So if I get into school I will start February 2009. I've been reading about securing loans and what not. Is it best to apply for a private loan while still earning an income? What about FAFSA/Federal loans?

How long will it take each institution to turn over the money? Any way to apply now, but set the date for receiving the money just before my tuition is due (so as not to accrue unnecessary interest for 6 months) ?