Your step-by-step guide to getting student loans

This is a busy time if you are heading to college this fall. Making the final arrangements to pay for college should be one of the top items on your to-do list.

This guide will help you start and complete the process.

Step 1: Complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). This is the borrower’s responsibility. Include the school you plan to attend when asked on the application.

Step 2: Receive a student aid award letter. The school will send you an award letter outlining your financial aid options. If you list more than one school on the FAFSA, you’ll receive an award letter from each of the schools listed. The award letter lists any grants, scholarships and federal student loans for which you qualify. You are required to sign off to accept or these awards.

Step 3: Check the amount that you owe the school for the upcoming school year and subtract any federal aid, scholarships, grants or savings you plan to utilize. If you have a balance remaining, consider student loans from Bank of North Dakota

Step 4: When the loan application is complete along with the cosigner’s application if that is required, BND will send the school a School Certification Request to confirm you are enrolled in classes, the amount you need and what dates to send the loan funds to them.

Step 5: BND will send you a Loan Approval Disclosure and Borrower Self Certification forms which must be signed and returned to BND to show you agree to the terms of the loan. If the forms are not returned within the required timeframe, the loan will be canceled.

Step 6: A final Loan Disclosure statement is sent to you by BND which gives you a final chance to cancel the loan.

Step 7: BND will send the funds to your school. Student loans cover tuition, fees, books if you charge them at the college bookstore, housing and meal plans. Most schools will deduct these from your student loans and then issue a check for the balance to you. Work with your school’s financial aid department to make sure you follow its guidelines.

There you have it! Seven steps and then the learning begins. Bank of North Dakota wishes you all the best as you pursue your higher education goals. Feel free to email or call us with your questions about paying for college.