You fill out the app and if approved you get it. It's "free" if you don't drop out of school. Also you have to keep your grades up to get it next time. You don't have to pay back.
It's free as long as you keep your gpa up. And no, you don't have to pay it back if you stay in college for most of the semester. Don't go in thinking you can stay for a week, then drop out and spend all of the money you received, it won't happen.
You have to pay all tuition before you even start classes, love. Once you pay tuition, then you can be a student,