Pharmacy schools generally offer some financial aid, but it typically isn’t enough: Most students turn to loans and graduate with an average pharmacy school debt of $166,528, according to a survey by the American Association of Colleges of Pharmacy.
If you’re in pharmacy school — or if you’re an undergraduate planning to attend one — check out these pharmacy school scholarships to try to reduce your loan debt.
Tylenol Future Care Scholarships
Sponsored by McNeil Consumer Healthcare, these scholarships are for undergraduates and graduate students in medicine and health care. They recognize academic excellence, leadership and community involvement.
How to qualify: To qualify, you must be a resident of the U.S., Puerto Rico or Washington, D.C.; enrolled in a health care related field at an accredited college or university, graduate school or vocational/technical school; and have at least one year remaining in your program.
When to apply: May. Learn more.
Express Scripts Scholars Program
Funded by the Express Scripts Foundation, this scholarship supports students with diverse interests who pursue dual degrees. The foundation gives special consideration to low socioeconomic status students, as well as students who are underrepresented minorities.
How to qualify: You must be a U.S. citizen or permanent resident and enrolled in a pharmacy or graduate degree program at an Accreditation Council for Pharmacy Education-accredited college or school of pharmacy.
When to apply: August. Learn more.
American Pharmacists Association Foundation Student Scholarship Program
This program supports students who invest time in their school’s APhA – Academy of Student Pharmacists chapter to help shape the profession.
How to qualify: You must have completed at least one year of your professional degree and demonstrate strong academic performance. Involvement in school, community activities and your local APhA chapter are also required.
When to apply: December. Learn more.
American Society of Health System Pharmacists Student Leadership Awards
The ASHP Student Leadership Awards Program supports students who have demonstrated leadership ability and have an interest in pharmacy practice. The award consists of a plaque, an ASHP drug information reference library and a cash award.
How to apply: To be eligible, you must be a pharmacy student in your second, third or fourth year of the program with a GPA of at least 2.75 on a 4.0 scale. You must also be an ASHP member in good standing.
When to apply: December. Learn more.
CVS Health Minority Scholarship for Pharmacy Students
CVS Health launched this program in 2019. It offers five awards of $8,000 to underrepresented minority students pursuing pharmacy degrees.
How to qualify: In addition to being an underrepresented minority, you must already be accepted or enrolled in a pharmacy degree program. Leadership, academic success and your commitment to the pharmacy profession and patient care are also considered.
When to apply: May. Learn more.
American Foundation for Pharmaceutical Education Scholarships
AFPE provides funding for a range of scholarships. You can apply for most of these awards beginning in November, but visit the AFPE website for specific details:
First-Year Graduate School Fellowships in Pharmaceutical Science
These fellowships target students who are members of Kappa Epsilon, Phi Lambda Sigma and Rho Chi and who plan to pursue a Ph.D. in pharmaceutical science.
Pre-Doctoral Fellowship in Pharmaceutical Science
These fellowships are for outstanding Ph.D. candidates who are enrolled in pharmaceutical science Ph.D. programs in the U.S. You get up to two years of financial support as you prepare for professional positions in the pharmaceutical industry and in academia.
Dr. Paul B. Myrdal Memorial Pre-Doctoral Fellowship in Pharmaceutics
This award is for students who meet all the qualifications of the Pre-Doctoral Fellowship in Pharmaceutical Sciences but are also researching pharmacists. If you aren’t selected for this fellowship, you will be automatically considered for the Pre-Doctoral Fellowship in Pharmaceutical Sciences.
Herb and Nina Demuth Memorial Award
This award is for students who meet all the qualifications of the Pre-Doctoral Fellowship in Pharmaceutical Sciences but are also researching parenteral drugs. If you aren’t selected for this fellowship, you will be automatically considered for the Pre-Doctoral Fellowship in Pharmaceutical Sciences.
Underrepresented Minority Award
Similar to the pre-doctoral fellowships, this award is only for minority candidates enrolled in pharmaceutical science programs in the U.S. You can receive up to two years of support as you prepare for professional positions in the pharmaceutical industry and in academia.
National Community Pharmacists Association Foundation Scholarships
The NCPA Foundation funds several scholarships to support students who demonstrate strong leadership qualities and high academic achievement. To be eligible, you must be an NCPA student member. All awards have application deadlines in March.
For students with a demonstrated interest in independent pharmacy. Learn more.
J.C. & Rheba Cobb Memorial Scholarship
For students with a demonstrated interest in government activities. Learn more.
Willard B. Simmons Memorial Scholarship
For students with a demonstrated interest in independent pharmacy management. Learn more.
Partners in Pharmacy
For students who demonstrate a strong commitment to community service and independent pharmacy. Learn more.
Neil Pruitt Sr. Memorial Scholarship
For students with a demonstrated interest in entrepreneurship. Learn more.
Indian Health Service Scholarship Program
The Indian Health Service funds three scholarships for Alaska Native/American Indian U.S. citizens or their descendants. Applications open in December. Visit the Indian Health Service website for more details on the following awards:
This scholarship provides tuition and required fees for qualified students who are preparing for professions in the health field by enrolling in undergraduate courses at nursing, pharmacy or other such schools. Preparatory courses are defined as those that are required to improve science, mathematics or other basic skills and knowledge. The qualification criteria are lengthy, so consult the scholarship handbook to see if you’re eligible.
The Pre-Graduate scholarship provides tuition and required fees for qualified students to enroll in courses leading to a bachelor’s degree in pre-medicine, pre-dentistry, pre-podiatry and others as needed by the Indian health programs. This program is designed to prepare you for admission to an accredited medical, dental, pharmacy or other health profession school.
Health Professions Scholarship
The Health Professions scholarship provides financial aid covering tuition, fees, and educational and living expenses for qualified students who are applying to, accepted by or enrolled in a health profession program. You incur a service obligation if you accept funding from this program, and priority is generally given to graduate students and junior- and senior-level undergraduates.
More ways to pay for pharmacy school
The scholarships on this list are all great ways to help pay for college. But be sure to fill out the Free Application for Federal Student Aid to be eligible for other sources of financial aid. The FAFSA is the key to unlocking grants, work-study opportunities, additional private scholarships and federal student loans.
Once you’ve maxed out all initial payment options — including federal loans — consider private health profession loans to cover additional costs. Private loans tend to carry higher interest rates than federal loans. They also have fewer protections and may not qualify for as many pharmacy loan forgiveness options. Shop around before choosing a lender to ensure you get the best deal.