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Originally published Friday, September 5, 2008 at 12:00 AM

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Palin switched colleges as many as 6 times

Republican vice-presidential candidate Sarah Palin seems to have switched colleges at least six times in six years, including two stints...

The Associated Press

SPOKANE — Republican vice-presidential candidate Sarah Palin seems to have switched colleges at least six times in six years, including two stints at the University of Idaho before graduating from there in 1987.

Federal privacy laws prohibit schools from disclosing grades, and none of the schools could say why Palin transferred. There was no indication any were contacted as part of the background investigation of the Alaska governor by presidential candidate John McCain's campaign.

"Our office was not contacted by anyone," said Tania Thompson, spokeswoman for the University of Idaho in Moscow.

Palin was born in Idaho. Her family moved when she was 3 months old to Alaska, where she was reared.

According to a biography — "Sarah" by Kaylene Johnson — Palin and three friends went to the University of Hawaii, Hilo, after graduating from high school in 1982. But they left weeks later because of the constant rain there, the book said.

However, the registrar has no record that Palin ever enrolled, school officials said Thursday.

Palin, then known as Sarah Louise Heath, and a friend then traveled to Honolulu and enrolled at Hawaii Pacific University, a private, nonsectarian school. She attended only as a freshman during the fall of 1982, school spokeswoman Crystale Lopez said.

She was in the business administration program as a full-time student, Lopez said.

"We're trying to track down someone who knew her," Lopez added.

From Hawaii Pacific, Palin transferred to North Idaho College, a two-year school in Coeur d'Alene. She was a general-studies major for two semesters, in spring 1983 and fall 1983, spokeswoman Stacy Hudson said.

"We were not able to track down club affiliations or anything," Hudson said.

From North Idaho College, Palin then transferred 70 miles south to the University of Idaho. She majored in journalism with an emphasis in broadcast news. She attended the university from fall 1984 to spring 1985.

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She then returned to Alaska to attend Matanuska-Susitna College in Palmer in fall 1985.

She then returned to Idaho, for spring 1986, fall 1986 and spring 1987, when she graduated.

Despite her journalism degree, she does not appear to have worked for the college newspaper or campus television station, school officials said.

She worked briefly as a sportscaster for KTUU in Anchorage after she graduated college.

The McCain campaign did not have an immediate comment on Palin's higher-education record.

Palin's biography on her Alaska governor's Web site indicates only that she graduated from Idaho in 1987.

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