There are lots of people that need to take out a student loan or grant every year, but if you are one of those people and you need to look into the possibility of taking one out, firstly look at other options available to you.
Are you going to end up with a scholarship? Is your educational establishment actually accredited? Do you plan on full time or part time education?
A good idea could be to work out how much you may actually need for each semester. Obviously there are the books and equipment to pay for. Then there is the food and clothing costs. Are there going to be any traveling to and from the campus costs? Or do you intend staying on campus? All these considerations need to be looked at before you can complete your process.
Visit the financial aid office of the institution that you will be attending, once you get your acceptance letter. This can be done before you apply for any loan or grant.
If this is not an option, then you must fill in a financial application for student aid (FAFSA) form as soon as you have received your acceptance. You should be able to get help in filling this form out from most of the financial aid offices around, and they will also post it to the right address for you.
Whilst this is in the process of being dealt with, you could check out any scholarships of grants that may be available. Again you may call on the assistance of the financial aid offices for this.
With you FAFSA filled in, the next step is an SAR. This stands for student aid report. This will be generated with your FAFSA and this could be used in conjunction with any grants or scholarships or other financial awards to help determine the loan amounts that you may need to borrow.
There is an option to work as you learn. Any funds that you use to offset your repayments will be looked upon by the lenders when they consider loans for any other semesters.