Leaders at Mississippi’s colleges and universities are reviewing suggested changes to how schools do business, including financial aid, as the state that ranked 29th in terms of average student loan debt stands to lose or win depending on how the rules are adopted and applied.

More than half of Mississippi’s higher education graduates leave school in debt, placing the state 33rd in the nation, according to Peterson’s Undergraduate Financial Aid and Undergraduate Databases. The ranking system placed the average student loan debt for Mississippi grads at roughly $23,500.

Mississippi students already are dealing with recent changes to federal student aid, but what could happen to future freshmen remains to be seen, at least until Congress takes up President Barack Obama’s suggestions.

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