Post # 1
After discovering my original counselor no longer works at my college, I walked in to get information about my degree program and walked out believing I’ll need about 100 credit hours (for an associate’s and prereqs for pharmacy transfer).
Now, I realize something has to be seriously amiss with the figures… so I am scheduling an appointment with a “preprofessional transfer counselor” a few days from now. However, I’ve started looking into other schools. It just seems my cheap college is…er…. cheap. And not only do my instructors hate their lives (the head of the psych department actually said this to our class), the students don’t seem to care, either.
With that being said, I’ve exhausted my savings and I don’t qualify for grants because my last tax statement is over their cut off. I am applying for a loan, but am told the MAXIMUM for my first year is $3,500… and it can take up to three months to get it.
I found a university near me which has a prepharmacy program that guarantees admission into a pharmacy college. That was exciting until I saw the tuition cost there is $616 PER CREDIT HOUR (versus my $88). I decided to look into the pharmacy cost for that school and found their yearly tuition is over $30K.
My first choice pharmacy college is about $25K a year.
I want to go to college. I have the aptitude and drive to succeed, and I sincerely enjoy being challenged. But I am pretty down right now, because I am running out of my own money… my college doesn’t challenge me… and I have no support from their counselors or guidance, really. I have a 4.0 and I want to enroll in all the classes I am allowed to take per semester, but it was suggested to me that I only take on 12-15 hours rather than the 21 maximum I am able to.
I’m sorry for venting, but this is bumming me out. I want to get my doctorate. Does anyone have advice? Is there some sort of hierarchy in counseling departments I could move up in?
Post # 3
It seems like it might be a lot more time and money than would be worth it to switch. If you have a 4.0 and take all the pre-reqs you should be able to get into pharm school without going to a pricey college. Do you have to listen to the counselors? I never really did. Can you look online to figure out yourself what classes you need so you can go in ready if they try to tell you 100 hours again?
Post # 4
I’ve taught the same class at a four year college with 100 students in the class, and at a community college with 30 students. Same exact class… much cheaper at the community college. My advice is to take everything you can take at a CC or online, and transfer for the last year- and yes, if you do it right, it’s well worth it! Good luck.
Post # 5
The issue I have right now with staying is that my prereqs for the pharmacy school I intend on going into, according to my college, require about 4 other classes in order to enroll. I.E.
I’m taking an algebra course to get a refresher; after ten years in the corporate world I’d forgotten most of the formulas. Once I finish this course, I take another course to intro into calculus, but my general chem requires ANOTHER college algebra course. And so on and so on. So in the end, with all the prereqs and AS degree classes, I need another 4 or 5 classes in order to satisfy the requirements for the transfer courses they indicated.
I’m hoping they are willing to see the absurdity of this, but if not… I’m not sure what I want to do. The other university doesn’t have these requirements for their courses. Once you are college level I, II, or III – you get the appropriate course options in the sciences.
*sigh* I don’t know if that confused the matter even more or if I’m talking myself in circles.
Post # 6
So the college you’re at now has lots of pre-reqs before you can even take the classes required to get into pharm school?
Maybe if you show them high school transcripts/other college classes/real world experience/take an aptitude test they can make an exception. I’d try this avenue first before spending lots of money to switch.
Also, you can take more credit hours to get all the classes in, for most colleges just because they suggest you take less doesn’t mean you have to.
Post # 7
Yep, that is exactly it. And they flew that under the radar because the information I got at the time of initial enrollment certainly didn’t include the addition of classes.
I’ll have to see what they can do to work with me.
Post # 8
sometimes you can get premission to test out of pre-req courses. If you can pass the test, then you don’t have to take the course. I did that in college for a few courses. Might be worth it to ask about that.
Post # 9
I’ve found that with many of my University classes that I may not have the pre-requisite for, if you talk directly to the instructor of the class you need to take, they will waive the pre-req. I will send emails and meet them in person to go over why I have the knowledge for the class and why I would be a good addition to the class. This doesn’t always work depending on the class, but it has definitely worked for me on a few occasions. Sometimes you need someone from your department to sign an enroll form and then attach the instructor’s correspondence indicating that you have permission to enroll without the pre-req. Is this a possibility for you? The admin people in most departments are often not able to do much for you, but if you keep trying with the instructors or even (associate) deans, you can often get around the walls that the admin must adhere to. Another option mentioned is to test out of a pre-req if they won’t just waive it for you.
I think in your case, it would be best to try and make it work at the college you are currently at. A jump from $88 to $616 per credit hour is HUGE! If possible, you could also try to fit an extra class into your semester (if you can handle it, depending on what other classes you are taking with it) to shorten the duration of your program. I have had to get my credit limit expanded for a few semesters to fit in an extra class here and there and it was not a problem.
Hope that helps! Good luck!
Post # 10
I think cc is a great to use. Just be careful, some universities require a percentage of your credits (70-80%) be taken from their school for graduation.
Post # 11
i would say talk to someone at your 1st chice pharmacy program. my undergrad degree was about $1700/credit hour if you break it down and the local community college is $26. many universities dont transfer many credits from cc, especially core. if you are talking algebra, i would def do that at cc. but anat + phys? that probably wont transfer from cc. im not knocking community colleges, but intro math, intro science, and econ classes are pretty much the only thing that will transfer if you plan on attending a rigorous pharm school.
Post # 12
@FutureMrsMorgan: I totally agree with you. ANd, having been on the other side of the fence, I now understand a lot of what goes on in the minds of admissions board members. I went to Texas A&M undergrad, but took some classes at CC, and then went to MIT for grad school. My undergrad was looked down upon, even with a 3.9 GPA. It was test scores and my years of lab experience/connections with my eventual PhD advisor that got me in. I would recommend, heavily, that if you stay at the community college, you also include as many internships and as much pharmacy job experience as humanly possible. CC and top tier grad schools don’t get along very well – it’s a horrible misconception that unfortunately, many in the professorship realm in the “top” schools perpetuate.
Post # 13
I teach at the college level, and this is my advice (with the caveat that transfer requirements can be highly specific and vary by state/institution, so what goes at my university may not apply to you at all):
I agree with previous advice to try to see if you can get an appointment (even with an admissions counselor) at the program you want to end up at, and see if that program can answer your some of your questions. That person should know the range of possibilities for pretransfer work. And, ask this person if you actually need to get your AS degree in order to transfer in, or if you just need to have a certain number of credits (maybe in specific classes). It is possible that you don’t actually need to fulfill all of the requirements for the AS in order to transfer.
Second, it sounds like you might be duplicating some of your prereqs unnecessarily. If you are taking algebra now, and planning on doing calculus, it seems like you probably don’t really need another algebra course. I would get in touch with whoever teaches the chemistry course, or even the departmental counselor or chair of the chemistry department to ask if you can count one of your other math courses as the prereq, or test out of that requirement, etc.
Post # 14
I am currently in pharmacy school right now (expected graduation of ’12). There are definitely a lot of requirements to get into pharmacy school. Depending on where you are at (such as state), meeting the just the minimum will not help your chances of getting into pharmacy school. For example, the school I go to states that you only have to complete a specified list of 72 credits to apply/ enroll… however, about 3/4ths of the students have bachelor’s degrees (or more) and many have significant work experience too. It sounds like you have to complete a lot of basic courses that are necessary for pharmacy school. I know that I had to take college calculus, which meant that I had to have taken or tested out of college algebra, trigonometry, pre-calculus, etc first. I would definitely recommend visiting some of the pharmacy schools you would consider going to and talking to them in person about what they value in their students (work experience, awesome grades, volunteerism, etc).
Keep in mind that the pharmacy profession is a great career choice… but you can easily go into A LOT of debt getting there. I had almost no undergraduate debt and will be almost $200K in debt by the time I graduate pharmacy school. Also, things like sign on bonuses and tuition reimbursement are gone (at least in the states surrounding where I live).
Edit: I wanted to add that I love the profession I chose – and there are a lot of possibilities. I am pursuing a “non-traditional” route after graduation. I’m glad that there are so many possibilities (there is a list of >90 different areas of focus in pharmacy). Just be sure that this is the route you really want to go – be sure to research many other options, such as nursing, physician assistants, physical therapists, genetic counselors, etc.
Feel free to PM me!!
Post # 15
Thanks everyone. All of this information has been very helpful.
I have excellent credit and while I’ve worked very hard to maintain it, I am 100% prepared for the substantial debt incurred from pharmacy school. I am expecting anywhere from $120K to 200K, but anticipate paying it off in full in about 2-3 years after graduation.
I suppose I was just in shock that my expected undergraduate expense went from about $7,000 to $13,000. I wasn’t prepared to take that on in addition to the cost of my doctorate program.
With that being said, after 10 years in corporate work experience and countless hours researching careers I am completely sold on the PharmD program. I don’t think I will have a difficult time getting admitted into the two schools I have the option of going to because there are some connections I can pull. The expense is just astronomical though… and that combined with the crap I was told today (and hormones) has thrown me into a mini-meltdown.
Thanks for listening and for the valuable input. I am going to come up with some sort of solutions to present to them in order to attain my graduation goal. 🙂
Post # 16
i think the most important thing is that you have the education, not where it came from.