How Will I Recieve My Financial Aid Money?
This is a question that often only occurs to new students at the time their tuition payments come due. A clear understanding about the answer now though, can help you avoid unseen problems later on. First and foremost, it is important to speak with a financial aid adviser at your school. Different institutions may have different policies and procedures that affect how the money gets to you. You will also need to be clear about specifics like where to pick up any checks you might receive, how you will know when your tuition has been covered, and if your school uses some kind of book voucher system.
At most schools the process is generally the same. After your aid has been offered to you and you accept it, the actual money is sent to the school. It is then applied to your tuition and fee bill before any of it reaches you. This includes funds from any grants or loans, as well as most scholarships. You may then be given a payment for any aid you receive over the amount of your tuition. If you do get a refund check, it should go toward needed, educational expenses. Try to have your expenses prioritized before you get your check. That way you will know that everything you need before the semester gets started is taken care of.
Your school may or may not be leaving it up to you to make payments toward housing out of your financial aid refund. So if you are living on campus, be sure to find that out. Also remember, if you are participating in a work-study program you are most likely going to be receiving that money through a regular paycheck rather than in one lump sum.