Training to become a Pharmacy Technician can take from 12 to 24 months and can be quite expensive. Understanding the Grants, Scholarships and Financial Aid available can help ease the financial burden of Pharmacy Technician training. Read on to learn about Federal and Private Grants and Loans which are available to assist in financing your Pharmacy Technician education.
Federal Pell Grants
Federal Pell Grants are only available to Undergraduate students and are based on financial need and the cost of tuition. Those with bachelor’s or graduate or professional degrees are not qualified to apply for a Pell Grant. Pell grants do not need to be repaid and in the 2020-2021 school year, the maximum available Pell grant is $6345.
Federal Supplemental Education Opportunity Grants
The Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant (FSEOG) can be applied for by submitting the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA).
The FSEOG assists those undergraduate students with low incomes and the amount of financial aid available is dependent on financial need.
The FSEOG award received can vary from $100 to $4000 and depends on the amounts of other financial aid received and the amount of grant money available at your particular school.
American Pharmacists Association Foundation (APhA) Scholarship Program
The American Pharmacists Association Foundation Scholarship Program offers 10 $1000 scholarships to students studying to become Pharmacy Technician students (https://www.pharmacist.com/student-pharmacists-join-apha-asp-today).
Direct Subsidized Loans:
- Are available to Undergraduate students with financial need
- Are handled by your school which determines the amount you can borrow and this amount cannot exceed your financial need
- Have the US Department of Education pay the interest on a Direct Subsidized Loan while you are in school at least half-time, for the first six months (grace period) and during a postponement of payment (deferment)
Direct Unsubsidized Loans:
- Are available to Undergraduate and Graduate students
- Have no requirement to demonstrate financial need
- Are dependent on your school determining the amount you can borrow based on the cost of attendance and your other financial aid
- Are dependent on your being responsible for paying the interest on a Direct Unsubsidized Loan during all periods
- Are loans that if you do not pay off the interest while you are in school and during grace periods and deferments and forbearances, the interest will accumulate and be added to the principal amount owed
Annual and Aggregate Limits for Direct Subsidized and Unsubsidized Loans for Dependent Students
For First Year Undergraduate Dependent Students:
First year undergraduate students who are dependent on their parents for support, except those students whose parents are unable to obtain a PLUS loan, can obtain a limit of $5500 in loans with no more than $3500 of this amount being in subsidized loans.
For First Year Undergraduate Independent Students:
First year Undergraduate Independent Students and Dependent Undergraduate students whose parents are unable to obtain PLUS loans students can obtain a limit of $9500 in loans with no more than $3500 of this amount in subsidized loans.
For Second Year Undergraduate Dependent Students:
Second year undergraduate students who are dependent on their parents for support, except those students whose parents are unable to obtain a PLUS loan, can obtain a limit of $5500 in loans with no more than $3500 of this amount being in subsidized loans.
For Second Year Undergraduate Independent Students:
Second year Undergraduate Independent Students and Dependent Undergraduate students whose parents are unable to obtain PLUS loans students can obtain a limit of $10,500 in loans with no more than $4500 of this amount in subsidized loans.
Determining Eligibility for Direct Subsidized or Direct Unsubsidized Loans:
In order to be eligible for either a direct subsidized or direct unsubsidized loan, you must be enrolled at least half-time at a school that participates in the Direct Loan Program. You also must usually be enrolled in a program that leads to a degree or certificate.
Demonstrating Financial Need
Direct subsidized loans are only available to undergraduate students who have a financial need.
Direct unsubsidized loans do not require a demonstration of financial need.
Current Interest Rates for Student Loans
Current interest rates (January 11th, 2021) for direct subsidized and unsubsidized loans is 4.53% for Graduate or Professional Borrowers and 2.75% for Undergraduate Borrowers.
Applying for a Student Loan
To apply for a Direct Loan, students are required to complete a Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) form. This form will allow your school to determine the amount of student aid you will be eligible to receive.
Signing a Master Promissory Note
Once you have been approved for a direct subsidized or unsubsidized loan, you will be required to sign a “master promissory note” in which you agree to the terms of your loan.
Receiving Your Loan Proceeds
Your school will first apply the proceeds of your Direct loan to your school account to pay for your tuition, books and room and board if applicable. Any additional funds from your loan will be refunded to you.
How Do You Pay Back Your Loan?
Your loan will have to be paid back after a six month grace period either after you graduate or if you drop below half time enrollment.
What Repayment Plans are Available?
Usually you will have from 10 to 30 years to repay your loan. Payment options include:
- Payment of a fixed monthly amount to repay your student loan usually within 10 years
- Payment of an incrementally increasing payment amount that usually increases every two years
- Payment based on income and family size or deferred payment or payment in forbearance
Plus loans are Federal loans available to dependent undergraduate students through the United States Department of Education who do not have a poor credit history and who meet the eligibility requirements for Federal Student Aid.
Financing your Pharmacy Technician training can be accomplished through Federal Grants and Loans and Private Scholarships. Filling out the FAFSA student aid application will allow you to take advantage of all available financial aid. This can help ease the burden of financing your Pharmacy Technician training and ensuring a lasting, lucrative and fulfilling career as a Pharmacy Technician.