The Commonwealth Comment

Wednesday, January 31, 2007

Cash for Massachusetts College Grads

When people think of Massachusetts they usually think of a high cost to live here. The name "Taxachusetts" has often come up. As a result the state's population has been getting smaller over the past few years. Another thing people think of when they think Massachusetts is college. Boston alone has dozens; Harvard, Boston University, Emerson College, Boston College, Northeastern, Emmanuel College, Simmons, and the list goes on and on. One state senator is looking to stop Massachusetts' loss of residents by turning to the mass of students that call the state thier home during the school year.
Democratic Senator Brian Joyce, of Milton has proposed a bill that would give any graduate of a Massachusetts college $10,000. The catch? They are required to live in the state for at least 5 years and must use the money for a downpayment on a home. Also, their annual salary cannot exceed 135% of the community's median income. If they leave, they'll have to pay the money back to the state with interest.
Joyce has suggested that the state put aside $25 million for this project initially, and see how many students sign up for the program. Some people have criticized the idea saying that $10,000 isn't nearly enough to help buy a home in Massachusetts. They say that in order to make Massachusetts a more attractive place for young people to live is to have the legislature help create jobs, affordable housing, and lower tax rates.
Students have had a mixed reaction to the proposal. Yet, most seem to agree that the amount the state is offering simply isn't enough.

My Opinion: I think that this is a great idea that has some real potential. With this project in place Massachusetts will retain some of the knowledge and professionals that were taught here and have called Massachusetts their home for the past 4+ years.
BUT, I must say that $10,000 isn't going to get me five years in. Most college grads start off with good starting salary, but nothing spectacular. Then there is the cost of property in Massachusetts; hundreds of thousands of dollars for land, let alone the building itself. My rent on the tiny little 10x15 studio apartment in the Back Bay costs $895 per month, that doesn't include electricity, cable, and internet. So, $895 x 12 months = $10,740. That's for one year before utilities. So, yea, Massachusetts is gonna have to do better than $10,000. It simply costs too much to live here. Something that they're going to have to examine if they want to keep the graduates of the area colleges.


  • I agree.
    $10,000 is a lot of money when you think about all the people that would go toward. as in, where is this money coming from? (and perhaps, more importantly, who is getting shafted?)
    realistically, though, ten Gs is not enough.
    however, though, for sake of argument, not everyone pays rent as high as yours. mine is only $500 a month (add in about $50-$75 for utilities) and that's only $6600. lucky me. i get to have a lil extra for food.

    By Blogger Lynette, At 6:46 PM  

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