For those seeking to finance their pharmacy school education, grants are another source of funding beyond scholarships and loans.
Grants are moneys disbursed by a grant maker to a recipient. These grants are typically offered by a government department, corporation, foundation, or trust. In order to receive a grant, some form of grant writing, such as a proposal or an application, is usually required. Most grants are made to fund a specific project, and they sometimes require that the student send reports about the project to the grant maker. Grants, unlike loans, do not require repayment.
In this country, government departments are a common source of grant money. Public and private trusts and foundations can also offer grants. According to the Foundation Center, there are more than 88,000 trusts, and they award more than $40 billion annually. Trust and foundation grants can require considerable research, and students looking for these types of grants may have to pay a subscription fee to a listing service.
The most common scenario is for a grant recipient to receive a grant issued by the government to a student attending a post-secondary education institution, such as pharmacy school. In some cases, part of a government loan can be issued as a grant. This situation is sometimes seen for particularly promising students who are applying for financial support to continue their education.
Grant compliance and reporting requirements vary depending upon the type of grant and funding agency. For those receiving a grant with reporting requirements, it is imperative that they adhere to these guidelines.
One common grant is the Pell Grant. A Pell Grant is a post-secondary educational federal grant sponsored by the U.S. Department of Education. This grant is awarded based on financial need as demonstrated on the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) form. In 2010-11, the Pell Grant awarded $5,550 to those who qualified. Starting in 2012, the maximum grant will be reflective of annual increases in the Consumer Price Index. The grant is awarded to individuals who have not yet received a bachelor’s degree, and therefore cannot be used directly for pharmacy school. However, one could use this grant to pay for the prerequisite course work required for admission to pharmacy school.
Grants are not a common source of funding for students looking to attend pharmacy school, but they are available. While not as easily researched as scholarships and loans, the diligent student may find a grant opportunity that suits his or her academic and financial needs.