Is it OK to spend your Financial Aid refund?

For many college students, a possibly large refund check could be received a few days or weeks into the semester. This money is to be used for educationally related expenses (books, supplies, personal care expenses, transportation, etc.). 

However, the majority of these refund checks are coming from a student loan that will have to be paid back after graduation. 

If a student uses the refund check in full, this could increase the amount of overall debt they will have upon completion of their program. 

This could increase the amount of time a student will be required to pay the loans back due to the increased amount of debt. 

By creating a budget and making sure to only use what is needed, students can be responsible borrowers and reduce their overall loan debt upon graduation. Any money that is not needed for a student’s educational expenses should be returned to Shippensburg University so a refund can be made to the student loan, which will reduce the overall loan debt upon graduation. 

Developing a budget will keep you aware of your expenses and help you reach the ultimate goal of graduating with as little debt as possible. 

Little changes, like packing your own lunch, borrowing movies and books from the library, carpooling and participating in free campus activities can make a big change in the amount of money you save. Start building a budget by using any of the free online services. To find out more information, Google “making a budget.”

It is important to remember how much you borrow from year to year. You don’t want to be shocked at your total loan balance when it’s time to graduate! You can keep track of your loan information online with the National Student Loan Database System (NSLDS). This great website will show you how much you have borrowed in federal loans as well as your loan servicer’s contact information. 

More information regarding financial literacy can be found on our website at under the Financial Aid Office’s financial literacy tab. 

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