Are North Dakota students getting smarter about how they finance higher education?

It sure seems that way. The cost of attending institutions in the North Dakota University System certainly hasn’t gotten any cheaper, yet the volume of debt being carried by North Dakota students across all 11 public institutions in our state has declined.

Earlier this week I read a report in the Bismarck Tribune from Blair Emerson reporting a decline in student loan borrowing at Bismarck State College. I got curious if that trend was specific to BSC or more widespread, so I contacted NDUS Chancellor Mark Hagerott and asked for system wide data (see below).

Turns out student loan volume is down for all three tiers of the NDUS. The two research schools (UND and NDSU), the four-year schools (Dickinson, Mayville, Minot, and Valley City), as well as the two-year schools (Bismarck, Devils Lake, Bottineau, Wahpeton, and Williston) all saw significant declines

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