Financial Aid Disbursement: When and How You Will Get It

Its time to get ready for your academic year. You may have questions about how you receive your financial aid. And maybe youve already heard about aid “disbursements,” but what does that even mean? You were awarded aid for the full academic year, but there are different methods (and rules) schools need to follow when it comes to how and when that money is disbursed.

When Does Financial Aid Come In?

You completed and filed all your financial aid applications. Now youre wondering, how and when do I get the money? As a general rule, most schools begin to disburse (release) loan money no earlier than ten days before school starts. But this will depend on the schools policies and even your academic level. More on that later.

Apply for a Sallie Mae Private Student Loan

  • Variable Rates: 1.13% APR – % APR. Fixed Rates: 3.50% APR – % APR. Lowest rates shown include the auto debit discount. 1
  • Choose from multiple repayment options, including no payments while in school 1
  • No origination fee or prepayment penalty 2
  • Cover up to 100% of your school-certified college expenses like tuition, fees, books, housing, meals, travel, and even a laptop for the entire school year 3
  • The only undergraduate student loan that offers 4 months of Chegg® study help 4

This loan is for undergraduate students at participating degree-granting schools. Students who are not U.S. citizens or U.S. permanent residents must reside in the U.S., attend a participating school in the U.S., apply with a creditworthy cosigner (who must be a U.S. citizen or U.S. permanent resident) and provide an unexpired government-issued photo ID to verify their identity. Applications are subject to a requested minimum loan amount of $1,000. Current credit and other eligibility criteria apply.

1 Interest is charged starting when funds are sent to the school. With the Fixed and Deferred Repayment Options, the interest rate is higher than with the Interest Repayment Option and Unpaid Interest is added to the loans Current Principal at the end of the grace/separation period. Payments may be required during the grace/separation period depending on the repayment option selected. Variable rates may increase over the life of the loan. Advertised variable rates reflect the starting range of rates and may vary outside of that range over the life of the loan. Advertised APRs assume a $10,000 loan to a borrower who attends school for 4 years and has no prior Sallie Mae loans. The borrower or cosigner must enroll in auto debit through Sallie Mae to receive a 0.25 percentage point interest rate reduction benefit. This benefit applies only during active repayment for as long as the Current Amount Due or Designated Amount is successfully withdrawn from the authorized bank account each month. It may be suspended during forbearance or deferment, if available for the loan.

2 Although we do not charge a penalty or fee if you prepay your loan, any prepayment will be applied as outlined in your promissory note-first to Unpaid Fees and costs, then to Unpaid Interest, and then to Current Principal.

3 Loan amount cannot exceed the cost of attendance less financial aid received as certified by the school. Sallie Mae reserves the right to approve a lower loan amount than the school-certified amount. Miscellaneous personal expenses (such as a laptop) may be included in the cost of attendance for students enrolled at least half time.

4 This promotional benefit is provided at no cost to borrowers with undergraduate or parent loans with a first disbursement between . Borrowers are not eligible to activate the benefit until . Borrowers who reside in, attend school in, or borrow for a student attending school in Maine are not eligible for this benefit. Chegg Study® offers expert QA where students can submit up to 20 questions per month. No cash value. Terms and Conditions apply. Please visit for complete details. This offer expires one year after issuance.

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