Duluth, MN (Northland's NewsCenter)
-- Every year Minnesota college graduates are grabbing their diplomas eyes deep in debt.
The latest report from The Institute of College Access and Success places Minnesota number three in country in student debt for the class of 2011.
The average graduate piling on close to 30,000 dollars in debt.
Now, some students at the University of Minnesota-Duluth are organizing signatures to bring awareness to the issue, to the schools administration.
The "Put the Public back in Public Education" event's goal is to gather upwards of 2,000 signatures from UMD students, faculty, and Northland community members.
With the US economy still wobbling from the great recession and unemployment still at high levels, graduating with 30,000 dollars of debt is hindering college students entering the workforce.
They want to ring the alarm bell that pursing higher education is becoming a gamble with these high tuition rates.
"I'm worried about getting a job that's going to be able to pay off my loans because I'm going to have 300 dollars payments; I'm assuming right off the bat," said Kimberly Newton, student and the UMD Student Public Relations Director.
8th District Congressional candidate Rick Nolan spoke to students at the event.
The organizers said it was a non-partisan event and did invite Congressman Chip Cravaack.
He was unable to attend.
Anybody that signed the petition was given free taco.