Although a modest program of student loans had been created in the 1940s by Langer’s Bank Manager Frank Vogel, the Bank of North Dakota became involved in student loans in a significant way beginning in 1967.
Bank employee Martin “Buck” Stenehjem managed the program. The Bank made its first direct student loan to Grady Porter, a student at Bismarck Junior College who then completed a bachelor’s degree at Valley City State College. This was the first federally insured student loan in the United States!
The Bank ran a highly-successful student loan program for federal loans until 2010 when the federal government decided to centralize the program. Today, the Bank administers its own state-sponsored student loan program which started in 1997 and fills gaps for thousands of students when federal funding, grants, scholarships and savings aren’t enough to pay for their education.
College SAVE, the state’s 529 program, is administered by Bank of North Dakota and encourages its citizens to start saving for college early by incentivizing with two match programs: the New Baby Match and the BND Match.