Peanut Butter and Clinton County, Iowa launch pioneer program targeting student debt

Peanut Butter began a partnership with Clinton County, Iowa last month in order to establish a new intergovernmental system aimed at helping residents pay off their student loan debt. This collaboration was provoked after the county experienced large decreases in population, and in turn, less qualified candidates for local jobs. Through their partnership with Peanut Butter, Clinton County has created a program to support and assist Iowans in their efforts to diminish their student loan debt and also incentivize new, college-educated workers from surrounding states to move to the area.

 

But how does it work? Let’s break it down. 

 

Residents of the county who are eligible for assistance and sign up with Peanut Butter will receive a monthly stipend of $30 from the county, which will go directly towards paying off his or her student debt. Other employers and organizations in the area have joined the program and will provide stipends of an additional $30 for new residents/employees. These groups include the cities of Clinton, Camanche and DeWitt, as well as the Clinton Community School District, the Camanche Community School District and the Central DeWitt Community School District.

The contribution amounts from each of these sponsorships vary but can be compounding, creating a collective monthly stipend for the individual. For example, if a new resident of DeWitt lives within the boundaries of Clinton County and works for the Central DeWitt Community School District, he or she would be eligible for a combined monthly stipend of $90 to be paid towards their student loans; that’s $30 from the county of Clinton, $30 from the city of Dewitt and $30 from the school district. In other words, the individual receives a dollar a day from each organization/municipality they are aligned with.

 

Sounds pretty great, right? It doesn’t have to end here…

 

Student debt is at an all-time high, with more than 45 million Americans holding over $1.5 trillion in student loans. For most, this debt can be crippling and unbearable. Clinton County saw this as an opportunity to create a program to both offer assistance to young, skilled workers as well as attract them to their corner of the world. If this sounds like something you’d like to try in your corner, get started here.

 

Media coverage:

Peanut Butter: A better recipe? Governments unite in bid to woo workers to county (The Dewitt Observer)

Clinton Student Loan Program First of Its Kind (Clinton Herald)

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