Senator Anderson Sponsors Bill to Address Student Loan Debt and Retain Graduates
Anderson's Senate Bill 408 will reduce college graduates' debt, encourage them to stay and work in Michigan
LANSING—State Senator Glenn Anderson recently introduced Senate Bill 408, legislation to allow recent college graduates a tax credit for part of their payments on student loans if they stay and work in Michigan. The credit would be equal to 50% of the amount paid on a qualified student loan during the tax year (not to exceed 20% of the average annual tuition for Michigan’s public universities for a given year) and anyone who is a Michigan resident, a Michigan university graduate, and has completed their Bachelor’s degree would be eligible.
“Study after study shows correlation between a highly educated workforce and economic prosperity, but exorbitant tuition increases and insurmountable student debt are starting to discourage kids from pursuing a college degree or forcing them to look elsewhere for work once they have their degrees,” said Senator Anderson. “My legislation addresses two significant problems in Michigan—the growing student loan debt crisis for college graduates and the economic brain drain we experience when our students move to other states after graduation. The credit would be a financial incentive for graduates to stay in Michigan. Graduates that stay in the state the first two years are much more likely to remain here.”
Nationally, college tuition is up 300% since 1990. Here in Michigan, the average cost of tuition for 2012-13 at a Michigan public university is about $10,870. That’s up 23.1% from the 2008-09 school year. In the mid-90s, the average student debt at college graduation was approximately $12,700 dollars. According to the Institute for Higher Education Policy, the amount of this debt increased to $24,000 by 2009.
“This bill is just one tool in a multi-faceted approach that the Legislature should be pursuing to address growing tuition costs and the need for an educated workforce,” Anderson said. “Business Leaders for Michigan and other groups have also been calling for action to address the need to reduce student debt and develop a skilled workforce, and I am encouraged by the proactive efforts by the private sector and businesspeople like Dan Gilbert who recognize the problem and are doing their part to help turn Michigan around.”