Michigan college students might finally be able to rack up some credits that won’t also rack up expenses with the introduction of a new bill by the Michigan House of Representatives on Feb. 5. to encourage college-educated young adults to stay and work in the state after graduation.

House Bill 4182, which would offer taxpayers with a bachelor’s degree from an approved educational institution a tax credit of up to 50 percent of the amount paid on student loans on a tax year, is good news for Michigan, a state that in 2007 suffered a net loss of 18,000 adults with a bachelor’s degree or higher in 2007 alone, as reported by an analysis of U.S. Census Bureau and Internal Revenue Service data analysis done by the Detroit News.

Though the tax credit would award no more than 20 percent of the average yearly tuition of Michigan’s public universities, at a statewide average yearly tuition, according to Grand Valley State University President Thomas J. Haas’ most recent accountability report, is $10,508.

The idea behind House Bill 4182, co-sponsor Rep. Sam Singh (D-East Lansing) told a Lanthorn reporter, is to act as an incentive for young people to stay in Michigan and help boost the economy. It also offers a tax credit to businesses that offer to help pay employee’s student loans, reducing their payout by the same percentage of the individual employed.

“In simplest terms, those with the skills to leave Michigan are doing so; high-skilled people from other states who once might have moved to Michigan are choosing to go elsewhere,” Detroit News reporters wrote.

Though opponents of the bill have voice concerns over the cost of such a sweeping program, The Bureau of Labor Statistics for the U.S. reported that in the past six months, Michigan’s unemployment rate has fluctuated around nine percent with the rate getting as high as 9.4 percent (August) and as low as 8.9 percent (November and December). Coupled with debt that’s around 75,257,550,500 currently has and you have a state full of students facing prospects that only sweeping incentives can afford to fight.

The bill still has yet to be reviewed by the House Committee on Tax Policy, which supporters are optimistic will happen soon. From there, it has to make it before the House, which will vote on the legislation.

So from us Michigan college students to you, House Bill 4182 – may the odds be ever in your favor.