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Million Student March Reaches Granite State

The movement got its start in Massachusetts and now the Million Student March arrives in the Granite State. Students are demanding tuition-free public college, cancellation of student debt and $15-an-hour pay for college workers. Credit: E. Civitarese
The movement got its start in Massachusetts and now the Million Student March arrives in the Granite State. Students are demanding tuition-free public college, cancellation of student debt and $15-an-hour pay for college workers. Credit: E. Civitarese
November 12, 2015

KEENE, N.H. - College students in the Granite State plan to be part of the Million Student March today to call attention to the tens of thousands of dollars in debt many are burdened with to complete their higher education.

Jessica L'Homme Dieu is one of the students organizing the march at Keene State College. She says she has had to take on a mountain of debt to further her college education and she says that is typical of students attending college in New England.

"Here in New Hampshire, we will be graduating with the most debt of all of the 50 states, and a lot of students are unaware of that," says L'Homme Dieu. "At Keene State College, a lot of students don't know how much debt they are gradating with."

Students in New Hampshire and at more than 100 college campuses across the nation are demanding tuition-free public college, cancellation of all student debt and a $15 minimum wage for campus workers.

The idea for the Million Student March got started at Northeastern University, where organizer Elan Axelbank says he and his fellow students need debt relief.

"The average 2015 college graduate, who graduated last year, graduated with over $35,000 in debt," he says

For those who doubt the power of students marching around on campus, he suggests they keep in mind this week's ouster of a major university president at Mizzou.

"You know, what just happened at the University of Missouri, with the president resigning due to the striking of the football team; this is just the perfect example that when students and workers get together, we can accomplish a whole lot."

The problem has been brewing for awhile. The Consumer Protection Financial Bureau reported that student debt topped the trillion dollar mark in 2013.

Mike Clifford, Public News Service - NH