Scholarships for pharmacy schools are likely to be highly sought after by students due to the high cost of study to obtain a PharmD degree. Scholarships are also highly sought after because they, unlike loans, do not require repayment. Every dollar that one can garner in the form of scholarships lessens the overall cost of one’s education.
The first source one should investigate when looking for financial aid in the form of scholarships is one’s school. Each school potentially may offer both need-based and merit-based scholarships. While some scholarships will amount to just a few hundred dollars, others may cover the entire cost of one’s education.
Some scholarships, even those awarded by individual school programs, are very specific in their requirements for application. For instance, the University of Southern California’s Mexican-American Alumni Association offers $1,000-$5,000 to students on the basis of their academic achievement and commitment to the Latino/Hispanic community. Some scholarships have similar requirements and, in addition, require specific grade point average (GPA) standards. The University of Southern California’s Black Alumni Association requires a minimum GPA of 2.5 and demonstrated involvement in the African-American community.
It is important to remember that scholarships for which there is a minimum GPA requirement may have this requirement for both the application period and for the entire duration of the scholarship. For instance, if one qualifies for a scholarship that pays for tuition, dropping below the minimum GPA could result in the loss of the scholarship for the remainder of one’s time of study.
After one has looked into scholarship opportunities that one’s school offers, one can look for additional sources of scholarship money. The AphA Foundation Student Pharmacist Scholarship Program offered by the American Pharmacists Association Foundation is a good place to look. It awards ten scholarships each year for $1,000. Additionally, the National Association of Chain Drug Stores Foundation, NACDS, offers the Robert J. Bolger Scholarship, the Taro Research Foundation Scholarship, the Edmond Fougera Scholarship, and the Leonard J. DeMino Pharmacy Student Scholarship. Most recently, this program awarded 85 scholarships for at least $2,000 and up to $5,000.
Beyond these resources, a basic Internet search can reveal many other scholarship opportunities. Many are not specific to studying at a pharmacy school and may be awarded to those attending any graduate school program. Some web sites will ask one to answer several questions about one’s background, including questions about race, religion, gender, ethnicity, etc. These demographic questions are required to hone in on a specific subset of individuals for whom the scholarships are geared. These scholarships are not based on academic achievement but rather are meant to provide moneys towards further education of a group that may be marginalized in the graduate education community.For those looking to attend pharmacy school, the tuition and fee schedules can be dizzying. Scholarships are one of the best ways to lessen this financial burden.