Clinton County looks to attract new residents with student loan relief program

CLINTON, Iowa – The struggle to pay off student loans is an issue Clinton County is now trying to solve, but for new residents only.

“We are dealing with loss of population, which is also causing a stagnant tax base, which is making it difficult to offer the services we are offering in Clinton,” says Eric Van Lancker, Clinton County Auditor.

“Our goal is to create outside the box programs to reverse that trend,” comments Clinton Existing Industry Manager Andy Sokolovich.

The county is now in the works to start a new student loan relief program for new residents to draw more people to Clinton county.

“If you move to Clinton County, if you live in Clinton County, you work in Clinton County and you have student loan debt of any kind, we will contribute a dollar a day,” Sokolovich says.

The program would give each new resident $2 a day - $1 from the county and $1 from the resident's hometown.

This new program focuses entirely on bringing new people to Clinton County.  But, some people say that’s easier said than done.

“I do feel like Clinton is losing people,” says Clinton Community College student Kylie Cottrell. “A lot of people in high school just wanted to get out and be done.”

But what about students born and raised here?

“It’s kind of not fair especially for a person who lives here,” emphasizes Teri Lamp, Clinton Community College student.

“I thought it was weird that they wouldn’t helping people in Clinton with their student loans,” Cottrell questions.

“We want to attract fresh young motivated and passionate talent,” Sokolovich says.

Talent that will stay in Clinton County.

The company would work with a company called ‘Peanut Butter’ that is known for helping companies pay their employees loans.

The county is looking to possibly start the program July 1st, 2019.  They are looking to hopefully extend the program to existing residents down the road.