Filling a Financial Need
Most students who attend St. Louis College of Pharmacy receive more than one type of financial aid, creating a financial aid package designed to cover tuition, fees, and housing costs. Students are considered for receipt of two basic types of financial aid:
- Need based aid - Financial aid awarded on the basis of financial need. The process of determining financial need begins by completing the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). This federal form compiles financial information needed for the federal government to assess the needs of individual students.
- Non-need based aid - Financial aid awarded on the basis of a student’s ability, talent or unique characteristics, such as academic achievements, athletic ability, etc. Unsubsidized federal loans are non-need based aid, but require recipients to file a FAFSA.
Types of financial aid can be more specifically divided into four categories:
Scholarships are gift aid that do not have to be repaid by students.
- The College offers merit and need based scholarships to new students by performing a holistic evaluation of students’ academic achievement, financial need, community service, and leadership experience. Most scholarships awarded to new students are renewable.
- The College also offers endowed scholarships to current students. More than 200 donor-funded scholarships, totaling more than $400,000, have been funded by individuals, organizations, and companies to assist STLCOP students for the 2013-14 academic year. In 2013, 175 students were awarded these scholarships. Students apply for endowed scholarships in the fall, answering questions that help the awards committee match students with the scholarships that are best suited to recognize their accomplishments and address individual needs and goals. Criteria include academic achievement, extracurricular activities, and community involvement.
- Many students receive scholarships from sources other than the College. External scholarships are granted by local, regional, and national foundations, businesses, charitable organizations, civic organizations and churches. High school guidance counselors are often a good reference for identifying external scholarship sources.
- International students are eligible for institutional scholarships based on the same criteria as other students.
Grants are based directly on a student’s financial need and do not require repayment. The federal government is the largest source of need based grants; other sources include the State of Missouri and the College.
- The federal government offers several types of grants, which vary in amounts awarded. They include Pell Grants and Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grants (FSEOG).
- Missouri offers state residents the need-based Access Missouri Grant and the merit-based Bright Flight Grant. Missouri residents must complete a 2014-15 FAFSA by April 1, 2014 to be considered for the Access Missouri Grant.
Student loans are available to students and parents who wish to borrow money to help meet educational expenses. STLCOP students are eligible for several loan programs.
- Direct Subsidized and Unsubsidized Loans are federal loans available to students who file a FAFSA. Direct Loan eligibility and amounts are determined by students' financial need, level of enrollment, and enrollment status.
- Federal Perkins Loans and Health Professions Student Loans are need-based, subsidized student loans. The Financial Aid Office will notify students who are eligible for either of these loans.
- PLUS Loans are federal loans available to parents of dependent students and to graduate students. Parents and graduate students may apply for PLUS Loans at www.studentloans.gov. PLUS Loan applications should be completed no earlier than June 1 for academic years beginning in August.
- Private Student Loans may be borrowed by students from a private lender like a bank or credit union. Students are much more likely to be approved for and receive a better interest rate on private loans when applying with a cosigner. A list of private lenders used by STLCOP students is available on the College's FastChoice website, however students are not restricted to the lenders on the list.
The Federal Work-Study Program provides part-time, on-campus job opportunities for students. Work-study students work an average of five to six hours per week and are paid monthly for total hours worked.
The American Association of Colleges of Pharmacy (AACP) provides information on a variety of special financial aid resources available to pharmacy students.
The American Pharmacists Association website links to information about a variety of scholarships including the APhA Foundation Student Scholarship Program, APhA-ASP awards and scholarships, and others.
The Scholarship Foundation of St. Louis is a nonprofit organization that provides information and furnishes direct financial support to students. In 2012, some 600 students from the St. Louis region received nearly $3.6 million in interest-free loans and grants for post-secondary education through the financial assistance programs of The Scholarship Foundation of St. Louis.
FinAid is a comprehensive database of student financial aid information, advice, and tools. The site is free and features a searchable database of scholarships by profession (including health sciences), state, and academic achievement.
Mapping Your Future offers tips and resources to help students find and apply for appropriate scholarships. The site links to more than 15 different online scholarship databases, search engines, or information resources.