Know ahead what you are getting into!
When you apply for a loan, take the time to calculate the interest. In order to find the amount that you will owe, take the balance and multiply it by the interest rate. Then divide by 365.25. This will be the amount of interest accumulated every day on your loan. If you have a subsidized loan, you will not be charged interest while you are in college. If you have an unsubsidized loan, you can either pay the interest during school or defer the amount until you graduate.
Successfully taking out and paying back student loans can be the first step towards establishing a good credit history, but remember student loan debt is....well, debt. You'll have to pay it all back, so don't take out any more loans than you absolutely need.
(Information compliments of www.wiredscholar.com and Alison Crowley at NMU)