When you receive aid in the form of private and federal student loans, these are meant to cover the cost of attendance at your school. This doesn't just mean tuition. They cover room and board, transportation and other related expenses.
If you live in off-campus housing and have rent to pay every month it can get expensive. Some of that money you were awarded is earmarked for such expenses, regardless of the type of housing you live in. Once your tuition is covered for the academic term, any extra money will remain in your school account and be applied to the next semester.
With most loans you or your parents have the option to request that those funds be released to you. You can then apply the money to your remaining expenses. This can stop you from falling behind on rent and other bills, though you should be careful when doing this. You want to make sure that after taking this money out there is still enough left to cover your next academic term.
Always be aware of what you need to pay the school you are attending and what you need for other costs of attendance. Never take more than should be dedicated to non-tuition costs. Otherwise you may find yourself unable to take your next round of classes on time.
|Jennifer Mathes, Ph.D.|