Lawmakers in Utah are considering a pilot program to help low-income college students secure housing that’s both convenient and affordable.
The bill — sponsored by Republican state Rep. Mike Winder — would provide eligible students with a place to live near their college campus.
Residents would not have to dip into student loan funds to pay for housing. Instead the program would be largely supported by public funds and private donors.
The program would eliminate some of the barriers faced by low-income students as they progress through college, Winder told the Desert News. Too often, low-income students become trapped in a “social and economic abyss” following high school graduation, he said. The lawmaker believes affordable housing located near postsecondary institutions could change that.
The proposed housing complex would not be affiliated with any single university or college. If approved, the unit will be centrally located in Salt Lake County, with onsite managers equipped to assist students attending a wide array of nearby institutions.
Upperclassmen and postgraduate students would act as on-site mentors. Job placement and career networking assistance would also be available. During the summer, residents would have the opportunity to participate in internships.
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