sen. Eken.

Sen. Eken adds that forgiving the student loans of graduates who settle and find work in Greater Minnesota will greatly help smaller communities attract talent – a problem that disproportionally affects rural parts of the state.

 

Molly O’Neill, Sen. Kent Eken, and Jay Arrowsmith DeCoux, Mayor of Grand Marais, testify in support of student loan forgiveness.
Molly O’Neill, Sen. Kent Eken, and Jay Arrowsmith DeCoux, Mayor of Grand Marais, testify in support of student loan forgiveness.

 

 

 

Senator Kent Eken
Kent Eken represents District 4, which includes portions of Becker, Clay, and Norman counties in the northwestern part of the state.

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