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Julie Hjelle stands in front of her rig at the Big Sioux Truck Stop in Grand Forks, N.D. Hjelle is an online student at the University of North Dakota and often uses Wi-Fi Internet access at truck stops and rest areas to download classwork. John Stennes / Forum Communications Co.

UND student earns online degree from cab of truck

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Julie Hjelle gives new meaning to distance learning.

The University of North Dakota student is earning an online degree while working as a truck driver.

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Hjelle, 39, of Lankin, N.D., works three nights a week driving a FedEx route between Grand Forks, N.D., and Winnipeg, in addition to working two days as an aide in a nursing home.

Until this fall, Hjelle juggled her coursework while driving a route from the Midwest to Alaska, staying on the road for months at a time.

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