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How A College You’ve Never Heard Of Became A Grad School Giant

Nova Southeastern University doesn’t have much of a name outside of southern Florida, where it has a central campus in Fort Lauderdale and a patchwork of satellites spread across the state, some no larger than office buildings. But it made national news last month for a staggering statistic: Last year, graduate students there took out more than half a billion dollars in student loans, more than almost any other school in America.

Despite its low profile, Nova has become a powerhouse in graduate education and has been particularly active in enrolling minority students, who make up almost 50% of its graduates. The school says it issues more graduate degrees to Latino students than any other institution in the country.

Alongside these numbers is a giant pile of student debt. On a list of schools whose graduate students borrowed the most, Nova Southeastern had the country’s second-highest tally, after Walden University, an online school run by the world’s largest for-profit college company. Below Nova Southeastern on the list is the University of Phoenix.