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Letter: Why doesn't the Bank of North Dakota consider student loan forgiveness?

Smith writes, "According to BND’s 2020 annual report, the bank’s portfolio included just over $1 billion of student loans. A small fraction in comparison to the $1,750 billion of federal student loans. If the rest of the nation has the ability and wherewithal to forgive any amount of student loans, then certainly North Dakota’s coffers can afford some form of forgiveness as well."

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North Dakota has the only state-run, state-owned financial institution in the nation – the Bank of North Dakota. Having this resource allows North Dakota citizens special privileges that the rest of the nation does not have access to; including the ability to earn post-secondary education financed by BND.

In good faith, North Dakota citizens went to college with assistance from BND, earned degrees, and entered the workforce. As President Biden closes in on a reduction of federal student loan debt, it’s time for Gov. Doug Burgum and North Dakota’s Industrial Commission to follow suit and recommend forgiveness of BND-owned student loans.

According to BND’s 2020 annual report, the bank’s portfolio included just over $1 billion of student loans. A small fraction in comparison to the $1,750 billion of federal student loans. If the rest of the nation has the ability and wherewithal to forgive any amount of student loans, then certainly North Dakota’s coffers can afford some form of forgiveness as well.

Do not penalize North Dakota citizens for taking out loans through the Bank of North Dakota. Do not let North Dakota fall behind. Get out ahead of this issue and forgive BND-owned student loans. Prove to the citizens that post-secondary education is just as important in North Dakota as it is to the rest of the nation.

Rob Smith lives in Fargo.

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This letter does not necessarily reflect the opinion of The Forum's editorial board nor Forum ownership.

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