When you filled out your Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FASA), you were required to select a housing plan for each of the schools you selected to receive your application. If you selected “Off Campus,” meaning that you intend to live off campus, but not with your parents, the school would determine what they believe off campus housing should cost. If you choose this option, you will have to wait until disbursement to be able to pay for your first month & deposit.
Housing Is A Education-Related Expense
Housing, whether you live in a dorm, in an off-campus residence, or at home with your parents, is an expense that is factored in part of your cost of attendance (COA).
Your financial aid package is distributed by your school. First they apply any grant or federal loan money toward your tuition, fees, and your room and board (provided that you live on campus). Any money that is left over is then paid directly to you for other education related expenses. From this lump sum of money, you will be able to pay for your first month & deposit for your off campus housing.
Things to Consider
1. If you are a first year undergraduate student and a first time borrower, you may have to wait thirty (30) days after the first day of your enrollment period before your school is allowed to give you your loan money. You will need to check with your school’s financial aid office to see if this rule will apply to you.
2. You will most likely have to sign a year long lease, so make sure the housing you choose is affordable and realistic for your budget.
3. Make sure you know what your school considers the housing allowance to be for off campus housing, this will help you determine your budget.
Michael Marz has worked in the financial sector since 2002, specializing in wealth and estate planning. After spending six years working for a large investment bank and an accounting firm, Marz is now self-employed as a consultant, focusing on complex estate and gift tax compliance and planning.