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Purdue University, Butler University and U of Michigan for Pharmacy

GoGiantsfan29GoGiantsfan29 Posts: 190Registered User Junior Member
edited January 2011 in Parents Forum
My son got into all of these colleges for Pharmacy and we are planning a trip out in February to visit all three in one trip. Being OOS for all of them... we are hoping for some good Merit aid from Purdue and Butler .. I am sure we will get nothing from Michigan.. So, we will have to weight everything in the end .... But, if anyone has any insight or information regarding the three colleges pro and cons...likes and dislikes... I would love to hear them..
Thanks...
Post edited by GoGiantsfan29 on
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Replies to: Purdue University, Butler University and U of Michigan for Pharmacy

  • toledotoledo Posts: 4,029Registered User Senior Member
    We've been to Butler and UMich. Both are very different from each other. My kids like smaller schools, like Butler, but we all love the town of Ann Arbor. You visit will narrow it down, if the financial aspects don't.
  • sryrstresssryrstress Posts: 1,746Registered User Senior Member
    I am a Butler grad and also know several people who went to Purdue pharmacy. The first question--isn't Butler pharmacy a direct entry program and at Purdue one has to apply after freshman or sophomore year? The val of S's class had a full-ride scholarship to either and chose Purdue, and then was not accepted into the Pharmacy school. That was 3 years ago; don't know if it has changed. If your S is positive about pharmacy, I would heavily weight this factor.

    Other than that, Purdue is a huge, Big 10 school. Butler is 4000 students and set in a quiet, tree filled campus in a nice neighborhood on the near-northside of Indianapolis. Their female/male % is about 60/40, which was apparent during visits. I don't know if the difference is that high in pharmacy.

    Butler works very hard to integrate with Indpls' big businesses/leaders/etc to provide opportunities to students. They are very well known in this state for their pharm grads. I thought I got a good education there, although it was in the business school and back in the dark ages.
  • MidwestMom2Kids_MidwestMom2Kids_ Posts: 6,665Registered User Senior Member
    A close friend of our family has had a very good experience with Butler. The direct entry program is great. It is tough going, but if you are willing to work hard, you can efficiently earn a PharmD degree.
  • MizzBeeMizzBee Posts: 4,233Registered User Senior Member
    Butler is has early assurance for their pharmacy program. Even though the school costs more in the undergraduate two years, you will only need to cover 6 years of school, and 4 of them will be considered grad school.
    From a social standpoint, Butler is a great campus. If you are looing at Michigan and Purdue, your child is probably okay with school spirit and a Greek scene. Butler has both, yet both can be avoided if it is not your thing. In addition to a great performing arts program, they regularly have speakers and performances of touring plays. Indianapolis is not a huge city, but it is clean, easy to navigate and actually fun for a college student.
    The school required to be a pharmacist, NAPLEX, shows that Butler grads have a very high first-pass rate. They have put a lot of money into their pharmacy school.

    When you don't go to an early assurance school, you will be competing with people throughout the country (many with BA, BA and Masters degrees, for a few spots in a program. At Butler, you just need to get average grades in your classes and get a middling score on your PCAT to get a spot. Also, if your child decides to major in something other than pharmacy, there are several other great programs. Internships are a big deal at the school, and real attention is paid to a students future.

    I don't think Butler's FA is great, but I don't know the stats for your DS.
  • GoGiantsfan29GoGiantsfan29 Posts: 190Registered User Junior Member
    Thanks all for the information. He is not 100% sold on Pharmacy at all and just recently added it to the mix. He is also considering computer science and chemistry or chemical engineering .. basically, he is still unsure as you can tell.. which is causing me stress..lol We are from NY and visited 16 colleges up and down the east cost but have yet to visit any in the midwest. My sons stats are ACT 33, 3.8uw Gpa, 4.2 w, top 5% .. 9 AP classes by the end senior year.. currently hold all A's in his 5 AP 1st semester and we sent in his grades to all his colleges he applied to. Looking forward to visiting the colleges soon.... Right now Boston College is in the lead but they have no Pharmacy program..This is very confusing and hope things fall into place for him soon.
  • GoGiantsfan29GoGiantsfan29 Posts: 190Registered User Junior Member
    one more thing.. I know Michigan has terrible FA so I have been told for OOS, does anyone know how Purdue and Butler are?
    Thanks...
  • MizzBeeMizzBee Posts: 4,233Registered User Senior Member
    Since he is very unsure about pharmacy, then it will be easy for him to take the pharmacy school prereqs, and then decide if it is right for him. I have posted many "caution" posts about how you need to really know that you want to be a pharmacist going into a 0-6 program, so in your case, I think it is fine to go the undergraduate route. After all, he may change majors a few times and the prereqs will not likely increase any time in college.
  • sk8rmomsk8rmom Posts: 5,746Registered User Senior Member
    4 of them will be considered grad school

    Unless this has changed recently, I believe they are considered undergrads for FA purposes until after their P1 year. I agree with Mizz about making sure he's choosing a school that has a backup major...many, many kids start as prepharms and discover this is not their true calling! Also, afaik, Butler doesn't award merit, or at least not on the same level, to prepharmacy kids as their other freshman admits. That guarantee comes at a fairly hefty price and pharmacy jobs are not as plentiful as they were in the past decade...nor are signing bonuses a given these days!

    Do you have any instate options for pharmacy?
  • GoGiantsfan29GoGiantsfan29 Posts: 190Registered User Junior Member
    Yes, we have one instate choice.. SUNY Buffalo for pharmacy. Interesting about Butler merit award letters have gone out and we should have our tomorrow..
    Since this is all new to me... if he goes to lets say Boston College and graduates with a degree in something like Chemistry and decides he wants to still become a pharmacist does anyone know how much longer this would take him over the 6 year program?
    Can someone explain to be the whole 4 years grad school instead of 4 years undergrad and what that would mean for financial aid?
  • sk8rmomsk8rmom Posts: 5,746Registered User Senior Member
    PharmD is generally a four year professional degree program, although a few schools offer a 3 year option. So, whether he just does 2-3 years of undergrad pre-reqs or get a BS before pharmacy school, he will still be in a PharmD program for 4 more years. As far as FA goes, there's very little available other than scholarships and Grad Stafford/GradPlus loans once they are no longer considered undergrads...and, of course, they're paying the grad level rates at that point too!

    My D started as pre-pharm at UB, btw, and has many friends that are still prepharm or in pharmacy school there. Although she had been set on pharmacy for 3+ years and had a lot of pharmacy experience prior to college and was definitely a science/medicine type of kid, she realized halfway into her second semester that she didn't like chem enough to stick for 6-8 years and found her true passion as an OT major. It worked out very nicely that she was at Buffalo, with their comprehensive majors, instead of at one of the smaller 0-6 schools she was accepted to...the advising staff was wonderful in helping her select a new major and she's applying to the professional program in a week!
  • GoGiantsfan29GoGiantsfan29 Posts: 190Registered User Junior Member
    Hi Sk8rmom,
    I assume she like SUNY Buffalo?, we have visited there and son kept it on his list as his safety financial school...but liked it more then I thought he would and although he has not been accepted yet.. he got an email asking him to apply for the Presidential scholarship.. so I think he will get in.. I am glad your daughter figured it out.. I did do a quick search and found that some schools do offer a 34 month program.
  • sk8rmomsk8rmom Posts: 5,746Registered User Senior Member
    Yes, SUNY Buffalo. I think you can be sure he'll be accepted if he was invited to apply for the Presidential scholarship...he'll likely be invited to join the honors college anyway. UB is definitely a school that needs more than a quick glance...it's so big that it's difficult to take in all at once anyway! I would strongly recommend going to accepted student day in the spring if UB is still a contender then - much better than the pre-app visit days!

    UB was my D's safety too...both financial and academic...and she didn't want to apply there as she thought it was too big. But I insist that all my kids have a SUNY/CUNY on their app list and she ended up deciding that UB had so many more activities, programs, and financial advantages that she'd give it a try. Have not been disappointed academically or socially, and the "huge" factor quickly disappeared for her - she knows both campuses like the back of her hand now and attends so many great shows, lectures, outings, etc. that just wouldn't be a regular thing at any of the smaller schools that were on her list.

    I would go to aacp.org and click on the student/school section for the most reliable and comprehensive info on pharmacy programs. You can also search their site for "PSAR tables" and that will give you overviews and comparisons (of pre-reqs, costs, etc.). Good luck!
  • kelsmomkelsmom Posts: 12,294Super Moderator Senior Member
    Butler does not, to my knowledge, offer merit for pre-pharm admits. They do not have to. I know this because my son was admitted to Butler pre-pharm last year. He got a need based grant, but no merit. It was explained to us that merit is not awarded to pre-pharm ... I assume this is because they don't need to offer it. They have plenty of students clamoring for those early assurance spots.

    Purdue has a merit calculator on its website. I have heard that it is possible to get more than the calculator says you'll get, but I have no experience so can't comment on that. The $10,000 merit award was just a drop in the $40k/year bucket, so S did not apply.

    Did your S get into UM in the early admit program for pre-pharm? If so, merit might be a possibility ... I say this only because that is a really hard program to get into, so your S would be a really attractive student for UM. If he is just a regular admit, though, it's hard to say. The conventional wisdom is that OOS UM merit aid doesn't usually cut it, but I have heard stories of good aid from some. It just depends. My D's in state friends with awesome stats only get token merit awards.

    My S ended up in a 6 year early assurance pharmD program this year, with merit. However, like so many who begin in the pharmD program (and many other programs kids "think" they want ...), he has already changed his mind. As a result, he will also change schools next year (he is at Ferris, which was great for pharmD & not a place for his new career path).
  • GoGiantsfan29GoGiantsfan29 Posts: 190Registered User Junior Member
    sk8rmom - we made him put one SUNY on his list too and he he choose Buffalo.. its still not off his list... but he would prefer to attend a school big into sports but not a deciding factor at all. Thanks for all the information.

    Kelsmom - I am so mad I did not know that Butler did not give out merit aid for Pharmacy.. if we knew that ahead of time he would have applied as a computer science major. Like i said he just began to look at pharmacy as a career since is excels at the Sciences especially Chemistry...but has no idea. He likes Butler on paper and was excited about touring the school but without any merit aid it will probably have to come off the table. I wonder if its too late to call and switch his major to hope for some merit aid.. Other students are posting with similar stats getting 15,000 a year in merit.
    I don't think he got early admit into pre pharmacy at Michigan..sorry if this sounds dumb how would I know that?
    thanks again for the help..wish I had posted my questions about a month ago...ugh..
  • kelsmomkelsmom Posts: 12,294Super Moderator Senior Member
    Being in the pharmacy program at Butler is a big deal. It's very competitive to get admitted, and it is a very specialized program. Students can't easily decide to switch into that program once admitted into another program at Butler (although I suspect a number of students switch from that program to others at Butler). My advice is to have him call & talk to the admissions person for your area. He/she can answer the questions regarding merit aid and possibly switching to another major.

    If he only recently decided on pharmacy, he may very well not have applied for the pharmacy guarantee at UM. Students do not have to apply for that in order to get into pharmacy at UM ... it's just nice to have the early assurance guarantee. They only admit a few students into that program - many others who get admitted to LS&A at UM will later apply to pharm school after 3 or 4 years. I only suggested it because my son had wanted a 6 year program so had only wanted UM if he could be in the early assurance guarantee program. We didn't know until later how unbelievably competitive admission is for that program!!
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