North Dakota has the country’s only public financial institution – the Bank of North Dakota. Having this resource allows citizens of North Dakota special privileges not available to the rest of the nation; including the possibility of pursuing post-secondary education funded by the BND.
In good faith, citizens of North Dakota went to college with the help of the BND, earned degrees, and entered the workforce. As President Biden moves closer to reducing federal student loan debt, it’s time for Governor Doug Burgum and the North Dakota Industrial Commission to do the same and recommend the cancellation of student loans belonging to the BND.
According to the BND’s 2020 annual report, the bank’s portfolio included just over $1 billion in student loans. A small fraction compared to the $1.75 trillion in federal student loans. If the rest of the nation has the ability and wherewithal to forgive any amount of student loans, then surely North Dakota’s coffers can afford some form of forgiveness as well.
Do not penalize North Dakota citizens for taking loans from the Bank of North Dakota. Don’t let North Dakota fall behind. Get ahead of this problem and forgive BND owned student loans. Prove to citizens that post-secondary education is just as important in North Dakota as it is in the rest of the country.
Rob Smith lives in Fargo.
This letter does not necessarily reflect the opinion of the Forum Editorial Board or the owners of the Forum.