The cost of pharmacy school — like most professional schools — has risen significantly, and students often face a heavy debt load by the time they graduate. Schools generally offer some form of financial aid, but it isn’t always enough. If you’re in pharmacy school and trying to reduce your loan debt or if you’re an undergraduate planning to go to pharmacy school, check out these 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. To apply, you must be a resident of the U.S.; enrolled in a health care related field at an accredited college or university, graduate school or vocational/technical school; and have one year remaining in your program.
Express Scripts Scholars Program
Funded by the Express Scripts Foundation, this scholarship supports students with diverse interests who pursue dual degrees. The award can be used for tuition, fees, books or other costs of attendance. The foundation gives special consideration to low socioeconomic status students, as well as students who are underrepresented minorities.
American Pharmacists Association Foundation Student Scholarship Program
This program supports students who invest time in their school’s American Pharmacists Association-Academy of Student Pharmacists chapter to help shape the profession. To qualify, you must demonstrate strong academic performance, involvement in school and community activities, and potential to become a leader in the profession of pharmacy.
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. To be eligible, you must be a pharmacy student in your second, third or fourth year of the program. The award consists of a plaque, an ASHP drug information reference library, and a cash award provided by the ASHP Research and Education Foundation through the Walter Jones Memorial Pharmacy Student Financial Aid Fund.
Allied Healthcare Scholarship Program
This scholarship is for undergraduate students enrolled in an Allied Healthcare program field such as pharmacy or pharmacy technician. To qualify, you must be willing to work for a certain period of time in an area that is medically underserved; be legally eligible to work in California; and must not have any other service obligation.
Pharmacy Times sponsors this award, which honors outstanding student pharmacists who display exemplary behavior and great potential as community pharmacist candidates. To qualify, you must have a record of voluntary public service activities, a high level of professional/public health-related activities outside the classroom, and a demonstrated effort to advance the profession of pharmacy. To be considered, your pharmacy school dean must nominate you. Winners receive a cash award and a summer internship with Walmart.
American Foundation for Pharmaceutical Education Scholarships
AFPE provides funding for a range of scholarships:
Undergraduate Research Scholarship Programs
The aim of this program is to increase the number of students who undertake a faculty-mentored research program and then enroll in a Ph.D. program in basic, clinical or administrative pharmaceutical science. The majority of money awarded consists of a stipend for your academic research project. The foundation gives preference to students who need relevant research experience in order to decide whether they want to pursue a Ph.D. in the pharmaceutical sciences. To qualify, you need to be an enrolled student, have completed one year of the degree program and be nominated by the faculty member you’ll work with.
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 Fellowships 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.
Pre-Doctoral Fellowships in Clinical Pharmaceutical Science
These fellowships are for Ph.D. candidates enrolled in clinical 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 academia.
Minority Pre-Doctoral Fellowships in Pharmaceutical Science
These fellowships are for minority Ph.D. 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.
Minority Pre-Doctoral Fellowships in Clinical Pharmaceutical Science
These fellowships are for minority Ph.D. candidates enrolled in clinical 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.
For students with a demonstrated interest in independent pharmacy.
Willard B. Simmons Memorial Scholarship
For students with a demonstrated interest in independent pharmacy management.
Partners in Pharmacy
For students who demonstrate a strong commitment to community service and independent pharmacy.
Indian Health Service Scholarship Program
The Indian Health Service funds a number of scholarships for Alaska Native/American Indian U.S. citizens or their descendants. They include:
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
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 and additional private scholarships.
Once you’ve maxed out all initial payment options, including federal loans, consider private loans to cover additional costs. Private loans tend to carry higher interest rates than federal loans. They also have fewer protections and forgiveness options. Shop around and compare private student loans before choosing a lender.
This article was updated on Jan. 26, 2015.