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10 top scholarships for pharmacy students

Big pharma awards are the best medicine for your university tuition.

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If you've always been curious about chemistry, a drug’s side effects and prescription medications, a pharmacy degree might be in your future. There are many top scholarships to help reduce the cost of pharmacy school.

How we pick these scholarships

We selected scholarships specific to pharmacy students that offer large payouts, are open to multiple recipients each year or are renewable. Some are based on merit, while others are need-based.

Pre-Doctoral Fellowship in Pharmaceutical Sciences

  • Amount: $10,000
  • Deadline: November 7

The American Foundation for Pharmaceutical Education supports high performing students in a graduate PhD pharmaceutical science program. The scholarship stipend can be used for books, laboratory supplies, materials, travel and more. Funds should only be used for direct educational costs.

CVS Health Minority Scholarship for Pharmacy Students

  • Amount: $8,000
  • Deadline: May 1

CVS Health Minority Scholarship is given to underrepresented minority (URM) students pursuing pharmacy degrees. It offers five awards of $8,000 for tuition and fees with the purpose of reducing financial barriers for URM students pursuing PharmD degrees. Beyond that, you must demonstrate academic success, a commitment to advancing the profession of pharmacy and leadership.

American Pharmacists Association Foundation Student Scholarship Program

  • Amount: $1,000 to $1,750
  • Deadline: December 1

The Academy of Student Pharmacists scholarships evaluate students on their potential to become leaders in the pharmacy profession, as their involvement in their school's APhA-ASP chapter demonstrates. There are various scholarships available, some with additional eligibility requirements.

Rite Aid Competitive Pharmacy Scholarship

  • Amount: $1,500
  • Deadline: Varies

Every year, 10 Rite Aid Competitive Pharmacy Scholarships are open to full-time pharmacy students in the final two years of their studies. You must have at least a 2.0 GPA and plan to pursue community pharmacy practice to be eligible for this award. You also have spent a minimum of 350 hours as a Rite Aid pharmacy intern, be a dependent of a full-time Rite Aid associate or be a pharmacy student in areas not served by Rite Aid.

Merck Research Scholars Program

  • Amount: $5,500 to $8,000
  • Deadline: January

Students applying for the Merck Research Scholars program scholarship must be registered in a professional pharmacy degree program, which means you have completed at least two years of college courses and one year of professional pharmacy curriculum. You must also be enrolled for at least one full year after receiving the award. Twelve scholarships are open to first-year, second-year and third-year graduate students.

Tylenol Future Care Scholarship Program

  • Amount: $5,000 to $10,000
  • Deadline: June

Every year, the Tylenol Future Care Scholarship Program gives at least 30 scholarships to students who have finished at least one year of graduate studies in allied health, public health, nursing, medicine, or pharmacy. You can reapply each year as long as you still meet eligibility requirements and are not a past winner. Plus, it’s transferable so you’ll retain your scholarship if you switch to another university.

American Society of Health-System Pharmacists Awards Program

  • Amount: $2,500
  • Deadline: December

Every year, the American Society of Health-System Pharmacists (ASHP) presents $2,500 to 12 pharmacy students in their second, third and fourth years of school. Students must demonstrate leadership ability and show an interest in pharmacy practice in health systems. Students who have received the scholarship in the past are not eligible to apply.

Walgreens Pre-Pharmacy Scholarship

  • Amount: Up to $2,500
  • Deadline: March

The Walgreen’s Pre-Pharmacy scholarship awards students who are already Walgreens employees. Awards are reimbursements for course work up to $2500. 

Students must have worked for at least 1,040 hours with Walgreens and receive a recommendation from a Walgreens pharmacy supervisor to be eligible. Eligible students must also have completed high school classes that emphasized science, leading to pharmacy.

Walgreens Professional Educational Assistance Program

  • Amount: Up to $2,500 per year
  • Deadline: May

The Walgreens Pharmacy Student Professional Educational Assistance Program scholarship is given to pharmacy students in their last four years of pharmacy school. After graduating from pharmacy school, you must remain employed full-time with Walgreens for the same number of years that you received the award. If you leave Walgreens before you complete that number of years, you will have to repay the award.

CVS Caremark Charitable Trust Pharmacy Scholarship

  • Amount: Up to $5,000
  • Deadline: May

The CVS Caremark Charitable Trust Pharmacy Scholarship, in partnership with the United Negro College Fund (UNCF) has created scholarships for students pursuing a degree in pharmacy. Selected students will receive a scholarship of up to $5,000. To be considered, you must also submit an essay, resumé and letter of recommendation.

How else can I pay for school?

Pharmacy school students take on high student debt. That chance of earning a higher-than-average wage upon graduation helps, but it can be hard when you’re in debt and not making any money. On the upside, there are other ways to help pay for school. 

  • Federal work-study. Employment through your college is a good way to fund academic expenses. Federal work-study programs offer both full- and part-time jobs at thousands of schools across the US. Some jobs may even comply with your pharmacy degree program, giving you on-the-job experience. You must fill out the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) to apply.
  • Grants. Although typically reserved for students with financial need, grants offered by states and the federal government, and some private organizations or universities are also often geared toward a specific area of study. To apply for federal grants, you need to fill out the FAFSA.
  • Employer reimbursement programs. Some employers offer tuition reimbursement programs to employees who work a certain amount of hours and are enrolled either full- or part-time in college. Many programs don’t require you to work for the company after graduation, while some do. It doesn't hurt to ask your employer if such a program is available where you work.

Bottom line

The Bureau of Labor Statistics says that demand for pharmacists is expected to increase in healthcare settings, like hospitals and clinics. That's good news for students pursuing a pharmacy degree. A scholarship might cover your entire tuition or only a portion of your total costs, but getting one can go a long way to realizing your dream.

If you need even more funds, you can check out our A-to-Z list of scholarships or our guide to student loans for more ways to pay for your pharmacy degree.

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