as far as priority goes when registering for next term's classes, i think a large portion is based on seniority. ie, if you're a junior, you get to register earlier than your freshmen peers.
it is true that most pharmacy schools favor applicants with degrees. when i asked my adviser ~a year ago of how many non-degree students they accepted, she said only 1/4 of the class.
i'm not entirely sure about the financial aid situation. at my school, you can't declare yourself as simply "prepharmacy." you have to associate yourself with a major. i'm doing biochemistry although i plan/hope on getting accepted without a degree.
I think it might depend on your school. Where I went, you could declare yourself a pre-pharmacy major, and only take the courses your needed as pre-reqs. I never had a problem registering because it went by how many credits you had (essentially were you a freshman, sophomore, junior, senior).
As for financial aid, as long as your a full time student, why wouldn't you be able to receive it? Plenty of people go to college with an undecided major, and they all receive financial aid, so I really wouldn't worry about it.
And while it seems to be true that degree holders are looked on more favorably than non degree holders, its not a death sentence if you don't get a degree. I did not have one (only did the 2 years of pre-pharm) and was accepted, as were many in my class. It just depends on you.
Yes, I had to do the same thing. Technically I'm considered a biology major, but I already have a degree, so they are allowing me to just take the pre-pharmacy classes just as long as I have completed the prerequisite for the class.
If you are only taking pre-reqs, then study hard in all those subjects that come up in the PCAT (math, bio, chem, eng, microbio ect). Get pharmacy tech experience also.
I had all A's in pre-pharm classes and 96 percentile composite on the PCAT. I was accepted over people I knew from work and school who had completed degrees (mostly biology or biochem). The difference came down to PCAT and correlation to GPA. If you have a high gpa to go along with a good PCAT score and you have pharmacy experience, they'd have to be crazy not to let you in.
BTW, no sense in not declaring you are degree seeking if it will affect access to courses. I was technically a biology degree seeking student even though I'll be in pharmacy school next fall.