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.