1201 S. State Street,
Big Rapids, MI 49307
Pharmacy Students That Have Not Earned 72 Credit Hours
Per federal financial aid regulations, students are not eligible for graduate-level financial aid until they have earned a minimum of 72 credit hours. If you are a first-year Pharmacy student that will begin the program with less than 72 earned credit hours, please note that you will not be eligible for any federal financial aid until you have earned at least 72 credit hours. Your only option for receiving aid before you have earned 72 credit hours, will be private loan options, provided you have a credit-worthy cosigner.
If you are a U.S. citizen or eligible non-citizen, your federal aid eligibility will begin in the spring semester of your first year. You should complete your FAFSA each year, as soon as possible, indicating that you are pursuing a grad/professional degree.
Pharmacy Students That Have Earned at Least 72 hours
Below you will find the most common financial aid options for a student going through the College of Pharmacy program. If you have specific questions about your financial aid that are not addressed below, please contact Melanie Mulder at the email address provided at the bottom of this page.
Once you are admitted in to the Pharmacy program and you have earned a minimum of 72 credit hours prior to beginning the doctorate program, you are automatically considered an independent student for financial aid purposes. Whether or not your parents claim you on their taxes has no bearing on your dependency for financial aid. There are no federal grants or subsidized loans for graduate level students. If you are eligible to file a FAFSA, you will be offered only unsubsidized loan as outlined below from the federal government.
FAFSA - Unsubsidized Loan
Complete the FAFSA (preferably by April 1st) to be awarded the Federal Unsubsidized Loan for an amount of up to $20,500 for the academic year. The unsubsidized loan interest rate for graduate/professional students is 7.05% fixed for 2023-24.
UNSUBSIDIZED HEALTH PROFESSIONS LOAN
In addition to the $20,500 unsubsidized loan listed above, each student eligible to file a FAFSA will be offered an additional $12,500 in Unsubsidized Health Professions Loan. The Unsubsidized Health Professions Loan interest rate for graduate/professional students will be the same as the unsubsidized loan rate, which is 7.05% fixed for 2023-24.
Health Professions Loan
The "Health Professions Loan" is the only loan option for graduate level students that has no interest accrual while you are enrolled at least half-time in school. To be considered for this very limited funding, you must provide parental tax information on your FAFSA by April 15th. An email with Health Professions Loan application instructions will be sent to you early in June. Please note that traditionally there is not enough of this funding to award every eligible student. We utilize a first come, first served method of awarding Health Professions Loans. Applications are date and time stamped as they are received and funds are awarded in that order, until they are expended. Changes to the 2024-25 FAFSA will not allow graduate professional students the option of adding parental information to the FAFSA. We do not yet know how the limited Health Professions Loan will be impacted by the change to the FAFSA. Additional details will be shared when available.
Private Loan Options
Most private loan options require credit-worthy cosigners. However, private loans typically have zero processing fees, which could potentially save you hundreds of dollars each year.
Graduate PLUS Loan
To apply for this loan option, you must have a FAFSA on file and you must be enrolled at least half-time during the semester or academic year for which you are applying for the loan, which is a minimum of 5 credit hours for a graduate/professional student. This application requires credit- worthiness and may be requested to cover up to the remaining balance of your Cost of Attendance.
Please note that you may apply for a Grad PLUS Loan to cover your out of pocket expenses for the academic year (fall and spring semesters); for fall semester only; or for spring semester only. If you are enrolled at least half-time for summer semester, you may apply for an additional Grad PLUS Loan to cover your expenses for summer semester.
Advantages of the Grad PLUS Loan is that it is very easy to qualify for, and typically does not require a co-signer. It has a moderate fixed, interest rate (8.05% for 2023-24). The disadvantage of this loan is that it has a significant loan processing fee (4.228% of the amount borrowed for 2023-24).
You may apply for the Grad PLUS Loan at studentaid.gov. Applications for the 2023-2024 academic year are available now. Grad PLUS applications for 2023-2024 will be available beginning June 1, 2023.
Scholarship Opportunities Link
Select the link below to view scholarship opportunities that are available for P1-P4 students.
Summer is the final semester of each academic year. For example, the summer of 2024 is the last semester of the 2023-2024 academic year. First and second year pharmacy students are typically required to enroll in IPPE's (two credit hours) during summer semester. If you are enrolled in two credit hours, you will not qualify for summer financial aid. Students must plan ahead for this expense - (approximately $2000). Please see options to cover summer expenses:
- Reserve funding from your financial aid refunds from the prior fall and spring semesters (if applicable) in order to cover IPPE summer tuition.
- Investigate private loan resources that allow loans for less than half-time enrollment. There are two lenders on our private lender list that currently offer this option - those lenders are College Avenue and Sallie Mae. A credit-worthy cosigner may be required for these loans. You may access our private lender list here: ferris.edu/alt
- For a $30 fee, you may select a payment plan prior to the first billing due date and divide the balance into three equal payments, making the first payment prior to the first payment due date for the summer semester.
Students who are also enrolled in an MBA program may take additional courses in the summer. If you enroll in at least five credit hours for summer semester, the Financial Aid office will review your eligibility for federal aid and notify you. If you had not used all of your $20,500 of unsubsidized loan and the $20,000 of Unsubsidized Health Professions Loan in the prior fall and spring semesters, then we will offer you the remaining amount of the eligibility for summer, up to your cost of attendance. If you had previously used all of your annual Unsubsidized and Unsubsidized Health Professions Loan eligibility for the academic year, you will receive a message indicating that due to Extremely Limited Summer Funding options, that you had expended all of your annual federal loan eligibility and that you would have the option of applying for alternative loan options to cover your summer expenses. That is your indicator that you may need to apply for an alternative loan option (such as the Grad PLUS or private alternative loan) to cover your summer expenses.
Prior to entering the P4 year, most P3 students will be required to take APPE's in the summer semester. Summer is the final semester of each academic year. For example, the summer of 2024 is the last semester of the 2023-2024 academic year. APPE's are typically six credit hours each. Students may enroll for one or two APPE's. The Financial Aid office will review summer aid eligibility for any student that enrolls at least half-time for summer semester (a minimum of 5 credit hours) in mid-April. The student will receive one of two message notifications: 1) You have an award offer ready for review; or 2) Due to extremely limited funding, you have no aid eligibility for summer.
Summer semester is treated separately from fall and spring and has a separate Cost of Attendance. If the student did not use all of your federal Unsubsidized and Unsubsidized Health Professions Loan eligibility in the prior fall/spring semesters, any remaining unsubsidized loan eligibility will be offered for the summer semester, up to the Cost of Attendance for summer and will receive message 1 above. If you have used your entire Unsubsidized/Unsubsidized Health Professions Loans in fall and spring, you will receive message 2 above, but may apply for alternative loan options to cover your summer expenses up to your summer Cost of Attendance. Grad PLUS and private loan applications are available for summer semester beginning April 1 each year.
Student Financial Services offers multiple payment plan options that you may choose from each semester. There is a $30 payment plan fee charged for each semester that you select a payment plan.
Email: [email protected]
Fax: (231) 591-2950