North Dakota Student Loans in 2024: What You Need to Know

Many students find that their financial awards only cover a portion of their college tuition and expenses. North Dakota student loans can fill this gap and help students access the best post-secondary education has to offer. When it comes to specialized students loans, North Dakota has some great offerings.

North Dakota students can qualify for federal, state, and private student loans, as well as a unique student loan offered through a state-run institution. This North Dakota student loan is easy for students to access because, unlike many scholarships and grants, it is not based on merit or certain financial needs. Both undergraduate students and graduate students are eligible.

Keep reading to find out more about student loans in North Dakota and how they can meet your financial needs. This guide explores North Dakota-specific student resources and the importance of FAFSA and choosing a loan that fits your educational path.

How to Apply for Student Loans in North Dakota


Filling out the Free Application for Federal Student Aid, better known as the FAFSA, is one of the most important steps Georgia students and their families can take to pay for college. The FAFSA is used nationwide and is a mandatory step to determine the kind of federal aid a student receives. Additionally, it opens the door to a variety of financial aid opportunities.

Financial aid options available through the FAFSA include:

  • Direct Subsidized and Unsubsidized Loans
  • Perkins Loan
  • Direct PLUS Loan
  • Federal grants
  • Some state grants
  • Federal Work-Study Program

To guide students and their families through the application process, we created this interactive FAFSA guide that walks you through the application steps and how to answer each questions the best way possible.

Dakota Education Alternative Loan in North Dakota

The Dakota Educational Alternative Loans (DEAL) is offered by the state-owned bank, the Bank of North Dakota (BND). BND offers private DEAL Student Loans to undergraduate and graduate students who are residents of or attending school in North Dakota, South Dakota, Minnesota, Montana, Wyoming, or Wisconsin. Students must be U.S. citizens, must not be in default on any student loans, must complete the FAFSA, and must show proof of enrollment and eligibility.

DEAL is based on creditworthiness, so students may need a cosigner in order to qualify. However, after 24 consecutive, on-time payments, cosigner release is allowed by BND.

The minimum loan amount is $500 while the maximum is $50,000. DEAL can be used to pay for any college-related expenses include tuition, room and board, and books.

There is both a variable interest and fixed interest rate option. DEAL has a 3.75% administration fee, but the BND covers this for North Dakota residents and students attending North Dakota schools.

Borrowers can choose from three repayment options: full payments while in school, interest-only payments while in school, or deferred payments until after graduation. Borrowers also receive a discount for setting up automatic payments.

Your school will determine how much funding you can receive through this loan by factoring in your total cost of attendance and subtracting any awarded financial aid.


Gabriel J. Brown Trust

In 1968, Gabriel J. Brown of Bismarck, North Dakota left his estate in a perpetual trust. That trust now offers low interest loans to residents of North Dakota attending any college or university. The trust requires loan repayment with 5% interested after graduation.

To qualify, students must be North Dakota residents attending any college anywhere and already have completed four semesters, six quarters, or 48 semester hours of credit with at least a 2.5 GPA.

There are no fees associated with the loan besides the principal and 5% interest rate. Loans are dispersed around September 1.

North Dakota University System Loan Forgiveness

The North Dakota University System (NDUS) offers loan forgiveness programs for various occupations. Recipients are eligible for student loan forgiveness based on their jobs and salaries after graduation.

NDUS loan forgiveness programs offered include:

Loan forgiveness programs help North Dakota students bridge the workforce gap in specific professions. They can be a great way for students to reach their educational and professional goals without the standard financial obligations.

Student Aid and Debt

With a strong access to financial aid, North Dakota students have many traditional and alternative aid options at their fingertips. These North Dakota student loan options ensure that education in the state can be had at a lower cost than many other states in the U.S.

North Dakota student aid is a strong support system for college-bound students in the state.

More than 38,000 federal loans were awarded in the 2017-2018 school year. About 83% of graduating students in 2011 in North Dakota had debt. That debt averaged $27,400, which is about $10,000 shy of the national average of $37,172.

Students in North Dakota Awarded Student Loans

Federal Student Loans

The U.S. Department of Education offers two federal student loan programs: the Direct Loan Program and Federal Perkins Loan Program. Eligibility for both programs is determined by a students FAFSA application.

1. The Direct Loan Program is the largest federal student loan program offering four different types of loans for students with and without financial needs. Under this program, the U.S. Department of Education is your lender.

  • Direct Unsubsidized Loans: Loans offered to undergraduate, graduate, and professional students. Financial need is not a requirement to be eligible for this loan.
  • Direct Subsidized Loans: The Direct Loan option is available to students who demonstrate financial need and helps cover the costs of higher education at a college or career school. Unsubsidized and subsidized student loans are also referred to as Stafford Loans.
  • Direct PLUS Loans: These include the Parent PLUS Loan and Grad PLUS Loan. These options are available to graduate or professional students and parents of dependent undergraduate students. The borrower should not have an adverse credit history and the maximum award of the loan is the cost of attendance minus other financial aid awards which is determined by the school.
  • Direct Consolidation Loans: This option allows students to combine all eligible federal student loans into a single loan with a single loan servicer.

2. The Federal Perkins Loan Program is offered to students with exceptional financial need. Under this program, the school is your lender.

Federal students loans offer options for students of all socioeconomic backgrounds and generally speaking, are a safe bet offering good interest rates and repayment options for student borrowers.

How to Apply for A Private Student Loan

If you’re in need of additional financial aid, consider taking out a private loan to acquire the remaining funds you need for your college education. Before taking out any private loans, play around with our free NitroScore tool to get a better idea of the size of loan needed, and which of our highly vetted loan partners can offer you the best rate.

The tool will ask you to enter a college and major into the boxes provided. It will use that information to calculate your total costs, salary after graduation, and potential loans needed. From there, you will receive a score that tells you how easy those loans will be to repay based on your projected salary. Further customize your results by including information about scholarships, grants and savings. You can also compare different college or major combinations to get a better idea about which options fit your financial situation.

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