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Ohio grants encouraging college students to move back home

A law in Ohio encourages former residents to move back after graduating college.

A law in Ohio encourages former residents to move back after graduating college.

Officials in Ohio are promoting a state homebuying grant program which encourages the relocation of former Ohio high school students back to their home state after earning a college degree.

The program gives college graduates interested in moving into a home in the state a grant worth up to 2.5 percent of the purchase price and a low interest rate on a mortgage. In order to be eligible, people must have earned a degree in the past 18 months and graduated from an Ohio high school - regardless of where their college move may have taken them.

The money can be used for a down payment or closing costs, and doesn't have to be repaid if they stay in Ohio for five years.

"The biggest obstacle for new graduates, many of whom are paying student loans, is ... coming up with the $5,000 down payment," Jeff Brader, executive vice president of Concord Mortgage Group, told the Columbus Dispatch. "This program takes care of that problem."

Officials say that more than 120 recent graduates earned a grant through the program in its first year, well below the target of 200 that had been set. Officials blamed the down economy for the low number.