Persuasive Program to Rural Living Success

HUTCHINSON, Kan. (AP) A program begun in 2011 to persuade people to live in rural Kansas is having some success.

The Rural Opportunity Zones program pays part of student loans and gives income tax breaks to people who move to a county with a declining population.

The Hutchinson News reports since the program started, 628 people have applied to have up to $15,000 of their student loans repaid. Of those, 322 have been approved and 151 applications are pending.

Gov. Sam Brownback says he’s pleased the program is working as planned.

The program’s success is presenting the biggest challenge. Some county officials say they can’t earmark enough money to meet requirements that the counties match half of the $3,000 a year for each student loan applicant, up to $15,000.