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Should I apply for a student loan before or after I apply to college?

What is the general sequence of events?

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You should apply for federal financial aid first (or at the same time). Go to the FAFSA web site and apply for financial aid. This is the government web site that will assess your financial need for Pell Grants, etc. This form is used by other financial aid providers too (private grants). There is a place on the form to have your information sent to several colleges. Put down all of the colleges you are interested in. The deadline varies by state (in Maryland it is early March) but even if you have missed the deadline still complete the forms. There may be unused funds. Try to obtain scholarships and grants before applying for loans as you do not have to pay the former back. Try to get subsidized student loans before unsubsidized or private loans. They do no accrue interest until after you have been out of school for 6 months. Often when you apply to a college they will send you all the forms you need for loans. When you get accepted to a college make an appointment with a financial aid advisor. They will be able to help you find funding for your education. Good luck.

You should apply for school first. When you apply for the FAFSA they ask what school the financial aid is for. Also, you need to know that you are accepted before you get the money on the way.

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