An introduction and a few questions...

Hi everyone,

I’m considering going to pharmacy school at the age of 34. Pharmacy school seems to be similar to med school so I’m hoping I can learn something from this forum.

This forum has already helped me a great deal. I’ve done a lot of reading and managed to reassure myself that I’m not too old, which was a major hurdle for me.

My circumstances are a bit more unusual than average, so I have a lot of unanswered questions.

I’ll begin by posting a long and boring account of my life so far…

I am from England, and now reside in New York (Long Island).

I’m not 100% sure what my grade equivalences are, but I finished high school after doing GCSE’s at 16, so I think that’s a high school diploma?

I then continued my education by going to college and did ‘A’ Levels, which I think are similar to the freshman year here? I was 18 when I finished.

In Britain, one takes ‘A’ Levels in order to be accepted into university.

I was accepted but decided to take a year out because my girlfriend at the time had just been diagnosed with cancer.

The good news is that apart from losing part of her foot, she was fine (we’re still friends to this day) but the bad news is that I got a job and my ‘year out’ turned into another year, then another…

From the age of 20 to 33, I was a body piercer. I had my own business and used to do very well financially.

It was always my dream to get the business to the stage where I could work part time and go back to University while drawing an income from my business.

Unfortunately that didn’t happen. Business was so good that it took up all of my time. I expanded to three retail outlets and then branched out into clothing, acquiring three further stores.

Then the recession came.

When it was announced that the banks in the States had got into trouble and that we may have a recession, the prophecy fulfilled itself and the general public suddenly stopped shopping.

I tried as hard as I could to keep going, but the overheads on my city center stores were so high that I didn’t last very long.

I pumped every last penny I had into trying to ride out the recession, but it was no good.

So, twelve years down the toilet and I’m back to where I started.

I have since (six moths ago) moved to the States and married my wonderful wife.

We’re poor as church mice. She manages a drugstore and she managed to get me a job there part time. The job situation at the moment is terrible, so I consider myself lucky to have a job at all, but we’re struggling.

I am very interested in pharmacy, as it has just the right combination of Biology and Chemistry and has the retail type aspect that I enjoy.

I want to get into Pharmacy school, but I have some rather intimidating hurdles to overcome.

Firstly, my high school grades are good but old. I am considering taking the exam to become a CPhT (pharmacy tech)

I would self study for the exam, and I’m pretty sure I can pass it without too much trouble.

Hopefully this would prove that I still know my stuff and that I am currently involved in study.

It might also land me a job in a pharmacy, which wouldn’t hurt.

I’m hoping that my high school grades coupled with my higher learning (Freshman type grades) and current CPhT may enable me to get into Pharmacy School as a freshman, ie the 0-6 year program.

I don’t know if this is enough however.

My second problem is that my geographical position is going to work heavily against me.

I am close enough to Long Island University to be able to go to Pharmacy School there, but it HAS to be there.

I can’t relocate elsewhere because my wife has a kid and his father’s custody rights prevent us from leaving New York.

There is absolutely no way around this, it’s Long Island or bust.

The third problem is finance. I’ve researched this as best I can, but the American education system is alien to me and I’m having trouble finding what I need.

I don’t know if I have lived here long enough to be eligible for a grant. I know Legal Permanent Residents are able to get grants from the government, but I haven’t been one for long.

There are such a dizzying array of grants and scholarships all with different criteria that I’m completely bewildered.

Is it possible to completely pay your way through school entirely on borrowed money? I may be able to work part time, but it won’t be much.

I’m not too worried about getting into a lot of debt, as my earning potential would be excellent once I graduated, but is it really feasible for someone with almost zero money to survive entirely on loans?

I’m sorry for waffling so much, but as you can probably tell, I’m feeling a little out of my depth here!

Welcome to OPM

If you are specifically targeting LIU in Brooklyn, then you should contact them directly. Discuss this with an admission advisor or recruiter.

I am sure that there are current, former, and pharmacists out there in the OPM world that can add to this. If you want further info PCAT prep (the pharmacy entrance exam) or additional I can put you in touch with a former Kaplan PCAT instructor and advisor. send me a Private Message.