Photo: View of Downtown Hamilton from the Miami River bridge by S&Mj Adventures , Creative Commons by SA 2.0
The Federal Reserve estimates that Americans owed more than $1.7 trillion in student loans by the third quarter of 2020. That’s an increase of nearly 4% compared to the previous year. Compared to the previous decade, that’s an increase of 102% (where student loans were pegged at roughly $845 million in 2010).
“This is one of the top economic issues impacting people,” said Savi co-founder Aaron Smith. Savi is a public benefit corporation focused on helping borrowers navigate student debt. “Student loan debt is now bigger than credit card debt. It’s a huge challenge facing the country”
The Talent Attraction Program (TAP) Scholarship of Hamilton, Ohio may be able to help. It is offering recent college graduates in the STEAM fields a stipend of $300 a month up to a total of $10,000 to help pay off their student loan debt.
The city of Hamilton wants to keep its talent and attract others to live in Ohio. The program is sponsored by the Hamilton Community Foundation. The foundation has been supporting the community for 60 years and has provided over $13 million in scholarships to more than 3,000 students.
“The TAP Scholarship is the next logical step in the foundation’s long history of supporting higher education,” said Hamilton Community Foundation Vice President Katie Braswell. “We are looking for people excited to come to Hamilton, to be a part of the community, and at the same time start their careers.” The program was the first of its kind in the US which linked urban-core residency with talent attraction and urban development.
The TAP Scholarship is known as a “reverse scholarship”. To be eligible, candidates must have graduated within the last 7 years from a science, technology, engineering, arts or mathematics program. They should not be currently living in designated areas in the city of Hamilton but with plans to move or live in these areas.
Program participants must work in Hamilton or Butler County in a professional position. Preference is given to applicants with a desire to give back to the community and engage in local activities. If the applicant resigns from their employment or moves out of the specified core areas before funds have been fully disbursed, they forfeit any future payments.
Designated areas include the urban core neighborhoods of:
- Dayton Lane - A nationally recognized turn-of-the-century neighborhood that is home to the historic residences of Hamilton’s industrial elite of the 1800s and 1900s
- Downtown / Central Business District - Found on the east banks of the Great Miami River, the neighborhood is the geographic center of the City of Hamilton. Many of the city’s key institutions are located here including the City Hall, the Historic Butler County Courthouse and art galleries.
- German Village - This 9-block historic district just sits north of the central business district. It was home to many of Hamilton’s firsts, including the first courts, school, newspaper and businesses. Today, you’ll find the YWCA there, the Hamilton Community Foundation, the Hamilton Lane Library and Butler County’s Historical Society.
- Rossville - This village was established in 1804 and is on the National Register of Historic Places. A notable location is its Main Street, which has 19th century commercial buildings.
- Riverview - The South East business district is located between Sycamore Street, the CSX light rail and the Greater miami river. It is home to the Booker T. Washington Community Center.
Hamilton is a great place to live if you’re looking for arts, culture and excellent educational facilities. It was voted by the National Association of Homebuilders as one of the 25 places to buy and own a home in the U.S.