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Published October 22, 2012, 05:18 PM

North Dakota democrats want college costs cut

Fargo, ND (WDAY TV) - Democrats running for the North Dakota state senate say college costs need to be cut.

By: WDAY Staff Reports, WDAY

Fargo, ND (WDAY TV) - Democrats running for the North Dakota state senate say college costs need to be cut.

They say 83 percent of students are forced to take out student loans. The average debt for a North Dakota college student is nearly 30 thousand dollars.

Candidates say they want to increase needs-based financial aid. They say there should be a permanent endowment to fund merit-based scholarships.

They want to lower interest rates, saying the state should work with the Bank of North Dakota.

George Sinner, (D) Dist. 46 Sen. Candidate: "What I'm asking the state to do, if these people have good credit, allow them to refinance and save a little bit on their loans. I think they'll save a lot of money, and help a lot of people.”

Republicans say they're already doing most of those things. Senator Tim Flakoll says they've increased needs-based grants more than 1,000 percent. He says they've created new merit-based scholarships and increased funds to campuses 93 percent.

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