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More Kansas counties join student loan program

TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) -- Eight more Kansas counties have joined a rural economic development program that helps new residents repay their student loans.

The Kansas Department of Commerce said Tuesday the counties have been certified to partner with the state to help new residents repay up to $15,000 in college loans.

Each of the counties has been designated as a Rural Opportunity Zone under a 2011 law aimed at helping counties with population declines attract residents.

The new counties taking part are Doniphan, Haskell, Meade, Morris, Nemaha, Ottawa, Rice and Stevens.

Seventy-five of the state's 105 counties have been designated as opportunity zones, and 56 are now signed up.

The program also includes an income tax waiver for eligible new residents.