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Education

Northeast Ohio Democrat Floats a Plan to Ease Student Loan Debt

photo of Dan Ramos
JO INGLES
/
STATEHOUSE NEWS BUREAU

Studies show in the near future, about two-thirds of Ohio’s jobs will require some college or skilled vocational training. But the cost of getting that education often leaves Ohioans with thousands of dollars in student loans that hinder their buying power and ability to succeed financially.

Democratic Rep. Dan Ramos says he pays a couple of hundred dollars each month on student loans. The 36-year-old lawmaker says he’s not alone.

“Ohio students graduating in 2017 owed an average of $30,000 in federal or private loans, making the state 14th highest in student debt across the country,” he said.

Ramos  is sponsoring a bill to create a state tax credit that to cover 90 percent of that expected family contribution, spreading it out over 10 years. It could cost the state up to $189 million in its first year, but Ramos says that would be offset by the money graduates would put back into the economy instead of making student-loan payments.