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.
Is the establishment where you are going to learn accredited? Are you going to be studying part time or full time? Are you going to be studying for a scholarship?
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.
You could also decide to fill out a (FAFSA) financial application for student aid form, once your acceptance has been confirmed. The financial aid office of your selected educational institution will help you fill this out and also post it to the relevant address.
Whilst you are waiting for the results of this to come back, you could then look into the possibility of a loan or grant. Some of the financial aid offices may even be able to help you with the different loans available.
A student aid report (SAR) will be generated by your financial application for student aid (FAFSA); this can help you work out the amount of money that you may need to borrow in the form of scholarship grants.
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.