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Degree, Large Debt: Many South Dakota Grads Know the Feeling

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Congrats! You just graduated with a college degree and a mountain of debt.

These days South Dakota college grads are getting a heavy debt burden to go along with their degree.

"A recent survey by the School Administrators of South Dakota revealed that one-third of college students who earned teaching degrees in the state end up taking jobs outside of South Dakota."During the past week, the South Dakota Board of Regents raised tuition 5.8 percent for the state’s six public universities. Students will now pay an average of $456 more for college next year.

Overall, the average tuition will climb from $7,925 to $8,380. The tuition hike now ranks the state third of eight nearby states for in state college students’ costs.

A recent survey by the School Administrators of South Dakota revealed that one-third of college students who earned teaching degrees in the state end up taking jobs outside of South Dakota. In other words, 260 of 770 graduates took their diplomas and made a run for the border.

Many graduates, not just teaching grads are leaving the state with a student loan debt that is among the highest in the nation.

The state ranks second highest in the nation with 75 percent of its students graduating and they have an average debt of $25,750. That according to a 2014 report from The Institute for College Access & Success.

For example, a teacher fresh out of college can expect a base bay of $31,676 a year from the Rapid City school district. That kind of money isn’t going to go very far if you have a $25,000 student loan to repay.

No wonder so many teaching graduates are fleeing South Dakota for better paying jobs in other states.

Rob Monson, the Executive Director of the School Administrators of South Dakota says, “Students are going to try to make the most amount of money they can. They’re certainly going to migrate.”

South Dakotans cannot expect our college graduates to continue going further in debt if we want them to stay in the state. Somehow the governor and state lawmakers need to find a way to invest more money into public and higher education.

The question now becomes how are we going to do it?

Source: The Bismarck Tribune 

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