Here are some hints from current MBA students and financial aid directors to keep in mind when planning your B-school career:

-- Start saving early. The more you stash away now, the less you have to pay back in loans plus interest later.

-- Get rid of debt. Paying down credit-card balances make it easier to manage monthly payments while you're not earning income.

-- Keep up with financial aid deadlines. If you're applying late in the admissions cycle, such as in March or April, you should send in financial aid forms along with the rest of your application.

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