The beginning of a new school year can be stressful, especially if you are still struggling with paying for college. Here are four things to put on your to-do list to ensure you are ready to start the year off on the right foot.

1. Your financial aid needs to be ready: If you have not yet received any info from your financial aid office by now, you should be concerned. Financial Aid offices package students for funding all throughout the summer. If you have not been packaged for Financial Aid yet it could be for one of the following reasons:

  • You never actually registered for Fall Semester. If so, get registered and inform Financial Aid that you are ready for funding.
  • Your Free application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) was never processed. Confirm with Financial Aid if they received it.
  • You were selected for Verification, but you did not submit your required paperwork or you submitted it late. Contact Financial Aid to confirm what they need.
  • You are not making Satisfactory Academic Progress and you need to submit an appeal letter to Financial Aid to see if you can still get funded.
  • You still owe a bill from last year. You need to make a payment.

If none of those areas apply to you, then you need to contact your financial aid office as soon as possible and find out where your funding is. Be advised that financial aid offices are under tremendous strain due to economic factors driving further requests for funding. It just might take a long time for your funding to be processed.

2. A federal Stafford loan is most likely part of your financial aid package: If your school transitioned to Direct Loans, you need to complete a new Master Promissory Note with Direct Loans.

3. If you still have a bill due after financial aid pays, you need to apply for a Parent PLUS loan or a private student loan. There is still time to get an application processed, but you are cutting it close. Do not delay or you could have problems paying for college when the semester starts.

4. If you apply for a loan late, it may not be ready for you to get cleared for move in day. If so you can make a partial cash payment to the school through a payment plan (Like Tuition management systems) while your loan is still in processing. When your loan is cleared, just cancel the payment plan and let the loan pay the rest of the bill.


Please note that the information provided on this website is provided on a general basis and may not apply to your own specific individual needs, goals, financial position, experience, etc. LendKey does not guarantee that the information provided on any third-party website that LendKey offers a hyperlink to is up-to-date and accurate at the time you access it, and LendKey does not guarantee that information provided on such external websites (and this website) is best-suited for your particular circumstances. Therefore, you may want to consult with an expert (financial adviser, school financial aid office, etc.) before making financial decisions that may be discussed on this website.