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TEMPE, Ariz. -- Hundreds of Arizona State University students graduated Thursday morning with a ceremony at Wells Fargo Arena.

This class came in just before the nation's economy crashed in 2008 and left with the country just days away from reaching the so-called fiscal cliff.

A salary survey in September by National Association of Colleges and Employers said the average starting salary for a 2012 college graduate is just over $44,000.

Some students have jobs already or have something lined up. Brandon McClay of Santa Rosa, Calif., said he's in no rush to start looking for work.

"I'm going home and taking time off. I have had time off for the past four years. I'll relax and then get to work," he said.

The comment about having time off for the past four years drew a giggle out of his proud mom.

Ryan Wonder of Carefree said he will likely go to work in the family business or go into the military.

Jim Cross, Reporter

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