It's quite common in university or college that a student will be short on funds and need to take a student loan to pay for tuition fees, which, depending on where you attend, can be quite high. Some students make it through school without a student loan, but they're probably working 3 summer jobs, and a job while in school also.
The way that a student loan works is, the student can take out a loan through various companies, and use the variable sum that they recieved to pay for their tuition fees and books and so on. Seeing as it is ultimatley the government who is paying your student loan, you will probably have to talk to a representative yearly to avoid having to repay your loans while still attending school.
Once you're done school and in the working force, you'll want to start paying off your student loans as quickly as possible, so as not to forget about it. The sooner you pay off the loans, the sport ter you'll be in your governments books, you don't want to keep them waiting for to long.