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Frequently Asked Questions

  • Q: I understand a professional Doctor of Pharmacy (DP) degree can be costly. I cannot fully fund such a degree. Is there financial aid available?
    • A: Yes, by applying for financial aid you will be considered for any and all financial aid Purdue University offers.
  • Q: Are there scholarships available for DP students?
    • A: Generally, there are no scholarships based on NEED (from the FAFSA form). However, there are limited merit-based scholarships offered by the School of Pharmacy. Scholarships are NOT guaranteed. Federal Loans are always offered.
  • Q: What forms does Purdue require to file for financial aid?
  • Q: Do you have a deadline for filing for financial aid?
    • A: You can file the FAFSA form anytime all year long but priority for scholarships and some loan programs will be given to on time filers, who file by March 1st.
  • Q: Do I file one FAFSA for all four years of my DP degree?
    • A: No, if you want to be considered for aid each year, then you must complete a new FAFSA each year.
  • Q: So if I miss the March 1 deadline I can't have financial aid, correct?
    • A: NO, that is NOT the case. If you miss the March 1 deadline, you may not be considered for any scholarships but you can always qualify for Stafford Loans any time of year.
  • Q: What types of financial aid are available?
  • Q: Why are loans considered financial aid, after all, I have to pay them back?
    • A: True, you do have to pay them back but they are a "type" of Federal aid funds that you have to 'qualify' for, specifically created to help assist you finance your educational degree, with generally attractive terms, low interest rates, and deferred payments.
  • Q: If I, or my spouse, make "too much" money, is it worth my time to file the FAFSA?
    • A: Even seemingly "wealthy" students can at least qualify for loans. If you want to know all of your options then file your FAFSA form. Our office will make an award of a Stafford Loan but the decision to actually apply for this loan is still yours. After the loan award is made you are under no obligation to take out that loan.
  • Q: If I am awarded a loan but turn it down before the start of the year am I out of luck if I want it back?
  • Q: I'd like to keep my debt down, do I have to borrow the entire Stafford Loan you offer me?
    • A: No, in fact, we encourage you to borrow only what you think you will need.
  • Q: If I borrow some - but not all - of my Stafford Loan can I take out more later?
    • A: Yes. Think of our Stafford Loan award as the upper limit. You can borrow up to that limit anytime during the 9 months of the academic year in question.
  • Q: If I don't use all of my loans from one year can I borrow them - or carry them forward - to the next year?
    • A: No. All loan awards are year specific. You can take them out all year long, but once the year is over you cannot "go back" and borrow an unused amount.
  • Q: What is a DP cost of attendance estimate?
    • A: The Federal government charges a school to determine a student's cost of attendance. Therefore, a "budget" is what the Financial Aid office determines to be allowable expenses a DP student may incur. Much like buying a house, there is more to home ownership than just the mortgage. See an estimate of costs for DP enrollment here.
  • Q: My expenses are greater than the DP budget you have allowed me. What am I to do?
    • A: Your financial aid awards are for educational related expenses only. Therefore, you would need to find outside sources to help with your expenses. Feel free to discuss your situation with a financial aid administrator.
  • Q: I have children, what about childcare expenses?
    • A: Through the FAFSA data and our subsequent verification process, we will automatically increase your DP budget to include a childcare increase.
  • Q: If I have expenses that you don't list in your budget categories, what am I supposed to do?
    • A: That may be the case. If you have expenses that we cannot allow in your DP budget, then you need to be aware that those expenses would be your responsibility from some other source other than financial aid.
  • Q: I am an incoming DP student. I have heard that I need to buy my books and supplies before I start. When can I get my "extra" financial aid?
    • A: Due to Federal regulations your financial aid "refund" cannot be available to you any earlier than 10 days before the start of classes. We recommend you plan to purchase book and supply expenses out of your own pocket & reimburse yourself after your financial aid comes in (usually within the first couple of weeks of classes).
  • Q: Once my PU fees & PU housing is paid, then what?
    • A: Any money that is available after all PU bills are paid is called a "refund". Purdue's Office of the Bursar will "refund" it to you either by campus mail or Automatic Deposit (if you have set up that service with the Bursar's Office).
  • Q: What do I do with my "refund"?
    • A: That is your money to live on for the semester, buy your books and supplies, pay rent (if off-campus), buy food, etc, but make it last the semester. Budget wisely.
  • Q: Do I get my financial aid all at one time?
    • A: No. Financial Aid is typically disbursed to you 1/2 for the fall semester & 1/2 for the spring semester...just the way in which you will incur your expenses.
  • Q: What are some typical expenses the financial aid will NOT cover?
    • A: Typically, federal financial aid cannot cover such items as car payments, veterinary bills, nannies, any consumer credit card debt, or interview expenses. Feel free to discuss your situation with a financial aid administrator.
  • Q: My senior year, I have to take my boards which are expensive. Can financial aid cover these expenses?
    • A: No, although you are required to take the Purdue Pharmacy specific test dates and payment criteria do NOT meet federal criteria to be included in the DP budget.
  • Q: What if I don't want any loans?
    • A: Financial aid awards are made to each student based on the FAFSA form. Our job is to award you "everything" you are entitled to. You are under NO obligation to take/accept everything we offer. That final decision is yours. Just be aware that we cannot replace loans with other "free" money and the bill would be your responsibility.
  • Q: I know I'm in the DP program but I don't have a BS degree. Why am I considered a graduate/professional student and not an undergraduate?
    • A: Doctor of Pharmacy is one of only a handful of "medical" disciplines that does not require a BS degree in order to be admitted into the program. The DP degree program itself is a "graduate" level program.
  • Q: So how do I complete the FAFSA form if I don't have a BS degree?
    • A: You would complete it as a graduate student. If you are unsure about your status, contact a financial aid administrator.
  • Q: I've heard that I have to provide my parents' information on the FAFSA form, even though I am an independent student. Is this true?
    • A: That is mostly correct. However, at Purdue, supplying your parents' information is optional. You are not required to supply this information, but it could help you qualify for one particular type of federal loan program. The Health Profession Student Loan (HPSL) - from the Department of Health and Human Services arm of the government is a loan program that mandates the use of parental information regardless of students' dependent/independent status.
  • Q: I realize now that I am an "independent" student for financial aid reasons. However, my parents still claim me on their taxes. Is this OK/legal?
    • A: Yes. That is the difference between the IRS regulations and the regulations governing financial aid.
  • Q: Will providing my parental information affect my eligibility for scholarships or Stafford loans?
    • A: No, your parents' information is not used to calculate your scholarship eligibility (if any) or Stafford Loan eligibility.
  • Q: Can my parents take out a Parent (PLUS) Loan for me if they wanted to?
    • A: No. Parent PLUS Loans are only for parents of dependent students. Once a student is considered graduate/professional, they are automatically independent for financial aid reasons, and the parent cannot take out a Parent PLUS Loan.
  • Q: If I choose not to provide my parents' information (or they won't give me their information), will that hurt my chances for scholarships?
  • Q: OK, I am a 25 year-old (for example) professional student and my parents are divorced. Whose data do I put down on the FAFSA form?
    • A: This can be difficult, but the Federal regulations would require the household information of the parent who "would have been" considered your custodial parent had you still been living at home. Feel free to contact the DP Financial Aid administrator to discuss specific circumstances if you have questions.
  • Q: If I do supply my parents' information, does it guarantee that I will get the HPSL Loan?
    • A: No. We have limited funds in the HPSL program, so you may qualify but we may not have any funds to award to you.
  • Q: If I receive the HPSL one year, can I assume that I will get it every year?
    • A: No. Your eligibility is re-determined each year. Also the total HPSL award can vary every year.
  • Q: What GPA do I have to maintain in order to compete for DP scholarships?
    • A: 2.65 is the minimum required to be considered a professional student.
  • Q: The Division of Student Financial Aid (SFA), formerly known as the State Student Assistance Commission of Indiana (SSACI) indicated in a mailing that I may be eligible for a state grant. Is that true?
    • A: No. As a graduate/professional student, you will NOT qualify for the SFA grant. Confusion happens because you may have indicated on the FAFSA that you didn't have a BS and that's why they think you are still an undergraduate student.
  • Q: My father is an Indiana disabled veteran. Even though I'm independent and in a professional degree program, can I qualify for the Child of Disabled Veterans (CDV) award?
    • A: Possibly, yes. If you have remaining eligibility as determined by the Veterans Administration, you may be eligible to receive the CDV award in the DP program. According to regulations it can only cover general fees NOT the pharmacy "differential" fees. Feel free to contact a financial aid administrator with other questions.
  • Q: Our senior year is 12 months long, starting in the summer immediately after our third professional year. Can we qualify for any financial aid during that year?
    • A: Yes. However, it will not be one award letter for the whole 12-month program; you will receive separate award notification for summer, then another award notification for the fall/spring of your senior year.
  • Q: Do I have to file a separate FAFSA form for the summer rotations of my senior year?
    • A: No. Your summer aid eligibility is calculated using the previous year's FAFSA form (the one you filed for your third professional year). You will need to file your last FAFSA form for what will be the fall/spring of your senior year.
  • Q: I'm thinking about going out of the country for one of my senior rotations. Will financial aid cover those expenses?
    • A: In general, the answer is yes, BUT the actual eligibility is very student-specific. Talk with the DP financial aid administrator in advance about your financial options.
  • Q: Since I was awarded with financial aid, my personal financial circumstances have changed considerably. Is there anything you can do?
    • A: There is an "appeal" process available but you must discuss your special "circumstances" with a financial aid administrator to see if an appeal would be beneficial to you. The outcome of an appeal is on a case-by-case basis. Any increase to your budget would only be in the form of loans.
  • Q: I have heard that there is only one person in the financial aid office that I should call when I have questions. Is that all?
    • A: No. We encourage you to talk with any of our financial aid counselors, who are just as knowledgeable with your DP question. However, should you have a DP-detailed problem, feel free to talk with the DP financial aid administrator Trudi Horner at (765) 494-5081, tmhorner@purdue.edu
  • Q: How can I check to see if my loan or aid is processed?
    • A: The best way is for you to check yourself via myPurdue 24/7. Or you can come/call the general Financial Aid office number for assistance, Schleman Hall, Room 305, or (765) 494-5050.
  • Q: I filed my FAFSA, and now your office wants my taxes. Do I have to provide them?
    • A: Federal regulations require schools to verify some information. If my office asks for further information from you, then, yes, you must comply. No financial aid can be finalized until your file is complete of such requested information.
  • Q: Books and supplies are expensive in the DP program. I can't afford to buy them myself. Can you help?
    • A: Yes, books and supplies are already included in your DP budget. Assuming you borrow the loans we offer you than you would eventually "refund" yourself for any book purchases you made.
  • Q: During my senior year, some of my rotations are not in Lafayette. What's the best way to get my refund?
  • Q: My parents handle all my financial paperwork. Can I give you their address?
    • A: No. Now that you are a "graduate level" student you are independent. Federal law, under the Family Educational Rights & Privacy Act (FERPA), does not allow the school-specific administration to discuss your private financial information with someone other than yourself (the student), and vice versa. I cannot discuss your parents' specific financial information with you.
  • Q: This whole "financial aid" thing is new to me. I never applied for financial aid as an undergraduate. Who can help?
    • A: We understand. With the assistance of Purdue Division of Financial Aid staff, the experience of Trudi Horner, and the help of the DFA website, we try to make available enough information to assist you through the financial aid process.
  • Q: I need my "refund" in the summer to pre-pay my rent. Can I get my refund early?
    • A: No. All Financial Aid will pay for fees/tuition first, University Housing second (if applicable), then the "refund" typically will happen no sooner than ten days before classes begin - or weekly thereafter.
  • Q: If I have to drop hours, will that affect my aid?
    • A: That answer may vary depending on which types of aid you are talking about, how many hours you are reducing to, and at what time of year you are making this change. One thing is sure, however - you must maintain 12 or more hours if you are awarded a Health Professional Student Loan (HPSL). If you have been awarded the Health Professional Student Loan, feel free to discuss this with the DP Financial Aid Administrator.
  • Q: Can I apply for the Health Professions Student Loan (HPSL) online?
    • A: Yes, you must "accept" this loan through the myPurdue Financial Aid Tab. Then, when you receive an email from ECSI to sign a Promissory Note, follow their instructions online.
  • Q: All of this talk of debt is overwhelming to me. If I'm offered both the HPSL and Stafford Loan, do I have to take both?
    • A: No. The HPSL has some better features and has a lower interest rate. Typically, you should take the entire "cheaper" loan first.
  • Q: I worry about having enough money to make it through all 4 years of the DP program. Can you guarantee me enough funding for all 4 years?
    • A: Yes. As long as you can take out both of the non-credit based and the credit-based Federal student loans you will be offered then you will have enough each year to cover your DP program coasts. IN the DP program we will always offer you enough to cover your DP-specific budget. As always, however, u must live within your budgeted amount.
  • Q: Can I qualify for the Indiana State Awards…also known as Division of Student Financial Aid (SFA), formerly known as the State Student Assistance Commission of Indiana (SSACI), Grant?
    • A: Starting in the 2012/2013 AY, Professional students (DP and VM) will be eligible for the Indiana State Awards so long as they continue to meet the standard State aid requirements. The state awards will be manually calculated by the DFA State Awards Administrator, Donna Rush.