Career Education & Alternative Learning (CEAL) Program

This loan provides funds for North Dakota residents and prospective North Dakota residents pursuing career education through alternative learning training programs and certifications.

Apply online by clicking “Apply now” below. If you have any questions, contact us or call 701.328.5660 or 833.397.0311.

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Borrower: 

  • You must be at least 16 years of age. 
  • You must be a U.S. citizen. 
  • You must not be delinquent or in default on a student loan. 
  • You must be attending an approved and eligible school. 
  • The school must certify that you are meeting satisfactory academic progress and certify your enrollment eligibility and status. 
  • Your credit will be evaluated to determine if the application can be approved. A creditworthy cosigner is required if you do not meet BND’s credit criteria. 

 Cosigner: 

  • You must be at least 18 years of age.
  • You must be a U.S. citizen. 
  • You must not be delinquent or in default on a student loan. 
  • Your credit will be evaluated to determine if the application can be approved. 

At this time, two North Dakota schools have been approved to access CEAL Funding:

The loan may cover the following expenses while attending school:

  • Cost of attendance
  • Fees
  • Supplies
  • Room and board
  • Transportation
  • Other educational expenses authorized by the school or by BND’s Investment Committee. The authorized expenses must be for a current enrollment term that has not expired.

The minimum loan amount is $500; the maximum loan amount is $25,000.

Career Education & Alternative Learning (CEAL) Program
These interest rates are effective January 1 through March 31, 2024.
Career Education & Alternative Learning (CEAL) Program
These interest rates are effective January 1 through March 31, 2024.
Loan Fee Fixed Interest Rate Fixed APR* Variable Interest Rate** Variable APR*
2.00% 6.43% 6.28% 6.86% 6.67%
Career Education & Alternative Learning (CEAL) Program
These interest rates are effective January 1 through March 31, 2024.
Loan Fee 2.00%
Fixed Interest Rate 6.43%
Fixed APR* 6.28%
Variable Interest Rate** 6.86%
Variable APR* 6.67%
* The Annual Percentage Rate (APR) is different from the actual interest rate if there are loan fees. The APR includes the loan fee and reflects the cost of your loan as a yearly rate. The APR calculation assumes a loan of $10,000, a fixed interest rate of 6.43% or a variable interest rate of 6.86%, a loan fee of 2.00% and a 10-year repayment term. The APR calculation also assumes that no payments are made by the consumer until 4.5 years (estimated in-school/grace period) after the first disbursement is made. Interest that accrues during in-school and grace periods (if not paid) is added to the balance when the loan enters repayment. **The variable interest rate will never exceed 10.00%. Learn more about fixed and variable interest rates.

You must begin repaying your loan six months after you graduate, leave the program or decrease your enrollment to less than half-time. Consider signing up for monthly or quarterly automatic payments while you are enrolled. Even if the payments are small, this can reduce the total amount you will need to pay over the life of the loan.

  • Loans are placed on a 10-year repayment plan (view sample loan payment plan) unless another option is chosen. If you apply for a consolidation loan or have a total student loan balance of $30,000 or more, you may qualify for an extended repayment plan. See other repayment plans here.
  • Loans that become 15 days delinquent will be assessed a late fee not to exceed 6% of the unpaid portion of the installment or a maximum of $15.00.
  • All loans are reported to consumer reporting agencies monthly. Loans that are 30 days delinquent or greater will be reported as late.
  • Automatic payments can be set up through the BND online portal. This can be updated by selecting Manage Recurring Payments under the Useful Links to the right of each loan.  Alternatively, you can complete the Authorization for Automatic Payments form or call our office to have one of our representatives assist you. By signing up for automatic payments, you can: 
    • Decrease your interest rate by 0.25%
    • Choose your payment date from the 1st through the 28th of the month
    • Avoid late fees
    • Build a positive credit history on your loan

If you have difficulty repaying your loan, contact us immediately. We can help review your current situation and discuss the options available.

Watch a short video about cosigning a student loan.

What is a cosigner?

A cosigner is a person, such as a parent or other close family member or friend, who pledges to pay back the loan if the borrower does not. If the borrower does not make payments when required, the cosigner is liable for repayment of the loan.

How does cosigning a loan affect your credit?

Cosigning a loan is an action that should never be taken lightly because it can have serious implications to your credit history. As the cosigner, the cosigned loan will appear on your credit report and can directly affect your credit as a debt owed.

Ideally, the person you cosign for is reliable, never late and never misses a payment. Your willingness to risk your credit helps the borrower get the loan and can help build a positive credit history for the borrower. If the person you cosigned for does not make payments, you are responsible for paying back the debt. The unpaid debt will appear on your credit report, seriously damaging your credit and perhaps your ability to qualify for new credit. If left unpaid, it could also lead to collection accounts and damage your creditworthiness.

Steps for cosigning a loan

  1. How does a cosigner apply?
    The cosigner can complete the cosigner application form at the same time the borrower applies if they are with the borrower as the borrower completes the application. If the cosigner needs to apply at a different time, the cosigner will receive an email from studentloans@nd.gov with a link to apply.
  2. Loan Approval Disclosure
    The Loan Approval Disclosure will provide you with important information about the loan you are agreeing to cosign. You do not need to do anything unless you would like to withdraw your application. Smart Money Tip
  3. Loan Final Disclosure
    The Loan Final Disclosure is the last step in the loan process and it gives you a final opportunity to cancel cosigning the loan without any penalty. If you want to continue as the cosigner of the loan, you do not need to do anything.

Repaying the student loan you cosigned

Repayment of the loan you cosigned begins six months after the borrower graduates, leaves the program or decreases their enrollment to less than half-time. Consider signing up for monthly or quarterly automatic payments while the borrower is enrolled. Even if the payments are small, this can reduce the total amount that will need to be paid over the life of the loan.

  • Loans are placed on a 10-year repayment plan (view sample loan payment plan) unless another option is chosen. If you apply for a consolidation loan or have a total student loan balance of $30,000 or more, you may qualify for an extended repayment plan. See other repayment plans here.
  • Loans that become 15 days delinquent will be assessed a late fee not to exceed 6% of the unpaid portion of the installment or a maximum of $15.00.
  • All loans are reported to consumer reporting agencies monthly. Loans that are 30 days delinquent or greater will be reported as late.
  • Automatic payments can be set up through the BND online portal. This can be updated by selecting Manage Recurring Payments under the Useful Links to the right of each loan. Alternatively, you can complete the Authorization for Automatic Payments form or call our office to have one of our representatives assist you. By signing up for automatic payments, you can: 
    • Decrease the interest rate by 0.25%
    • Choose a payment due date from the 1st through the 28th of the month
    • Avoid late fees
    • Build a positive credit history

If you are having difficulty repaying the loan you cosigned, contact us immediately. We can help review your current situation and discuss the options available.

Cosigner release

 To be released as the cosigner from a loan, each of the following requirements must be met:

  • The borrower must submit the Career Education & Alternative Learning Loan Request for Release of Cosigner form.
  • The borrower must meet BND’s current credit and eligibility criteria in effect at the time the request is made.
  • The borrower must reside in the U.S.
  • Twenty-four (24) consecutive, regular on-time payments must have been made to BND.
  • A regular on-time payment is a payment received within 15 days of the due date while in repayment status. This does not include payments made during forbearance or deferment periods.
  • The payment counter restarts if there is a period of reduced payments, deferment, forbearance or a payment is received more than 15 days past the due date.

The institution must be an approved licensed institution operating in North Dakota. Approval will come from BND Investment Committee. Interested institutions should contact BND to get more information about the approval process.