When you apply for federal financial aid, your score's financial aid office will calculate the amount of aid you're eligible to receive for the school year. Your income and assets reported in your Free Application for Federal Student Aid and cost of attendance determine the amount of aid available. If you're offered a student loan, you must accept or decline the award through your school. You also can adjust the amount you wish to accept and are entitled to receive the entire amount you were originally offered.

Go to your school's financial aid website where you accepted, sign in to your account and adjusted the student loan. You can typically return to the site and change the amount of the student loan you're accepting. Submit the request and wait for confirmation.

Contact your school's financial aid office if you need assistance and cannot change it online. Your school may also have a loan change request form you need to complete and submit to change the amount. A financial aid specialist can walk you through the process of changing the amount you accepted or can manually change it for you.

Make your changes within the deadlines. Once your student loan is accepted, you can typically make adjustments only until your financial aid package has been processed and disbursed. Each school has its own policy on disbursing student loans. In most cases, student loans and other awards are disbursed within a few weeks after the semester begins.

Inquire about other financial aid options if you're unable to make adjustments in time. Ask if any scholarships or grants are available directly through the school to help with the cost. Scholarships and grants through private organizations are awarded throughout the school year. Your school's financial aid office may have a list of private and school-based opportunities.

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