Financial Aid for Pharmacy Technician Students
Becoming a pharmacy technician is not as simple as standing behind a cash register, passing out prescriptions—or counting out the medications either. Learning to be a pharmacy technician requires quite a bit—and the national certification that you can use whatever state you are in.
Most pharmacy techs enter this career through completion of a formal education program offered by many schools online and on campus today. Starting school is one thing, but paying for the education is another. Luckily, financial aid has come a long way in the past few years, giving great opportunities to students that never before would have been able to afford such an education. There are now even online pharmacy tech programs with financial aid available.
Understanding Your Options
When it comes to a pharmacy tech degree, you can spend as much as $30,000 on the associate’s degree alone. As the level of the degree goes up, you will find the tuition costs also increase, reaching upwards towards $70,000 or more by the time you graduate. When it comes to financial aid, however, you can actually obtain enough funding to pay for your entire education and more, including out-of-pocket costs likely incurred during the pursuit of a degree.
Paying for that school experience means that you will need money—and there are four types of financial aid for pharmacy technician students that they may be eligible for. Sorting through those different forms of financial aid is a whole different matter—and hopefully it’s not too overwhelming.
Work study programs are very useful for students because they combine work experience with studying. This is done by alternating the study time and work time on an equal, pre-determined basis. In return for the work experience given, the student not only earns credit towards their degree, but the possibility of a future job as well.
Some types of work study programs are available directly through the school itself, or jointly through the school and employer. Pay attention as to which you choose—the ROTC or Reserve Officer Training Corps for any of the military branches is a great example of this.
Work study money may seem free at first—but you trade off work in exchange for the money, although you do learn while you work so you actually benefit two ways. Grants, however, are truly free money. Students who are looking for another great source of money that they won’t have to pay back should check out grants. Pharmacy technician students should look into grants—especially those from hospitals and pharmaceutical corporations—the free money really is out there.
Grants are the most desired form of financial aid for pharmacy tech students, offering free funding that is never going to need repayment and will offer secure funding towards your educational costs. The Pell grant is awarded to students each year, offering up to $5,500 to low income needy students entering or attending an accredited degree program. Other grants are also offered, depending on your academic status and affiliations, as well as your preferred career, with pharmacy techs offered great grants through pharmaceutical organizations throughout the U.S.
Alternative loans are so named because they are not tradition in the sense that most people think of a student loan.
Some alternative student loans involve loans from one person to another. This may be people who know each other—then again, they may not. Legal paperwork is always drawn up in these loans that are called peer to peer loans. Fairly new, they tend to be very small.
Other alternative student loans use private lenders that are not banks. What pharmacy technician students must keep in mind about these alternative loans is that they will cost more.
Finally, the standard loans that you can apply for are the other option that many people opt for. This option is one that many pharmacy technician students take as well—some of the loans are great deals, with really low interest rates.
Other loans may have slightly higher interest rates, but run through the school that’s been applied to instead of the government—or a different combination which may be the combination that the pharmacy technician student is most pleased with.
Pharmacy techs today have great options to explore when it comes to financial aid, with many options offered to students of all levels. Don’t hesitate on a greater future because of the cost today, especially when these costs are easily conquered through the use of these funding resources that are available to students all throughout the U.S., as long as the school attended accepts that form of funding.
Many schools also offer student aid options and resources to help out in the search for appropriate funding, with counselors able to assist you in choosing through these options to find the best one for you.