This semester, my student loans didn’t come through in time – they said because I was a “first-time borrower” - so I ended up having to take six hundred dollars out of my own personal savings account to pay for my books for five classes. As for my classes, they could be paid at a later date so I wasn’t too worried about that – but I wanted my six hundred dollars back! And fast! What would happen if my car were to have a major problem or I couldn’t pay my rent on time without the help of my savings?
Even though all of my friends were receiving their financial aid sooner than I did, the financial aid bursar at my school told me that mine would be delivered at the end of September. And it came on time! Financial aid refunds are basically what happens when all of your financial aid – including grants and scholarships – exceeds the price of your semester.
Basically, what I was told to do was to take the money that I was owed – and put it back into my savings. Which is fine, because that money is mine to begin with and was not intended for use on school – it was for emergencies!
Financial aid leftovers are supposed to be used for anything that would entail academic success. As long as you can prove that your purchases were for school, you are good. Yes, this means you can actually use your financial aid for gas money. This means you can use your financial aid for printer ink, or scan trons.
My advice? Skip the entire process and just take the money out of your account. That way there are no ties to what you spent the money on – and you don’t have many questions to answer.
Be smart about it though – I know a girl who took blew nearly all of her financial aid a month into having it. She bought things that weren’t for school, and will probably have to answer to it in the future. It sucks but it’s not like she had to spend the money on things she wanted – not needed!
That’s why I’m only taking out the six-hundred that was owed to me. The rest will stay locked away, forgotten, until I need it for textbooks next semester. Even though Financial aid refunds will be distributed the next semester as well, if there is still left overs!
Keep in mind that all of the money you’ve seemingly been gifted from the Gods, is actually money that you actually owe someday. So it is best to use only what you need and to leave the rest as money that you’ll just use to pay back anyway – that way you can get ahead on raising money and completing your loans faster.