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SUBJECT: 500s: Student affairs EFFECTIVE: March 15, 2017
Section: 508.1.1 STEM Occupations Student Loan Program

The intent of this program is to encourage students to pursue studies in STEM-related fields and to remain in the state following graduation. The program will reduce a student's loan indebtedness for individuals who have graduated in a Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) related field and have been employed in a STEM occupation in North Dakota for one year following college graduation.

The number of applicants funded is limited and contingent upon legislative appropriations. Therefore, not all qualified applicants are assured funding. Recipients are eligible to receive loan forgiveness up to the maximum award set in N.D.C.C. 15-10-37, or a lesser amount determined by proration of available funds, per application period. All qualified applicants for this program will be considered in priority order as defined in section 3. Applicants must apply annually for funding consideration. The eligible employment must have occurred within the past 24 months.

The Bank of North Dakota is responsible for processing the loan forgiveness payments to financial institutions holding student loans for funded recipients by July 30th of each year. The North Dakota University System (NDUS) will notify all applicants of their award status by July 30th of each year.

Section 1 - Qualifications

To qualify for the STEM Occupations Student Loan Program, an applicant must have:
  1. Graduated from a board-approved college;

  2. Successfully completed a board-approved STEM-related program of study;

  3. Maintained a cumulative 2.5 grade point average (GPA) or higher, based on a 4.0 grading system, at a board-approved college;

  4. A qualifying student loan and not be in default on that loan;

  5. Been employed fulltime in North Dakota in a board-approved STEM occupation for 12 months following graduation beginning at least by July 1 of the previous year. Qualifying teachers must hold a full-time teaching contract of at least 9 months in a Department of Public approved public or private primary or secondary school in North Dakota.

Section 2 - Terms and Definitions
  1. Application period means the first day applications are accepted each year, which is no earlier than May 1, and continuing through the last date noted on the application..

  2. Board-approved college means a postsecondary institution recognized by the U.S. Department of Education and accredited by regional, national, professional or specialized accrediting bodies

  3. Board-approved STEM related program of study means programs of study that qualify for the STEM Occupations Student Loan Program. STEM classification involves cross referencing the STEM definitions from the National Science Foundation, The National Center for Educational Statistics and the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement. The STEM Occupations Student Loan Program approved list includes the two-digit CIP family classifications as identified in these sources. In addition, the CIP family of 51 (Health Professions and Related Programs) will be considered for inclusion. The CIP family code must be offered at an institution within North Dakota to be considered. STEM degrees not listed on the current year's application will not be eligible for consideration until the next application cycle.
    Applicants who have received funding under this program for a CIP code that has been removed in subsequent years will be grandfathered only if the applicant was funded in the most recently completed application period. Applicants graduating from comparable programs, based on CIP code, in other states are eligible when all other program requirements are met.

  4. Cumulative grade point average (GPA) means grade point average from all grades achieved by a student at graduation using a 4.0 grading scale. GPA scores will not be rounded up.

  5. Default means default as defined in applicable federal student aid laws or regulations or other applicable regulations, as determined by the loan holder.

  6. STEM-related CIP Code means the Classification of Instructional Programs into degree codes.

  7. STEM-related SOC Code means the Department of Labor Standard Occupational Classification system used to classify workers into occupational categories.

  8. Student Loan means Federal Family Education Loan (FFEL) Stafford subsidized and unsubsidized loans, Dakota Education Alternative Loan (DEAL) obtained through the Bank of North Dakota, William D. Ford Federal Direct subsidized and unsubsidized loans, Federal Perkins Loan, and FFEL or William D. Ford Federal Direct Consolidated Loans.

Section 3 - STEM Occupations Student Loan Program Procedures

  1. Applications for this program may be obtained by:
    1. Calling the North Dakota University System office at 701.328.2964;
    2. Writing the NDUS office at NDUS, 600 E. Boulevard Ave., Dept. 21, Bismarck, ND 58505-0602;
    3. Emailing; or
    4. Accessing the NDUS Grants and Scholarships webpage

    Applications will be accepted for the current application period as indicated on the application, but no earlier than May 1 of each year. A completed application must be received in the North Dakota University System office no later than midnight of the final day of the application period.

    A completed application must include the applicant's name, contact information and social security number, and the qualifying STEM-related CIP code and STEM-related SOC code. If not previously funded under the program, the applicant must also provide a copy of the final college transcript showing the date of graduation, cumulative GPA and the degree earned. An unofficial transcript is acceptable. All relevant student loan information must be included on the application. Additionally, a statement signed by the personnel director, CEO or other company official who is authorized to certify employment for the applicant is required. The official must certify that the applicant is employed full-time in one of the defined STEM occupations, the dates of employment and location of employment within North Dakota is required.

  2. An application will not be considered complete until all of the required information has been received by the NDUS. The date the application is considered complete will be the date used for priority funding order purposes.

  3. Applicants qualifying under the STEM Occupations Student Loan Program may not qualify under the Teacher Shortage Loan Forgiveness Program in the same application year.

  4. Completed applications will be considered in priority order as follows. If funding is not sufficient to fund all eligible applicants in a priority category, funding shall be allocated based on date of receipt by the NDUS of completed applications.
    1. First priority will be given to applicants who were previously funded under the program and who have continuing eligibility;
    2. Second, priority will be given to applicants who have not been previously funded under the program but who meet the qualifications.

    Mail, fax or deliver applications to:
    North Dakota University System
    State Capitol, Judicial Wing 1st Floor, Room 103
    600 E. Boulevard Ave., Dept. 21
    Bismarck, ND 58505-0602
    Fax: 701.328.2979

Reference: SBHE Policy - 508.1  

Reference: N.D.C.C. 15-10-37

Chancellor's Cabinet, November 14, 2001.
Editorial changes made January 15, 2002.
Editorial changes made March 13, 2002.
Chancellor's Cabinet reviewed suggested changes, listserv message sent October 21, 2002. Amendments reviewed and approved by Chancellor, October 25, 2002.
Chancellor's Cabinet, September 2003
Chancellor's Cabinet, November 3, 2004.
Chancellor's Cabinet, August 18, 2005.
Chancellor's Cabinet, January 11, 2007.
Chancellor's Cabinet, February 14, 2008.
Chancellor's Cabinet, March 19, 2008.
Chancellor's Cabinet, March 12, 2009.
Chancellor's Cabinet, February 3, 2010.
Chancellor's Cabinet, February 16, 2011.
Chancellor's Cabinet, February 8, 2012.
Chancellor Approved, February 11, 2013.
Interim Chancellor Approved, March 26, 2014.
Interim Chancellor Approved, April 9, 2015.
Interim Chancellor Approved, May 19, 2015.
Chancellor's Cabinet, April 13, 2016.
Chancellor's Cabinet, October 12, 2016.
Chancellor's Cabinet, March 15, 2017.

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