Different Ways to Pay for Dental School

university of dentistry

Dentistry is one of the most fulfilling and lucrative careers in healthcare. But with big dreams sometimes come big hurdles. The one thing that may stand in your way is the expensive school fees you have to pay. 

But there are different ways to pay for the University of Dentistry. Many people may not know some of these options exist but they could be your key to achieving your goals. Keep reading for a guide on how to pay for dental school.

University of Dentistry Financial Aid

One of the first questions to ask yourself before applying for dental school is whether your school provides any form of financial aid. Some schools will ensure that every student finds a way to afford their program. 

Financial aid from dental schools can be partial or complete depending on the shown financial need. To establish your need, these schools will ask you to submit FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid) and the CSS Profile (College Scholarship Service Profile).

Some of the information they’ll need includes your parents’ income and assets and your own. The government and your college will then use your information to determine your family’s financial ability. 

FAFSA colleges allocate 50% of eligible student income to cover for the upcoming year’s schooling expenses. They will also allocate up to 47% of your parent’s income to your college expenses.

To protect families, FAFSA protects part of a family’s income to ensure they can cater for living expenses. The FAFSA income limit changes every year. It’s currently up to $6660 of dependent student income. 

Unfortunately, this plan doesn’t get you all the money you need for college. Calculations will vary from school to school. And the amount they allocate may leave you with a deficit. 

The alternative is to look for dental schools that provide additional financial aid. Some schools will support students with more than 100% of their financial needs. These schools will help you get scholarships, grants, loans, or work-study. 

Grants and Scholarships

After applying for student aid, you should also ask your schools whether they can recommend any grants and scholarships. Grants and scholarships are the best options for paying for dental schools because you’ll never repay them

School-based grants and scholarships can be merit or need-based. Merit-based grants are awarded based on high-school performance. Your school may demand continued academic excellence through the dental program before releasing the annual amount. 

Need-based scholarships refer to financial aid given to students who have demonstrated financial need. Need-based scholarships will focus less on your performance and achievements. 

Examples of universities offering dentistry scholarships include:

  • University of Pennsylvania
  • New York University
  • University of Washington
  • University of Kentucky

The government also offers financial aid to students based on their FAFSA scoring. Government grants and scholarships usually consider those students who have shown financial need. One of the common federal grants that you can use for your dental school is the Federal Pell Grant

You can also find grants and scholarships for dentistry from independent sources and websites. There are hundreds of non-profit organizations committed to supporting gifted and underprivileged students.

Spend some research time to scout for scholarship offers, whether they’re from independent sources or your school. Use scholarship search engines like scholarships.com to find dentistry scholarships. 

Scholarships From National Dental Associations

Another reliable source of dentistry scholarships is dental associations. Several renowned dental associations offer financial aid to deserving dental students. Some of these associations target minorities that are underrepresented in the dental profession. 

The American Dental Association Foundation

If you’re an academic achiever looking for financial aid, this is a program for you. The ADA Foundation awards up to three scholarships worth around $11,000 each to dental students. The award goes to students who demonstrate first-rate academic performance and promise leadership, public service, and research.

You can apply as long as you’re a US citizen in an accredited US dental school. To be eligible, you should be a full-time second or third-year student during the time of application. You must also have a minimum GPA of 3.4 based on a 4.0 scale and demonstrate financial need.

The Chinese American Medical Society

If you’re a member of CAMS, you can quickly find dental financial aid from CAMS. This organization offers scholarships to Chinese Americans to promote healthcare for the Chinese.

You can apply if you’re a first, second, and third-year university student in an accredited US university. But, you must prove academic prowess or financial need to receive the award. 

The California Dental Association

CDA awards up to $5000 in dental scholarships to students studying in Canadian accredited universities. As an applicant, you must excel in class, show financial need and prove participation in community service. 

CDA also offers dental financial aid to Latinos through the exclusive Latinos for Dental Careers Scholarship. This scholarship concentrates on Hispanic-American students undertaking dental care programs in accredited Canadian dental schools.

The American Dental Education Association

ADEA’s mission is to lead organizations and individuals in dental education. It’s one of the best sources of dental scholarships. The organization hunts for scholarships and lists them on its website. 

You can find several dental scholarships with awards ranging from $1000 to $6000. Eligibility for these offers is limited to top-performing students and dentistry professionals. Make it a habit to login regularly if you want to find some of the best scholarship opportunities. 

National Health Service Corps Scholarship

NHSC is both a scholarship and school-debt loan repayment provider. The program is open to students pursuing primary health care and dentistry studies. The program is award-for-service based and a great opportunity to gain professional experience while learning.

Once selected, you’ll receive the full-tuition cover and some stipend for housing and books. In return, you’ve to work in an understaffed or underserved medical facility as agreed in the scholarship requirements. If you fail to commit to service, the organization asks for a refund of the scholarship amount, including interest. 

University of Dentistry Loans

The most common route to pay for college is to take student loans. Only a few students may receive scholarships, which leaves loans the most accessible financial option. But 33.3% of American students get into debt to go through college. 

The thought of having student debt to working years may make you think twice about existing loan options. As with all loans, you have to choose affordable options. The best starting point is to consider federal loans before private student loans.

Government-funded loans are usually low-cost and the best part is they’ll let you pay when you’re working. Federal loans may also take into account your repaying power and provide a friendly FAFSA income limit. Keep reading for some federal student loan options for dental school.

Health Professions Student Loan

Students pursuing health-related degrees can apply for health professions student loans through their college. These are low-interest loans from the government targeting needy students. 

All US citizens or permanent citizens pursuing health-related programs are eligible for these loans. To qualify, you have to demonstrate financial need.

Loans for Disadvantaged Students

LDS and HPSL all come from the Health Resources and Services Administration. The loans are different from Federal loans or Department of Education Loans. Unlike Federal loans, both LDS and HPSL have special terms you need to fulfill.

As a borrower, HRSA will require you to work in an underserved area until you complete paying. The loan limit or awarded amount varies depending on school costs. HRSA caps both of these loans at the school cost of attendance

Unsubsidized Federal Direct Loans

This is the most straightforward and flexible form of loan from the government. You can borrow the loan under the Direct Loans Program for undergraduate and graduate students.

These loans are popular for low-interest rates and flexible repayment terms. Undergraduate and graduate students can access the loan at fixed interest rates of 3.73 and 5.28, respectively, in 2021.

The loan is open to all US citizen students. Unlike most financial aids, it’s not need-based and you won’t make payments while still schooling. Besides, its repayment plans are income-based so you won’t stretch your budget beyond your comfort zone. 

Graduate Plus Loans

If you’ve reached your Direct Unsubsidized Loan limit, a Graduate Plus Loan may be your best option. The DUL limit is $20,500 per year. If your financial options are still not enough after exhausting your limit, you will be eligible for this loan. 

A Graduate Plus Loan is designed for graduate students but has stricter requirements than DUL. You also need a positive credit history to have a chance of getting this loan. 

Private Student Loans

A private loan is often a last option when you’re looking for student loan options. It may help cover your dental school costs but be wary of the accumulating interest. There are tons of lenders willing to help students out as long as their credit score is good.

Most private student loans will come with very attractive terms. Try not to go over and don’t take what you don’t need. Have a budget and try to reduce your expenses to prevent immersing yourself in debt.

Above all, consider exhausting all federal loan options before going for private loans. You want to avoid the likelihood of paying high interests. If you have no better option, try debt forgiveness programs or refinancing with a cheaper lender. 

Crowdfunding Options

Crowdfunding has grown into a huge industry and students are using it to raise money for college. Successful crowdfunding campaigns raise an average of $33,430.

Crowdfunding involves asking individual contributors online to support your cause. This cause could be a business, innovative product, or any other thing. 

As a fundraiser, you’ll ask contributors for donations to pay for college. You can include all your educational needs as long as you can show you need help. Some students go to the extent of asking for help to pay student debt. 

Employment to Pay for College

A job is a great way to make some money while studying and boost your education account. Plenty of people pay their way through college by holding jobs while in college. It’s not always easy to balance classes and work, but you can do it.

The first form of jobs you should consider are campus-based jobs for students. Many colleges will provide work opportunities to students who want to boost their fees. You could work as a dining assistant, library assistant, or data clerk─ the options are endless. 

Ask the Dean for campus work-study programs to supplement your college fees. You never know the opportunities that could be available in your college. 

Another great work option for college students is the work-study program offered by the Federal government. The Federal government offers this option to help students pay for college expenses. Sometimes, you can even find a work-study program related to your area of study.

If you’re handy or talented, you could make good money as a freelancer. Freelancing is one of the quickest ways to make money as a student. In the digital world, you could be any type of freelancer.

Photography, writing, graphic design, and social media skills can be a good foundation for freelancing. You can find freelancing gigs on sites like Fiverr, Upwork, or TopTal.

Alternatively, you can offer convenient services like cleaning, gardening, or becoming a sales attendant. Your community is full of people too tied up with their daily schedule to do cleaning or gardening. You can also find a part-time job near your school to boost your fees. 

Looking for Options to Pay for University of Dentistry? 

College is indeed a costly commitment. It can give you sleepless nights if you don’t know how you’ll cover the costs. The stress doubles up when you want to pay for dental college.

The tips in our guide provide some of the best strategies to pay for applying to university of dentistry. Apply for as many scholarships as you can before going for student loans. Take advantage of any work-study opportunity to reduce your deficit.

It’s best to ensure you’ve looked for free or affordable options before applying for expensive loans. Make sure you’ve filled your FALSA to qualify for grants, scholarships, and affordable loans. 

Still, looking for tips and ways of paying for college? Check out this article for more insight on choosing the best option.

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