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More college students are graduating with student loan debt

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More college students are graduating with student loan debt
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FARGO - More North Dakota college students are graduating with student loan debt.

A new report by the Project on Student Debt said the percent of North Dakota students who graduated with debt in 2007 increased 9 percent from the year before.

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Seventy-five percent of North Dakota graduates had student loan debt in 2007, putting the state No. 2 in the country with the highest proportion of students with debt.

The state that had a higher proportion of students with debt was South Dakota with 81 percent.

Minnesota ranked fifth with 72 percent.

The report also listed Minnesota as fifth among the states with the highest debt levels.

Minnesota students had an average of $24,169 in student loan debt in 2007, compared to the national average of $20,098.

Across the country, student debt is rising faster than salaries for new graduates, the report said.

The average student debt at graduation rose by 6 percent between 2006 and 2007, while earnings for 18- to 24-year-olds with bachelor's degrees rose 3 percent.

The full report is at www.projectonstudentdebt.org.

Speed dating their way to a major

Students at Minnesota State University Moorhead will explore new majors today, speed dating style.

The event - called "Dude, what's my major?" - will let students meet with peer advisers representing about 40 academic programs.

Students will get three minutes to ask questions of the peer adviser before a bull horn will make them move to another adviser.

The event aims to get students to explore a variety of majors, said Diane Wolter, director of MSUM's Academic Resource Office.

Several hundred MSUM students have not declared a major, and even more may be thinking about changing majors, Wolter said.

Building dedication

North Dakota State University will dedicate this week a new Material Handling Facility.

The 9,600-square-foot building at 1880 Centennial Blvd. will house waste chemicals generated by NDSU and serve as a receiving and storage area for selected new chemicals.

The $4 million facility was funded by the state Legislature.

The ceremony is at 10 a.m. Friday. Building tours will follow.

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