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Financial Aid Information

FAFSA Information 2018-2019

I wanted you to know we’ve updated our counselor resources and College Handbook to make applying for the FAFSA less complicated for your families. We’ve added six new videos that cover what you need to complete the FAFSA, dependent vs. independent students, divorced and single families, determining assets, family size and FAFSA verification. These are in addition to videos on the overview of the financial aid process, Federal Direct and Direct PLUS loans, BND student loans, scholarships and grants, cosigning student loans and tackling credit cards.

We’ve uploaded them to Bank of North Dakota’s YouTube channel so you can start with one and they will play continuously or you can click on them separately. Please share the links with family and friends.

Please let me know if there is anything else we can do to help make planning for college activities more accessible for you and the students and their families.


Have a great weekend!



Staci Holzheimer

University & Student Development Coordinator


Bank of North Dakota

1200 Memorial Highway | Bismarck, ND 58504

P: 701.239.7313 | F: 701.328.5696 | T: 800.472.2166

E: |Website


I’m writing today with some financial aid information that can be passed along to your students and their parents.

The North Dakota University System (NDUS) offers many financial aid programs, including grants, scholarships, loans, work opportunities, and loan forgiveness. For more information on these programs, contact Kristin Ellingson from NDUS at (701) 328-4156.

The Bank of North Dakota (BND) also has some excellent resources. The Counselor Recourse Page is a good starting point in which to access student loan information, the College Handbook, the RU Ready program, and so much more. BND also conducts a weekly Facebook Live event Tuesdays at 4:30 PM Central Time. These sessions cover various topics related to college planning. “Like” the BND Facebook Page to participate in Facebook Live. For questions regarding these resources, contact Char Skjonsby from BND at (701) 328-5753.

Please contact me at (701) 328-2244 should you have any questions.

Bank of North Dakota Event

Thank you for registering to host a Career Discovery event at your school.  We have selected our 10 locations to host the Career Discovery ND events for 2017-2018.  While Lakota High School was not selected this year, I am offering you another way to receive the information.  Bank of ND has been conducting Facebook live events for a few months and they have gone over very well.  For the locations that will not be hosting a Career Discovery event in their community,  we will be having a Facebook live Career Discovery ND event on November 7th, from 7:00 – 8:00 CT.  All of the presenters that would typically be at a high school, will be presenting their information in a shortened amount of time. 


Presenting agencies and topics are:

The Department of Commerce - College and Job Choices

CTE-Career Resource Network - Career Planning in 2017

Department of Public Instruction - Scholarships

Center for Technology and Business - Be Your Own Boss and Life after High School; and

Bank of ND - Financial aid and completing the FAFSA.


If you want to bring the families into your school, you could still do that and watch it together or you could promote it and encourage them to watch it from home.  It will also be recorded so it can be watched at any time.  We will provide additional information as we get closer to the date.


Please feel free to contact me with any questions you may have.


Thank you.



Char Skjonsby

College Planning Center Coordinator

Bank of North Dakota

PO Box 5509

Bismarck ND 58506-5509



Financial Aid FAFSA Form Opens Oct. 1, 2016

We understand that paying for college can seem overwhelming. Colleges often make it a priority to help you finance your education, sharing $100 million in financial aid.

On average, students annually receive funds in financial assistance, including scholarships, grants, employment and loan programs.

Qualifying for Aid

The financial aid you're eligible to receive is the difference between the amount the federal government expects you and your family to contribute to your education and the cost to attend. 

Federal and state financial aid packages include scholarships, grants, employment and loan programs, such as:

  • North Dakota State Grant
  • Federal Pell Grant
  • Federal TEACH Grant
  • Federal Supplemental Education Opportunity Grant
  • Federal Work-Study Programs (up to 2,000 jobs available!)
  • Federal Perkins Loan
  • Federal Direct Loans
  • Federal Direct PLUS

The Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) is required to determine your eligibility for federal and state financial aid programs.

If you're applying for financial aid for the 2017-18 academic year, complete the FAFSA beginning October 1, 2016. You'll use your 2015 income taxes to prepare your FAFSA. Apply early as funding is not guaranteed through the February 1 priority deadline! 

For an estimate of the financial aid you may qualify to receive, you may be interested in completing the Net Price & Financial Aid Estimator available on-line. 


FAFSA4caster is a free financial aid calculator that gives you an early estimate of your eligibility for federal student aid. This information helps families plan ahead for college.

You must use the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA®) to apply for aid once you’ve decided to apply for admission and attend college.


NEVER Pay for scholarship services or financial aid services, if a site is asking for a fee, this is an indicator you are on a fraudulent site. 


Please feel free to visit with Faye Brosy Nelson, Lakota School Counselor about any of the aforementioned information. 



Financial Aid Information

Tuesday, February 9, 2016 Katie Nettell, Director of Financial Aid at Lake Region State College will be here at 7:00 p.m. in the high school library to share information about the FAFSA form, it's changes and she will also share information pertaining to other financial aid options. 


On Thursday, November 19, 2015 many school counselors and financial aid administrators gathered together at Lake Region State College to hear from Katie Nettell, Director of Financial Aid at Lake Region State College and learn more about Financial Aid.  I have attended many of these sessions over the years and this years information proved to be helpful changes for families in reducing the financial barriers associated with post-secondary education.  Please see the links below for detailed information.  Also feel free to contact myself, Katie or any financial aid directors from any of the colleges if you have questions, etc. 


Here are a few federal changes -


For the 2017 school year, students will be using the prior, prior year (2015) tax information.  You will be using 2 yr. old tax information to determine Financial Aid awards.  Research suggests that 8 out of 10 saw no significant change in their financial aid award, 1 out of 10 saw a $500 plus or minus change and 1 out of 10 saw a $1,000 plus or minus change. Often when completing the FAFSA the greatest inhibitor was tax form completion, using this new prior, prior methodology this inhibitor is removed. 


The Perkins Loan Program is in it's wind down phase as of September 30 , 2015.


FAFSA has changed to a user ID instead of a PIN#. 


Here are a few state changes -


The ND State Grant has increased from $950 to $975. 


The North Dakota Career and Technical Scholarship and the North Dakota Academic Scholarship has received more funds to fund more eligible students. 


A senior year college internship of 12 credits is eligible for continued ND Academic Scholarship or the ND Career and Technical Scholarship. 




Helpful websites


NDUS Brochure

     *ND State Grant Information

     *ND Academic and CTE Scholarships

     *ND Scholars Scholarship

     *ND Indian Scholarship

     *Reciprocity and Exchange Programs

     *Loan Forgiveness Programs


ND Choose


Bank of ND College Planning

     *ND FAFSA Completion Initiative

     *ND College Application Weeks


ND Dept. of Public Instruction


ND-MN Reciprocity Application




Selective Service






Contact Information for the North Dakota University System - Brenda Zastoupil, Financial Aid Director











Should I complete the FAFSA or not???

It is hard to determine what a student is eligible for if they do not complete the FAFSA. All students that complete the FAFSA and meet the eligibility requirements are eligible for $5,500.00 in Federal Direct Loan. This link talks about eligibility
The FAFSA is the application for the North Dakota State Incentive Grant. This is a need based program.
Most alternative loan programs will require the student to complete the FAFSA and consider the federal loans before they will certify an alternative loan.
Some schools will require a FAFSA to determine scholarship and gather other information about the student. North Dakota colleges and universities do not require the FAFSA if the student does not intend to receive student loan.

Workforce Investment Act (WIA) Youth Program - Job Service North Dakota

Workforce Investment Act (WIA) Youth Program

Job Service North Dakota


Parents and high school seniors! Are you looking for financial assistance to pay for a college education or post-secondary training program? The WIA Youth Program has grant funds available to help eligible individuals age 21 and younger earn a degree or certification. If completing an Associate degree or training program in 3 years or less is part of your plan, these grant funds may help you reach your goal.

You can make an appointment to meet with a case manager at one of the Job Service North Dakota offices throughout the state. 

Be prepared to complete an application and assessment, as well as discuss your current financial information. Approval may take several weeks and must be completed before the school year or training program begins.

A youth may be eligible if he or she is:


  • In a low income family or
  • Part of a household that receives food stamps or other cash public assistance or
  • A publicly supported foster child or
  • Homeless or
  • An individual with a disability considered a family of one




 One or more of the following:

  • Deficient in basic literacy skills
  • A school dropout
  • Homeless, runaway or foster child
  • Pregnant or parenting
  • An offender
  • An individual (including youth with a disability) who requires additional assistance to complete an educational program


Call Job Service North Dakota today – you may qualify for the WIA Youth Program and receive the funds you need to achieve your educational goals!  You may also get paid to explore career opportunities.


Major Federal Student Aid Resources for Students and Parents

View the full selection of publications you can order from Federal Student Aid at

Students and parents may order at

Dual Credit Classes - Financial Aid Opportunity

The Dual Credit Assistance Program, through North Dakota College Access Network
(NDCAN), is off to a great start.  So far we have received and approved 60

Funding is still available!  Please provide the attached application to eligible

Some things to keep in mind as you promote the program:

1.       Funding begins with spring 2011 classes (funding is not retroactive for
previous courses)

2.       An eligible student can receive funding for only one class per semester

3.       Original application forms are to be sent to the college to enroll in the

4.       Send a photo copy of the course enrollment application to NDCAN to request

5.       Approved students may request books from the college and have the cost
applied to their college student account

6.       Funding for tuition, fees, and books will be sent directly to the college

Thank you for helping to promote this program and assisting students with questions.
 Please let me know how we can help you further.  Laura

Laura Entzel
Communications & Marketing Coordinator
Bank of North Dakota
1200 Memorial Highway
Bismarck ND 58504
(701) 328-5653 or (800) 554-2717<>

More Financial Aid Information

How to start your college planning

Seniors are busy applying to colleges and getting ready to file their financial aid forms. But even if you're not a senior, you should start or continue planning for college. Below are ideas for things you can do. For more suggestions, visit ACT's College Planning Checklist.

All students:

  • Take challenging courses in English, social studies, math and science.
  • Think about careers and investigate possibilities with ACT's DISCOVER® or the Interest Inventory portion of EXPLORE®, PLAN® and the ACT®.
  • Participate in extracurricular activities.
  • Visit with your counselor and talk about your education and career goals.


  • Think about reasons for attending college.
  • Find out about the differences in the types of institutions you can attend after high school.
  • Become familiar with college entrance requirements.
  • Research college costs.


  • Find out what kind of education/training is needed for different careers.
  • Start collecting college information.
  • Visit colleges and start comparing them.


  • Register for the ACT and visit to find out all about the test, how to prepare, what you need on test day, etc.
  • Talk with your counselor and parents about colleges that interest you.
  • Visit colleges and compare them.
  • Investigate scholarship opportunities.
  • Get a part-time job or internship in a profession that interests you.

Don't believe college financial aid myths

College application season is in full swing. As you apply to college and see how much it costs, don't let fears overshadow an otherwise exciting time in your life. The key is to not believe the financial myths surrounding the price of a higher education.

Myth #1: Everyone pays the "sticker price" for college.

Many students add the tuition price, textbook fees and the cost of living and say there is no way they can afford college. The truth is most college students require some form of financial aid. Don't ignore college because of its "sticker price." You may receive a combination of grants, scholarships or work-study jobs to help reduce the cost.

Myth #2: You have to be very poor, very smart or very talented to qualify for financial aid.

Financial aid comes in many forms—grants and scholarships, which you don't have to repay, and loans, which you do have to repay. There is need-based aid for students of lower income-families, and merit-based aid for students who excel in athletics, music, community service and many other areas. Financial aid sources are as varied, too—the federal government, the college or university itself, a parent's employer, and others. Explore all the possibilities; you'll be surprised.

Myth #3: You can get more scholarships by paying someone to search for you.

Scholarship scams are everywhere. Beware of any group or individual that guarantees a scholarship if you pay a fee. There are many good and FREE scholarship sources on the Internet. Check out or for more information.

Myth #4: If you pay for college, your parents' salaries don't matter.

Most need-based financial aid is based on the student's and parents' income and assets. Most schools require students to fill out the FAFSA—the Free Application for Federal Student Aid—in order to qualify for need-based aid. The form, available online at, asks for information similar to what's needed for income taxes. After submitting the FAFSA, you receive a report that shows how much the government expects your family to pay toward your education.

Myth #5: You can wait until you get accepted to a college before worrying about financial aid.

Most financial aid is given out on a first-come, first-served basis. Don't wait to get started. Looking for financial aid probably isn't your idea of a good time, but it's better than graduating from college with a huge debt.

Gear up for financial aid

January is fast approaching and that means it's time for seniors to seriously consider college financial aid for the upcoming school year.

Federal financial aid is available for students attending four-year or two-year, public or private, career or trade schools. The aid is intended to cover school expenses such as tuition, room and board, books and other supplies, and transportation. Most students receive the aid because of financial need.

Students can receive financial aid in the form of grants, loans or work-study. Grants are financial awards that do not have to be repaid. Examples include Pell Grants and Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grants. Loans are money you borrow and must repay. The best loans are those that are subsidized by the federal or your state government. These generally carry lower interest rates. Work-study provides jobs, usually on campus, so students can help pay for education expenses.

To find out about federal financial aid programs and your rights and responsibilities under these programs, read "Funding Education Beyond High School: The Guide to Federal Student Aid" from the U.S. Department of Education at You also can request a free paper copy by contacting the U.S. Department of Education at 1-800-4-FED-AID. The guide is available in English or Spanish.

Also, be sure to check out the ACT website at You'll find a good financial aid overview in easy-to-understand language, plus a list of resources to contact for more information on loans, scholarships and government programs.

How to apply for financial aid

If you're planning to attend college next fall, January is the time to file your Free Application for Federal Student Aid, or FAFSA. Information from the FAFSA is used to determine your eligibility for the federal student aid programs mentioned above—grants, loans and work-study.

You can get the FAFSA:

  • online at
  • from your school counselor
  • from a college financial aid office
  • from a local public library
  • from the Federal Student Aid Information Center at 1-800-4-FED-AID (1-800-433-3243)

Make sure you check financial aid deadlines! The FAFSA will list deadlines for federal and state aid. Also check the requirements at the colleges you're interested in applying to. Some require additional financial aid forms.

Financial aid terms

Following are some key financial aid terms:

Aid package― A combination of aid (possibly including a scholarship, grant, loan, or work) determined by a college financial aid office.

Expected Family Contribution (EFC)― an amount you and your family are expected to contribute toward your education. It is used in determining eligibility for federal student aid.

Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA)― the application required for students to be considered for federal student financial aid. Obtain a FAFSA form or electronic filing information from a high school or college for the appropriate year (usually available in November). The FAFSA is processed free of charge and used by most state agencies and colleges.

Grants― awards, usually based on financial need, which do not require repayment. Grants are available through the federal government, state agencies and educational institutions.

Scholarships― Awards to students based on merit or merit plus need that do not have to be repaid.

Student Aid Report (SAR)― the information you will receive approximately two to four weeks after your FAFSA has been processed. It will report the information from your application, and if there are no questions or problems with your application, it will report your Expected Family Contribution (EFC).

Check it Out

Estimate college aid with ACT's calculator

If you're preparing to file your federal financial aid form or you just want an idea of how much college costs, check out ACT's free financial aid need estimator. The estimator can calculate both your expected family contribution and typical costs at specific colleges.

The calculator first provides you with an expected family contribution (the amount you and your family would be expected to pay toward your education). This amount is the same for all colleges. Next, the calculator estimates costs of attending specific colleges, using your expected family contribution to estimate your eligibility for federal need-based financial aid. You may select as many colleges as you wish without reentering your personal information. Also, the financial aid estimator does not ask you to identify yourself, nor does it retain any of the information you enter.

The calculator does not provide official results, but because it uses the federal financial aid formula to calculate results, the estimates can help as you plan your college funding.

Virtually all students should apply for financial aid; most of them will be eligible to receive at least some funding.

Many colleges have priority dates in February and March but not firm deadline for applying for financial aid.  Students should apply by the priority date.  This is the date by which the college needs the application in order to award the most attractive aid package.  After this date, funds may be limited or depleted, and students may not get as much aid as they need.  Here is a general timeline to keep in mind.

  • February:  Many colleges have priority dates and deadlines for financial aid and scholarships now.
  • End of March:  Admissions and financial aid notifications are mailed.
  • April:  Students weigh offers of admission and compare aid awards.
  • May:  Students must tell all colleges yes or no and make deposits.


       Any student applying for federal aid (and in general, most students applying for aid) must complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid, (FAFSA).  FAFSA has an easily navigated Web site ( where families can register for a PIN (a password in necessary for applying online) and find out everything you need to know about the form.  FAFSA online will help ensure error-free submissions and you will get the results much more quickly.  Warning:  The site FAFSA.COM is not a federally sponsored site.