I'm a non-traditional learner. I didn't jump right in to college after high school. I went off and had a career for ten years before I really started to tip my toes back into my educational pool. I was lucky enough to have funding for most of my education and didn't have to think to hard about what to do and what not to do. But that didn't stop the advise from pouring in. I sometimes wish that my school had financial advisors on staff that could have helped me understand the long term in a more realistic way so that I would not have such a large balance waiting for me.
By the time I drained my funding pool I was in my Master's degree program and had to start looking at the reality of student loans. I had received some advise about loans early on from friends and various financial aid advisors, but it hadn't sunk in. That advise was that I did not have to borrow more than what my tuition and fees would cost. While I do not regret taking out the full loan amount, I did not have to do so. The full loan amounts allowed me to breath a little easier financially and focus on school. But, now I have twice what I really needed to pay back sitting waiting to be paid back.
In short, had I had the advantage of advice at the time that I needed it I would likely have borrowed much less. Had I had the advantage of someone I might have considered a professional financial advisor then it might have sunk in a little sooner. Had I had this advise at the right time I might be looking at half as much in remaining loan balances.