Penn State graduates who haven’t had their fill of State College and hope to stay after graduation are in luck.
The State College Borough Planning Department, along with local officials, is making efforts to try to get recent Penn State graduates to stay in the area after they’ve graduated.
“We need young people to stay in the area after graduation, who know the town and have new ideas, to work hard and eventually replace us one day,” Mayor Elizabeth Goreham said.
Many efforts to get students to stay in the area are still in the early stages of planning, but the borough has already made strides for graduates looking for affordable housing.
The Planning and Community Development Department of State College has a program set up called the First-Time Home Buyer program for residents with low to moderate incomes, said Lu Hoover, senior planner for the Planning and Community Development Department of State College.
It is offered to a variety of residents including Penn State graduates, faculty and staff of Penn State and area residents looking to purchase an affordable home in the area. The program assists residents with mortgage and closing costs on a house, according to the department’s website.
“Young people buying houses in State College are good for the borough because they help to stabilize the tax base, stabilize neighborhoods in the area and keep the borough growing,” Hoover said.
Hoover said more information is available for the program on the department’s website.
Although the program is available to most residents in the area, Goreham said she wants to get the word out to students, specifically, in hopes they will consider staying in the area if they know there is affordable housing options.
“This program is great for qualifying graduates just coming out of school who don’t have the money to purchase a home and need guidance,” she said.
Before college graduates search for housing, though, they need to find a job, which is a task Penn State and the State College Borough are beginning to work on, State College Borough council member Peter Morris said.
Morris said the borough and the university would encourage the development of start-up companies and research programs, but they are still in the early stages of this process.
“Hopefully it would be natural for these new companies to hire Penn State graduates,” Morris said.
These new programs would encourage a more diverse economic base, which is great for the area, he added.