Student Debt Skyrockets

September 11, 2012 Updated Sep 11, 2012 at 9:28 AM EDT

By WKBW News

September 11, 2012 Updated Sep 11, 2012 at 9:28 AM EDT

Graduating from college is supposed to bring celebrations, but for many students, it brings a load of debt. The U.S. Department of Education says the average student loan debt in New York is $26,271. A report in this week's Business First says student loans now exceed both credit card and auto loans. Consumer Credit Counseling Service of Buffalo Inc. calls it a crisis and is out with a new student loan counseling program. Within the past few months, counselors have helped 21 graduates so far. You can read more in this week's Business First.

Last week, Mark Hamister announced plans to renovate the Tishman Building at Main and Lafayette Square. Plans call for a Hilton Garden Inn and corporate offices for The Hamister Group, where he is CEO. The company focuses on hospitality, healthcare and development. That has landed Hamister a Lifetime Achievement Award in the new Business First 612' awards, which honor C-level executives. Organizers say Buffalo is 612 feet above sea level and C-level executives are at the top of their organization.

Business First is also looking for rising stars, under age 30, for the new 30 Under 30 recognition program. Nominations are due Sept. 12. Simply go to News Links at for a nomination form or call 541-1615 for more information.

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