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N.H. Students Graduate With Highest Debt Loads In Nation

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New data released today shows New Hampshire students graduating with the highest debt loads in the nation. 

According to a report from the Institute for College Access and Success, the Class of 2011 averaged $32,440 in debt.

It’s the second year in a row New Hampshire has had the highest average load. 

Tara Payne with the NH Higher Education Assistance Foundation says the numbers send a signal to students and parents.

"It unfortunately calls into question, I mean it has to, the value for the dollars that families are spending."

Payne says a lack of state funding drives tuition costs up. Last year lawmakers cut aid for the university system in half.

And that’s made tuition costs a political issue in New Hampshire. Both gubernatorial candidates have said they’d support returning some of the aid, but differ on how to do it.