Big cities like San Francisco and Washington, D.C. attract millennials with rooftop bars, a dating pool that is more like an ocean (which makes swiping on Bumble that much easier) and seemingly endless job opportunities. But if you’re looking for a career, some fast cash and a solid place to live, one of these five midwestern locales that will pay you to move there might just be the perfect place for you to call home.
1. St. Clair County, Michigan
The county is currently offering “come home” scholarships worth up to $15,000 to anyone who earned a degree in science, technology, math, art or engineering in the past decade and is willing to live and work in the area. The scholarship is offered year-round to anyone who meets these criteria and does not currently live in St. Clair County. Plus, rent is super affordable in the area, and Lake Huron is just a stone’s throw away.
2. Grant County, Indiana
Just 90 minutes outside of Indianapolis, Grant County has the Grant for Grads program, which could help young professionals buy or rent their first place with ease. Candidates must have a job offer in the area or have worked at their full-time jobs for less than two years to qualify for one of the two incentives offered.
Through the homebuyer incentive program, candidates can receive up to $5,000 to put toward a down payment or closing costs on a new home in Grant County. Through the renter’s incentive program, candidates can receive 20 percent off their monthly rent payments — up to a total of $2,500 with a 12-month lease agreement.
3. Crawford County, Ohio
The first in Ohio to adopt this type of program, Crawford County’s “come home” reverse scholarship offers recent graduates at least $10,000 to live and work in Crawford County. The award is paid out on a quarterly basis and must be used to pay off student loans specifically. Applications are accepted year-round, and candidates should be prepared to secure a job or start at a company within 120 days of receiving the award. Crawford County is just 90 minutes from both Toledo and Cleveland, too, so you can still get a little bit of city life if the ‘burbs aren’t exactly your thing.
4. Marne, Iowa
If you’ve always dreamt of building a house but couldn’t afford the land to do it, you might want to consider Marne, Iowa as the perfect location. Just 45 minutes east of Omaha, the town’s Free Lots Program offers land to anyone interested in building a home that is 1,200 square feet or larger and can complete the construction within 18 months of receiving the lot. Applicants are asked to carefully review the requirements before submitting the building plans with the paperwork. The Marne Housing Committee will reach out within 60 days of reviewing the application with a response.
5. North Platte, Nebraska
Local employers in North Platte have an even bigger incentive to hire new talent now. The WORKNP program through North Platte’s Chamber of Commerce will match recruitment incentives of up to $5,000 per open position at local companies (up to two) for new employees who move to North Platte to live and work there. Positions must pay at least $20 per hour, and new employees must agree to work at the company for at least three years. Basically, candidates can receive up to $10,000 to relocate to North Platte (just a little over three hours from Lincoln) for a job that they can feel secure in for a few years. Not a bad deal at all, if you ask us.