Pursuing a career in pharmacy requires a significant investment of money and time. If you’re considering a career in pharmacy and wondering how you’ll cover the cost of tuition, pharmacy school scholarships can help lessen the burden. Here are some of the best pharmacy scholarships available in 2021 and 2022, what they’re worth and when to apply.
6 top scholarships for pharmacy school students in 2021
The list of scholarships below is a good place to start your search if you’re enrolled in pharmacy school. However, don’t stop your search here; there are plenty of other pharmacy school scholarships available through schools, nonprofits and private organizations.
1. ASHP Student Leadership Award
The ASHP Student Leadership Award is available for full-time pharmacy school students who meet unique criteria and already belong to the American Society of Hospital Pharmacists (ASHP). An essay is required, along with three letters of recommendation, a professional questionnaire, a resume and a formal application. Students must have completed at least one academic year and have a GPA of at least 2.75.
Deadline: Jan. 15, 2022 (application opens in fall 2021)
Apply here: https://www.ashp.org/about-ashp/awards/student-awards/ashp-student-leadership-award
2. The NCPA Foundation Presidential Scholarship
The National Community Pharmacists Association (NCPA) offers a Presidential Scholarship to pharmacy school students who exhibit leadership qualities and academic achievement. You must be a member of the NCPA to apply, and you must also be attending an accredited pharmacy school on a full-time basis during the term the scholarship is awarded. In addition to transcripts and a personal essay, applicants must submit a letter of recommendation from a school official and a pharmacy owner or manager.
Deadline: Application opens in November 2021
Apply here: https://www.ncpafoundation.org/presidential/
3. Partners in Pharmacy
The NCPA also offers a Partners in Pharmacy scholarship to students who exhibit “exemplary academic performance, community service and a demonstrated commitment to independent pharmacy.” To qualify, you must be a NCPA member who is attending pharmacy school on a full-time basis during the term the scholarship is awarded. As with the NCPA’s other award, you must submit a letter of recommendation from a school official and a pharmacy owner or manager.
Deadline: Application opens in November 2021
Apply here: https://www.ncpafoundation.org/partners/
4. IMANA Scholarship
The Islamic Medical Association of North America (IMANA) offers a pharmacy scholarship to students in the United States who demonstrate leadership qualities and a commitment to a cause that “serves humanity.” This scholarship is available to all qualified applicants regardless of religion, race or other background factors. Students with DACA status are also eligible to apply.
Deadline: Application opens Sept. 1, 2021
Apply here: https://imana.awardspring.com/
5. AFPE First Year Graduate School Scholarship
The AFPE First Year Graduate Scholarship through Phi Lambda Sigma is for pharmacy students in their final year of an ACPE-accredited Doctor of Pharmacy Program and have plans to enroll in a Ph.D program when they graduate. Applicants must also be a member of Phi Lambda Sigma. To apply, applicants must submit two letters of recommendation, a statement discussing why they would like to attend graduate school, a list of accomplishments and achievements and a copy of their official transcript.
Deadline: May 15, 2022
Apply here: https://www.philambdasigma.org/page-18646
6. Community Pharmacy Scholarship
Pharmacists Mutual offers the Community Pharmacy Scholarship to students wishing to practice in an independent or small-chain pharmacy location or in an underserved geographic or cultural community. To apply, students must submit a college transcript, a letter of recommendation and an essay describing how they’ve prepared for work in an independent or underserved setting.
Deadline: Dec. 1, 2021 (application opens on Oct. 1, 2021)
Apply here: https://phmic.com/scholarship/
Additional ways to pay for pharmacy school
Pharmacy school scholarships can take the sting out of paying for tuition, but you’ll likely need to come up with additional sources of funding. Consider the following options as you begin pricing out pharmacy school and looking for ways to cover your out-of-pocket expenses, including the cost of tuition and fees.
- Federal student loans: Fill out a Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) in order to see if you are eligible for any federal aid, including federal student loans. Federal student loans come with low fixed interest rates and a variety of repayment options, including income-driven repayment plans.
- Private student loans: Private student loans can be used to fill in the gaps after you have exhausted federal student loans, and they may come with lower interest rates if you have good credit. However, they lack many of the benefits unique to federal student loans, like loan forgiveness opportunities and defined forbearance and deferment options.
- Additional aid: It’s possible that you could attend college for free (or at a much lower cost) with the help of pharmacy school grants, work-study programs and other types of aid. Look for all potential financial aid opportunities that may be available to you, including employer tuition reimbursement programs.
The bottom line
Paying for pharmacy school can be a large investment, but there are substantial scholarships available to help you foot the bill. Pay attention to all of the requirements when choosing scholarships to apply for; a thorough and detailed application can help you get the most scholarships. You should also look for scholarships each year, as new scholarships can become available and you may become eligible for scholarships that you weren’t eligible for in past years.