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Education

Ohio college students owe millions in debt

Universities turn to state to collect

BEHEE-OSU

Ohio State University student Susu Behee, of Fremont, Ohio, studies in her dorm room in this 1999 file photo

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AKRON, Ohio — Ohio's tax-supported universities are increasingly relying on the state to collect tuition owed by cash-strapped students.

The Akron Beacon Journal reports that Ohio colleges and universities have asked the state to help them collect more than $140 million in unpaid tuition and fees in the last three years.

Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine says the figure is "shocking." DeWine's office is tasked with collecting money owed to state entities, including taxpayer-supported colleges.

The Ohio State University tops the list of creditors, owed $10.3 million by former students so far in 2011. The University of Toledo is owed $3.8 million by debtors and Youngstown State has asked the state for help collecting $3.3 million.

A spokesman for the attorney general says the state has collected $96 million since 2009.

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