With the climbing cost of living, it’s no surprise that the first thing you think of when considering the right online pharmacy technician program is the cost of tuition. While investing in your career can pay off in the long run, finding the money to make that initial investment might feel daunting. Luckily, you have various funding options available, including federal and state grants, loans, school-based scholarships, and more.
This guide introduces you to top schools with online pharmacy tech programs and walks you through understanding and securing the financial aid they offer.
Online Pharmacy Tech Programs with Financial Aid Support
To help you get started on your educational journey, we’ve spotlighted four accredited schools offering online pharmacy tech programs and detailed the financial aid options they offer. Each of these schools stands out in terms of its pharmacy tech program, accreditation, and financial aid process. While the process for receiving aid at each school is slightly different, it usually begins with completing a Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA).
You’ll also want to understand the requirements, which may differ by state, for working as a pharmacy tech based on that state’s board of pharmacy requirements.
UEI College’s Pharmacy Technician Training Program offers both online classes and hands-on training and labs to prepare you for an entry-level position as a billing and quality technician, compounding technician, or certified pharmacy technician in as few as 10 months. The program requires participation in an in-person externship that provides hands-on experience working inside a pharmacy.
EUI College also offers students access to financial aid through the following programs.
- Federal Pell Grant
- Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant(SEOG)
- Federal Subsidized and Unsubsidized Student Loans
- Federal Student PLUS Loans
To apply for financial aid, you must be enrolled at UEI College and be signed up for classes. Then, you’ll need to submit a FASFA application.
The school is accredited by the Accrediting Council for Continuing Education and Training (ACCET) and the Accrediting Commission of Career Schools and Colleges (ACCSC).
Asher College’s Pharmacy Technician Certificate and Degree Program offers the option to pursue both your certification and associate degree and prepares you for the Pharmacy Technician Certification Exam issued by the Pharmacy Technician Certification Board [PTCB]. Graduates also can receive help in applying for their state pharmacy technician licenses.
Asher College also accepts financial aid from the Federal Pell Grant, the Parent Plus Loan, the Tuition Assistance Program, both subsidized and unsubsidized federal loans, and others. You also can apply to the Asher Advantage Scholarship by submitting a FAFSA application.
The school is accredited by the American Society of Health-System Pharmacists (ASHP) and the Pharmacy Technician Accreditation Council for Pharmacy Education (ACPE).
Rasmussen University’s Online Pharmacy Technician Program allows students to earn their certifications in as few as nine months. Instructors teach skills-based courses, and students have access to a virtual workplace practicum that will enable them to rehearse real-life scenarios. The program prepares you for the Exam for the Certification of Pharmacy Technicians (ExCPT) or the PTCE.
Students are encouraged to apply for FAFSA to check their eligibility for a variety of funding opportunities.
Rasmussen University is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission, an institutional accreditation agency recognized by the U.S. Department of Education. The program is also recognized by the PTCB, which is recognized by the National Commission for Certifying Agencies (NCCA).
American National University (ANU)
ANU’s Pharmacy Technician Program teaches students about pharmacy law, basic chemistry, pharmacy procedures, and medical terminology. The program also includes an externship placement in a retail pharmacy or another healthcare setting. ANU’s career services team also helps students with their résumés, cover letters, and interviewing techniques before they graduate. Once you complete the program, you can take the CPTE issued by the PTCB.
Alumni students also have access to ANU’s career services and tuition-free refresher courses throughout their careers. However, you’re still responsible for any additional costs like lab fees, books, and supplies.
The program is accredited by the Pharmacy Technician Accrediting Commission, a collaboration between the American Society of Health-System Pharmacists and the Accreditation Council for Pharmacy Education.
Alternative Financing for Your Pharmacy Tech Education
Student services representatives for any quality pharmacy tech education program will tell you to first apply for FAFSA, especially since it opens doors to various forms of federal financial aid. You don’t have to limit yourself to just the FAFSA, though, since there are many other forms of financial aid, including payment plans, state-based aid and private scholarships.
Various organizations – including community colleges and universities, pharmacy chains, health systems, and even military organizations – offer pharmacy technician training programs. Start by searching for a training program in your state. For example, according to the Texas State Board of Pharmacy, a trainee can work in a pharmacy in the state for no more than two years before passing a board-approved certification exam. Often, your employer or even your school will pay for any fees associated with the training program.
Government-Funded Aid Programs
Generally, universities or colleges will have a financial aid page where potential students can see what types of options they have to help pay for their education. Those options include government-funded aid programs like Federal Pell Grants, Federal Supplemental Education Opportunity Grants, both direct subsidized and unsubsidized loans and work-study programs. Grants don’t need to be repaid, and the Pell Grant offers a maximum of $6,345. To obtain financial aid, first meet requirements like the following:
- Demonstrate and document legitimate financial need
- Enroll or be accepted into an approved educational program or institution
- Enrolled at least part-time and be in good academic standing
- Sign a statement certifying that you’re not in default on any other federal student aid program, that you’ll only use the funds for your education, and that you have a high school diploma, a GED, or have completed a home school program of study.
State Financial Aid
According to the National Association of Student Financial Aid Administrators, nearly every state offers at least one grant or scholarship program to its residents. Some states extend that offer to students from other states attending school there. States may also offer fellowships, specialized loan programs, tax incentives, and tuition reduction programs. For example, the Arizona Leveraging Educational Assistance Partnership (AzLEAP) offers need-based grants to low-income undergraduate students living in the state. The maximum award for an academic year is $2,500, and the average amount awarded is $1,000.
Scholarships vary in their application procedures, eligibility, deadlines and award amounts. Also, some pharmaceutical companies offer scholarships specific to potential pharmacy technicians. For example, the Walgreens Pharmacy Technician Certification Scholarship recognizes students enrolled in Allied Health or the PTCE and issues up to 50 awards of $250 annually to help cover exam fees.
Grants & Scholarships for Pharmacy Tech Students
Pharmacy tech classes can take a few weeks to two years to complete depending on whether you’re getting a certificate, diploma or degree. However, don’t let a program’s length deter you from seeking scholarships and grants to pay for some or all of your education. Three scholarships available to pharmacy tech students are detailed below with information on eligibility, the application process, and amounts to give you an idea of what’s available.
GoodRX Helps Equity in Pharmacy Scholarship
This $5,000 scholarship, from the philanthropy department of American healthcare company GoodRX, aims to helps students from under-represented groups who are passionate about the pharmacy profession. To earn the award, you must meet certain criteria, including:
- Current or recently graduated pharmacy technician student
- Certified within the last six months
- Submitting a written solution about a healthcare problem prompt
- Have a minimum GPA of 3.0
The award is distributed in August of the award year.
Mayo Clinic College of Medicine and Science Workforce Development Scholarship
If you are looking for a tuition-free program, consider the Mayo Clinic College of Medicine and Science Pharmacy Technician Program. If you are admitted to one of its programs in Arizona, Florida, Minnesota or Wisconsin, all students get the school’s Workforce Development Scholarship. It covers the full cost of tuition, while also providing a pipeline to join the Mayo Clinic if you meet the job requirements.
While students will have to pay any fees, books, supplies and living expenses, the program will also provide a student stipend during the final weeks of the 20-week course.
APhA Foundation Student Scholarship Program
Those applying to the APhA Foundation Student Scholarship Program must have completed at least one academic year and earned a minimum GPA of 2.75. You must also be an active member of the APhA-ASP and show participation in your chapter’s activities, not including holding a leadership position.
The APhA Foundation issues various scholarship awards, from the $1,500 George F. Archambault Scholarship to the $1,750 Pharmacists Mutual Community Pharmacy Scholarship. All other foundation scholarships are $1,000 each.
You need an official academic transcript and two letters of recommendation to apply. You’ll also need the following:
- A current résumé or CV
- A list of pharmacy or non-pharmacy activities that show community involvement and skills
- A 500-word essay on a designated topic
The deadline for this scholarship is midnight on Dec. 1.
For more information on other options for financing your online pharmacy tech program, visit this guide to Scholarships & Online Resources for Pharmacy Tech Students.
Financial Aid & Funding: A Q&A for Students
Finding ways to pay for your education can cause anxiety and even leave you with more questions than answers. To help you get the information you need, below are answers to a few of the most common questions students like you have. You’ll learn about potential eligibility for financial aid for both you and your program, as well as how payment plans work.
Am I eligible for financial aid?
Government-issued financial aid is based on your financial need, so your eligibility depends on factors like your annual household income or your parent’s annual income. State-based financial aid, on the other hand, depends on your location, how much you earn, where you want to study, etc.
Your best chance for obtaining financial aid begins with submitting a FAFSA application since it opens opportunities for both federal and state-based grants, loans and work-study programs. You can also apply for various scholarships, depending on factors like GPA and study area.
Is my pharmacy tech program eligible for financial aid?
In general, if the institution you’re attending is regionally or nationally accredited, you can use federal financial aid to pay for it. To be eligible, the school you choose should be a Title IV-eligible institution, which refers to the section of the Higher Education Act that oversees federal student aid.
How do payment plans work?
College tuition payment plans let you pay your tuition over time instead of all at once. Usually, payments are made monthly and must be completed before the end of the academic term. You’ll likely be required to pay an enrollment or application fee as well. Check to see if your school offers payment plans to students by contacting your school’s financial aid or bursar’s office.
Additional Financial Aid Resources for Pharmacy Tech Students
With most of your financial aid questions answered above, you’re hopefully more confident in securing funding for your pharmacy tech education. Since you’ll likely have other questions, though, the sites below provide some additional resources for anyone looking to complete a pharmacy tech program either online or on campus.
- National Association of Student Financial Aid Administrators (NASFAA): NASFAA is the only national nonprofit association that disseminates information on federal student aid programs. It even has a map with links to each state’s financial aid website.
- The American Pharmacists Association (APhA): This organization is the largest association of pharmacists in the country that works toward advancing the pharmacy profession. You can search for scholarship opportunities on its website.
- The American Association of Colleges of Pharmacy (AACP): This national organization works with partners and members to promote the pharmacy profession.
- The Pharmacy Technician Certification Board (PTCB): The PTCB has become the first certification organization for pharmacy technicians. Students can find out more about applying for and renewing their certification as well as gain access to free PTCE practice tests.
- The American Society of Health-System Pharmacists (ASHP): Whether you’re part of the more than 60,000 members, you can still access ASHP’s news articles, search for residency programs and jobs, and find drug information.