With pharmacy school program costs topping $100,000 in some cases, financial aid will likely be sought by most pharmacy school students. Financial aid can take the form of scholarships, loans, or grants. It is important to properly evaluate one’s finances and, if necessary, to seek financial aid advice from a qualified professional.
The first source one should investigate when looking for financial aid in the form of scholarships is the school one is attending or to which one is applying. Many schools offer need-based scholarships and scholarships based on academic achievement. Some scholarships are small, but some others will cover the full cost of tuition. After one has investigated the scholarship opportunities at one’s school, additional sources can be researched. Another source of scholarships is the AphA Foundation Student Pharmacist Scholarship Program offered by the American Pharmacists Association Foundation. It awards ten scholarships each year for $1,000. Additionally, the N National Association of Chain Drug Stores Foundation, NACDS, offers scholarships. Most recently, this program awarded 85 scholarships for at least $2,000 and up to $5,000.
For those who are not successful in being awarded a scholarship for pharmacy school, loans are the best source of money for tuition and related education costs. The main sources of loans for pharmacy students are:
- Pharmacy Health Profession Student Loan (HPSL)
- Loans for Disadvantaged Students (LDS)
- Federal Direct Stafford Loans
- Federal Direct Graduate PLUS Loan
- Private Financing Programs
These loans are all different in their terms, the amount of money offered, repayment scenarios, and interest rates. The details of these loans are discussed in another section.
Grants are a less common source of funding for pharmacy school students. These funds are awarded to students and, similar to scholarships, do not require repayment. Grants are typically awarded to students who are doing some kind of project, and they sometimes require that the student send reports about the project to the donor.
Applying for financial aid can be daunting. One needs to carefully examine one’s finances. If an individual does not feel qualified to perform this task, there are professional services one can utilize.
Financing one’s education at pharmacy schools in the U.S. can be consuming, but with the right analysis of one’s finances and some help from scholarships, loans, and grants, some anxiety should be relieved.