Bemidji State University's student loan programs on secure footing

BEMIDJI, Minn. – Bemidji State University Director of Financial Aide Paul Lindseth says that students and prospective students of both Bemidji State and Northwest Technical College have no cause for concern over recent reports of banks and other lending institutions reducing the availability of student loans under the Federal Family Education Loan Program (FFEL).

The FFEL Program and the William D. Ford Federal Direct Loan Program are the two components of the Stafford Loan Program, established by the federal government to provide loans to students and parents for higher education expenses. Schools can elect to participate in one of the two programs, and Bemidji State University and Northwest Technical College provide student loans under the Ford Program.

Ford loans are referred to as direct loans. Eligible students and parents at schools participating in the Ford Program borrow money directly from the U.S. Department of Education, and those loans are repaid directly to the government. FFEL loans are provided by private lenders, guaranteed by the federal government, and are repaid directly to the lending institution.

The reduction of loans from financial institutions would impact only schools that participate in the FFEL Program.

“There’s a perception amongst parents and students that there is a problem for all schools,” Lindseth said. “In reality, this is only affecting some schools participating in the FFEL Program.

“Bemidji State, as well as other institutions, selected the Direct Loan Program specifically because of the problems we perceived with FFEL,” Lindseth said. “We don’t anticipate any change in available funding for our students.”

For more information, contact Paul Lindseth the Office of Financial Aide at (218) 755-2034.