YSK: If you get a refund check from college, it's not "getting paid to go to college". It probably* means you took more in loans then your bill actually is and the school is "refunding" the difference.

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Why YSK: If you do get a refund check, it's not free money, its just extra loan money that you're paying interest on - so maybe don't use it on $300 sneakers (as I've seen people do) or other frivolous things. I recommend spending it on school supplies, living expesneses, and other things you need and I sugest saving what's left as emergency funds and plan to pay it back into your loans when you can. Ultimately its up to you to figure out what's best for your situation.

*why probably - if you have enough federal/state aid, grants, scholarships, pay out of pocket and a cheap enough school, you might end up paying more then the bill. For example if you pay off the bill before some scholarships go through. If that's the case, then it is an actual refund and do what you want with it - just be smart about it.

(Edit; *than.)

Edit: Many comments to look through. I've adjusted the text a bit to account for a more situations, and also make my recommendations on how to spend it, more of suggestions and less telling.

Also to every one who told me their refund came from scholorships and grants, yes I know that's a possibility, thank you for reading the word probably in the title and the second paragraph that talks about that.

To those who says its the responsibility of students to read the documents, yes it is, but look at all the folk here who skipped paragraph 2. Do you think people are going to read and retain all the information they give out for loans? The purpos of my post is to help inform students what that refund check could be and recommend them to use it for school. Ultimately if someone knows it's loan money and still wants to buy a $300 pair of sneakers, thats up to them.

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Finally, for everyone saying those who don't know this shouldn't be in college, I say it's one of those obscure things that a 17/18 year old has never encountered before - so you don't know, and maybe no one really taught you how finaces work, or you have one of those controlling parents that filled out everything for you, or some other situation - why should that stop someone from going to college? Just teach them what they need to know and move on.