Sammy Nickalls
February 11, 2015 10:50 am

I just paid off a MASSIVE student loan bill the other day, and I’m still recovering—as for my bank account, well, that will need a little more time to heal.

Sadly, I’m not alone–student loans are the bane of everyone’s existence right now, or so it seems. According to a recent report by the Washington Post, U.S. college tuitions have skyrocketed by around 500 percent in the past 30 years. Ouch.

If only we lived in Denmark, and not just because it’s really, really pretty (I regularly drool over this “Visit Denmark” video).

Nope, Denmark actually pays its students to go to college. You read that right: each student gets paid approximately $900 bucks PER MONTH to go to college.

This is for real, folks. The country’s grants and loans program, called SU (Statens Uddannelsesstøtte), is legit. The site reads, “Every Dane over the age of 18 is entitled to public support for his or her further education—regardless of social standing.”

Each student gets this free funding for up to six years, and even if students drop out, they don’t have to pay it back. If you get high marks in school, you may be eligible to receive further payments.

Here’s the genius thing: Denmark views the program as an investment in the country’s future workforce. Press spokesperson for the Danish Ministry of Education, Mads Hammer Larsen, told the Washington Post: “The aim of the support scheme is to ensure that it is not the social and economic standing of potential students but abilities and interests that decides about educational success.”

Ultimately, students can focus on their education without tripling up on side jobs, and they can pursue the fields of interest they’re naturally inclined to thrive in, rather than opting solely for majors that promise the most financial returns in the working world.

While opponents of the policy claim the measure has created a shortage of applicants in scientific and technical fields, post-grads are witnessing the benefits of the incentive firsthand. Denmark’s youth unemployment rate is at 11 percent—that’s lower than our own rate, here in the States.

OK, packing my bags to move to Denmark. See ya there.

(Featured image via)

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