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12-4-2016 Workforce Development
Bank of North Dakota encourages you to make a smart move with student loans
It’s that time of year when you finalize how you’ll fund college this year. If you don’t have enough money in savings or scholarships, you may need to consider a student loan.
The Bank of North Dakota recommends turning to federal student loans first. Federal student loans may offer lower interest rates and offer some forgiveness and repayment features not available with other student loans. (This recommendation does not include the PLUS Loan, which has higher interest rates than the DEAL Student Loan.) If you still have a funding gap after your federal student loan, the DEAL Student Loan from Bank of North Dakota is a smart option to investigate. This loan is for North Dakota residents who attend an accredited university in or out of state, offers fixed and variable rate options with zero fees.
How much in student loans is too much? You will want to keep your total student loan amount low enough so payments don’t exceed 8-10 percent of your gross income when you graduate college. Take time to investigate what you can expect for a salary with your degree and use a debt calculator to help you determine the final number. 
 
Getting the most out of college orientation
You’ve done it! You’ve graduated from high school and you’re off to college. Next step – orientation. Orientation is a great event to get to know the school you will be spending the next few years at. Take the time beforehand and think of some questions you may have.  Here are a few to get you started.
What are my housing options? Is it mandatory to live on campus the first year?
Who should I go to if I have issues with things like roommates, classes, teachers?
What are my dining options? Do I have to eat in the dining hall or are there other options?
What sort of clubs or organizations can I join? What are the requirements?
Where do I buy books or who answers my financial aid questions?
How do I find out who my career advisor is? Do I talk to them about changing majors or classes?
Where do I park?
College is a great opportunity to learn and grow professionally and personally. Orientation is one step in getting you started. Learn all the campus has to offer and what your options are.  Don’t be afraid to ask questions. Someone else may have the same question you do. If you do not feel comfortable asking it in front of the crowd, jot it down and approach the presenter after the session.
 
North Dakota DECA and Collegiate DECA Leadership Conference are coming up
North Dakota DECA and Collegiate DECA will be holding their Leadership Conferences in Fargo in October.  The high school conference, with approximately 450 participants will be held on October 18-19 and the Collegiate DECA Leadership Conference will be held October 20-21.  The keynote presenter and leadership training will be Holly Hoffman from South Dakota.  She finished fourth at the end of the season of the “Survivor Nicaragua” reality show Survivor, produced by CBS.  She encourages others to take opportunities and focus on attitude, confidence, determination, desire, and faith.  The theme for the conference is BE EPIC.  Students at the high school conference will be competing in a business simulation and 40 judges are needed in the Fargo area on Monday morning, October 19.  The Executive Mentorship Program will be held on Wednesday morning for the collegiate DECA members.  Executive Mentors will work with college students for 2 hours in preparation for careers, internships, and job opportunities within your company.  For more information contact Kevin at kreisena@nd.gov.
 
Teaching your college student to manage money
If your son or daughter is taking off for college this fall, it’s important to visit with them about their college budget before saying your final goodbyes. Many college freshmen are excited to be on their own and, caught up in the excitement and flurry of activity, spend more than they have.
Take time to work up a budget with and be realistic when planning for entertainment expenses. Bank of North Dakota’s College Planning Center provides a link for a budget calculator you may find helpful.
If you are providing a credit card for your student, make sure he or she understands how they work. The student needs to remember to track spending and to pay the monthly bill. Set the spending limit low to prevent overspending.
Spend some time talking about money management and you increase the likelihood they will graduate with a manageable level of debt and the skills required to be a financially successful adult.
 
 

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