Rhode Island is helping 215 college graduates pay back their student debt.
The state's Commerce Corp. said Tuesday that it's awarding an average of $3,750 a year in loan relief to the winners of its new Wavemaker Fellowships.
The tax credits that defray the cost of student loan repayments are meant to entice professionals who work in science, engineering and related fields to stay in Rhode Island instead of accepting jobs elsewhere.
More than 300 Rhode Island residents applied by the June deadline, and 215 were selected.
Democratic Gov. Gina Raimondo pushed to introduce the fellowships after taking office last year. The inaugural $1.75 million program expands to $3.5 million next year.
About 60 percent of fellows graduated from a Rhode Island institution. Ninety percent are working in the state.