ND Career Builders

The 2019 North Dakota Legislative Assembly passed House Bill 1171, creating a skilled workforce scholarship and student loan repayment program aimed at attracting people into high need and emerging occupations in the state. The result is the ND Career Builders Scholarship & Loan Repayment program. The North Dakota University System and institutions across the state, along with agency partners including the ND Workforce Development Council, ND Commerce Department, the Bank of North Dakota, and Job Service of North Dakota are promoting this opportunity for both students and employers. The scholarship and loan repayment programs target the workforce needs of North Dakota with the goal of filling skilled workforce jobs.

Scholarship & Loan Repayment Overview

The ND Career Builders scholarship and loan repayment programs are a public-private endeavor whereby for each dollar of private support, the state will contribute a dollar of public funding. If you are a student, please contact your college to determine if your program of study may qualify for the scholarship and to apply. If you are an employer, you can contribute dollars to match the investment of the state while filling the workforce needs at your business and helping your employees reduce their student loan debt.


Since this is a joint public-private funded program, donations will be accepted for both the scholarship and loan repayment programs by the NDUS. The maximum public support is $3 million for each program; awards will be made until funds are exhausted. Click here to donate.

Qualifying High Need and Emerging Occupation(s) List

The Workforce Development Council (WFDC) and ND Job Service annually establish the qualifying high need and emerging occupation(s) list while the North Dakota University System (NDUS) and WFDC maps the qualifying occupations to qualifying programs. Qualifying degrees or certificates must be earned from a ND institution.


Click here to access the qualifying High Need and Emerging Occupation(s) list.

Scholarship Program Details

  • Students must be admitted into a qualifying program in the state. Not all programs will have funding available to award.
  • The institution will initiate the scholarship application process. NDUS will confirm final eligibility based on program guidelines and availability of funds.
  • Payments may not exceed the cost of tuition, fees, books and supplies up to a lifetime maximum of $17,000.
  • Payments will be made on a semester, quarter or term basis. Since this is a public-private program, payments will only be made if the private-sector match is received.
  • Recipients have the obligation to reside and work (in a high need or emerging occupation) in North Dakota for at least 3 years following program completion.
  • Student accepted into the program will be required to sign a Scholarship Award Agreement, which will be legally binding.
  • Failure to meet the terms of the Agreement will result in the scholarship funds being repaid by the student.
  • Repayment of the funds received could be triggered by:
    • Failure to enroll full time according to program requirements;
    • Failure to maintain a 2.50 cumulative GPA, or other academic progress;
    • Withdrawing from the program prior to completion, either voluntarily or involuntarily;
    • Failing to meet the residency and occupation requirements for 3 years following program completion.

Loan Repayment Details

  • Graduates apply for the program by completing an application with the NDUS.
  • Applicants newly hired in 2019 into qualifying positions will be considered.
  • Applicants will be required to provide proof of ND residency, employment verification, proof of degree completion, and a current student loan billing statement from the lender.
  • An applicant’s employer, or other business entity, must have committed matching dollars. Payments will not be made without matching dollars being received by NDUS.
  • Payments may not exceed $5,667 per year, or one-third of the applicant’s outstanding student loan principal balance at the time of application, whichever is less.
  • Eligible loans include FEDERAL Subsidized, Unsubsidized, Consolidated and Perkins, the Bank of ND DEAL Loan; other private alternative student loans may be considered; private loans that are not “student loans”, such as a home equity, will not be considered.
  • Recipients must reside and work in a high need or emerging occupation in North Dakota.
  • Eligibility will be verified prior to each payment.

Apply Here

Individuals may only qualify for the scholarship or the loan repayment, not both.


  • Students should first review the High-Need and Emerging Occupations List to determine if their program and institution are listed.   Then, PRIOR to starting the application, visit with the financial aid office at their college.  The college will direct students regarding eligibility for the program.
    •   After visiting with financial aid, Click here to apply for the ND Career Builders Scholarship program.


  • Individuals interest in the loan repayment can contact the NDUS at ndfinaid@ndus.edu with questions on the application.
    • Click here to download the application for the ND Career Builders Loan Repayment program.  Complete the application with your employer and mail it into the NDUS.


For more information on the scholarship and loan repayment programs, please contact the NDUS at 701-328-2906 or at ndfinaid@ndus.edu