How Can I Go to Pharmacy School for Free?

by Crystal Buckle
Learn how to go to school for free so you can become a Pharmacist.

Getting into Pharmacy school may have been difficult enough; and now you are faced with the challenge of figuring out how you are going to pay for your college education. The cost to attend pharmacy school ranges from $3,000 to $82,000 per year. Help is available to cover some of the costs of your tuition; it is also ways you can attend pharmacy school for free. Several options are available to you; some options may need to be combined with others in order for you to receive a completely free pharmacy school education.

Apply for financial aid. Financial aid is available to most prospective pharmacy school students. Financial aid has loans available to you, such as the Direct PLUS Loan, which you can start paying back after you complete pharmacy school. The maximum amount a graduate student is awarded per year is $20,500 for an unsubsidized loan and $8,500 for a subsidized loan. To complete the financial aid forms visit the FAFSA website (fafsa.ed.gov) to complete an online application or print and mail the PDF version. Also, you can receive a paper application through the mail; request this application by calling . After completing the FAFSA, you will receive a decision regarding your qualifications and award amount within three to five days, and two to three weeks for the paper application. Additional information may be required to submit to your financial adviser, such as income tax return paper work or recent pay check stubs. A promissory note will need to be signed by you prior to receiving the award money.

Apply for a pharmacy scholarship. Pharmacy school scholarships, such as the American Pharmacists Association (APhA) Student Scholarships and the Rite Aid Competitive Pharmacy Scholarships, are available for pharmacy students to apply to their college education. The amount of money awarded can be as little as $50 to a full four-year scholarship. The university you are attending or plan to attend may have several pharmacy scholarships available to you; contact your school to find out if they offer any scholarships in your major. Pharmacy Scholarships are also available through private organizations; you can find these scholarships by contacting your school or visiting websites, such as fastweb.com, that allow you to search and apply for various scholarships on their website. Before you apply for scholarships the websites will prompt you to enter your college major; this is needed for them to find suitable scholarships that fit your area of interest, which is pharmacy. The requirements to receive a Pharmacy school scholarship may vary by grade point average, length of education received, gross income, and many other prerequisites.

Find an internship. Some organizations, such as Rite Aid and American Society of Health-Systems Pharmacists, offer internship programs to pharmacy school students in exchange for education assistance and sometimes small stipends. Internship programs can take place in the summer or throughout the school year; the length and start-up time of each program differs, as well as the amount of money awarded. Certain requirements and qualifications may be needed in order to be accepted for an internship. To find internships search for several pharmacy associations and pharmacy companies and inquire about internship programs and how you can apply. You may be required to complete an application, as well as a series of interviews in order to be accepted into a program.

Find a job. Some pharmacy companies, such as Walgreens Pharmacy and CVS Pharmacy, will reimburse some of your pharmacy school education through the tuition reimbursement program. The requirements and qualifications vary for each program. The amount of money you are able to receive will solely depend on your commitment to the company, such as the amount of time you work for the company. Some pharmacy companies require that you remain an employee for up to two years and others require you stay employed with the company after you've completed pharmacy school. Contact several local pharmacies to inquire about potential employment, check to see if the company has a tuition reimbursement program as well.

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About the Author

Crystal Buckle has written professionally since 2010. She brings a great amount of health-care knowledge to her articles for various websites. Buckle is pursuing a Bachelor of Arts at Marygrove College.

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