Any federal loans that come through your school are disbursed after school starts (about a week). Most private loans will allow you to pick a disbursement date. For my private loan last year I got it on July 15, I think. This way I had the money to pay rent/deposit, buy books, etc. But if you're going with only federal loans you won't get them until school starts. However, I know at my school they will give you up to a $1000 advance on your loans. You should check with your school on this. Hope this helps!