You've applied for the loan, it's been approved, and you've signed the promissory note. What's next?
Where is the money?
The money doesn't come directly to you. Rather, it is typically sent to the school, either by check or electronic funds transfer.
Then the school applies the money to the outstanding balance on your school account, which typically includes your bill for tuition, fees, room, board, and other school expenses.
Once those espenses are paid, you'll receive any remaining money to cover other expenses.
When is the money sent?
The money will not be disbursed until you enroll, and even then, it will not arrive all at once. Lenders send money in installments (called disbursements) based on academic periods.
The timing of disbursements will vary from school to school and by loan program. Generally under most federal loan programs, loan proceeds to first-year undergraduates who are also first-time borrowers may see a delay due to rules that prohibit disbursement to a student until 30 days after enrollment.
Check with your financial aid office to learn your school's policy so you're not surprised.