Acceptance into a PharmD program deserves much praise. It could be a difficult feat for some, but the field of pharmacy is respected by many in the community. With all the rigorous studies that one has had to accomplish in order to meet the requirements of enrolling into a program, most candidates may expect to be bombarded by more work and examinations, and prepare themselves accordingly. However, one of the most important decisions in investing in higher education are the expenses that are accrued throughout four years of study. These expenses include tuition, room and board, books, university fees, technology and/or laboratory fees, transportation, student loan interest rates, etc.
1. PharmD Selection. To cut costs, many students prefer to apply to public universities within their state. In-state tuition usually requires records of residence, including tax records, for at least a year in most states. Out-of-state tuition could be very costly, almost comparable to private university tuition costs. For those that are not accepted into an in-state PharmD program will have to look to other PharmD programs out-of-state or private universities if they want to increase their probability of acceptance into a PharmD program, which could be expensive.
2. Housing. Many professional students prefer to live in off-campus housing rather than dormitories (reserved usually for undergraduate students) and take on roommates to split the costs of rent, utility, and possibly even food.
3. Location. Living expenses are arguably cheaper in rural areas compared to a big metropolitan city as New York City, although the lifestyle may not be as exciting.
4. Online/Used Textbooks. With the emergence of more products and applications available on the internet, more and more schools are moving away from traditional books and paper and moving towards online subscriptions of textbooks. Depending on the company, online textbook subscriptions may be cheaper than books, and some students may even get discounts through their PharmD program. Moreover, powerpoint presentations could be viewed on laptops rather than having them printed, thus saving paper (and trees!). It may even relieve the burden of having to carry heavy textbooks in their backpack every day. If online subscriptions are not an option, looking to used textbooks are a great way to save a ton of money. This requires knowing what books will be needed (and the correct editions) before purchasing.
5. Interest rates. Finally, obtaining a loan with a low interest rate greatly effects the burden of debt that will be due upon graduation for the student that will be seeking a job. Even more if the newly licensed pharmacist is having difficulty finding a job. Therefore, looking towards subsidized loans is a wise choice as interest may not begin to compound until after the student has graduated. Grants and Scholarships are a welcome addition, usually contingent on economic status or academic progress.