07/15/2015 09:53 EDT | Updated 07/15/2016 01:12 EDT

New Brunswick Student Alliance urges action to address level of student debt

FREDERICTON — The New Brunswick Student Alliance is urging the provincial government to take action after a new map ranks it first among the provinces by degree of student debt.

Executive director Lindsay Handren says the map — produced by Consolidated Credit Counseling Services — also shows New Brunswick ranked second in terms of tuition fees.

She says students in the province graduating with debt owe an average of $35,200, while the national average is $22,300.

Handren says the data was first released last year, but the government has yet to take any concrete steps to reduce student debt.

She says the higher a student's debt, the more likely it is they will leave the province after graduation.

The Canadian Press