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If my bank wouldn't accept a check written to me to open a new account for me, I think I'd find a new bank!

If you're only looking for an unsubsidized Stafford loan, then why are you concerned about establishing need? Unsubsidized Stafford loans are not need-based.

Uncle Sam will not be making money from your student loan. Uncle Sam will only be guaranteeing your loan on your behalf. Chase Bank, Bank America, etc. - that's who'll be making the money.

I agree that financial aid programs can unfairly reward some - especially independent students who lived a profligate lifestyle before heading to grad school. But that's life - the same thing happens with Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid, etc. Fair or not, it's within the government's rules to spend two years blowing your life savings on a trip around the world between undergraduate and graduate school and then apply for need-based financial aid or to transfer your $300,000 house to your kids and then apply for Medicaid 3 years later. All I'm saying is make absolutely sure you're within the rules to protect yourself. There are other ways to maximize your eligibility such as spending the cash on other things you need like a newer car or computer, paying off other debt (consumer debt doesn't help you in applying for aid, so it won't hurt to pay it off), etc.

I know it's not easy to pay for it - I've got 4 degrees to prove it! LOL! Just be sure to "color within the lines!"

Chris Riser
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