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How To Get Financial Aid For Dental Assistant School

In this article, we'll cover what types of financial aid you can get to help pay for dental schooling. Read on to learn what your options are and how to secure financial aid for you education. 

Types Of Financial Aid Available

There are three types of financial aid you can receive for dental assistant training: grants, loans, and scholarships. In order to get any kind of assistance, even from private institutions, you need to submit the Free Application for Student Aid (FAFSA). This is the best place to start, as they will show you what kinds of aid you can get. Even if you are not interested in pursing federal financial aid, many scholarships use the information you submit to the FAFSA to determine fund allocation, so be sure to submit it on time. 


Grants, such as the Pell Grant, are needs-based financial aid. This means they are awarded to people who are under a certain income threshold. Grant money does not need to be reimbursed and can potentially cover the entire cost of your education.  


While student loans help cover the costs of school, they must be repaid over a designated period of time, with interest. Student loans, especially federal student loans, are typically locked in at a lower interest rate, so you can ideally pay them off in a reasonable time frame. Loans do not reduce the costs of schooling overall; they just help with the immediate cost. 

School Specific Scholarships

Scholarships must be applied for at the dental school you will be attending are awarded based on certain criteria set by the school. Many schools offer their own scholarships for students who are in need of financial assistance, while some are designated for students who excel academically. 

Scholarships For Dental School from Private Institutions 

There are some scholarships available for those going into dental school. One option to consider is a military dental scholarship through the Health Professions Scholarship Program. In exchange for financial aid, the recipient must serve the country for four years. The military will pay for the entire education plus living expenses and a living stipend to serve as a dentist in the military. The Army, Navy, and Air Force offer varying scholarships, so it’s best to investigate the options to determine which branch of the military fits you best.

If the military route isn’t for you, there are quite a few other options available when it comes to scholarships for dental school. The American Dental Association Foundation sponsors a few different scholarships for leadership and research.

Additionally, there is the American Dental Education Association, which also offers a variety of scholarships such as:

ADEA/Crest Oral-B Scholarships - Two scholarships are awarded annually to support dental hygiene students who are pursuing education beyond an associate degree and who have an interest in an academic career.

ADEA/GlaxoSmithKline Consumer Healthcare Preventive Dentistry Scholarships - Twelve scholarships are awarded annually in to support predoctoral students demonstrating academic excellence in preventive dentistry.

ADEA/Sigma Phi Alpha Linda DeVore Scholarship -  This scholarship will be awarded anually to support a student of allied dental education at the baccalaureate, master's, or doctoral degree level.

Finding Financial Aid Help

Make sure to ask about possible options with the financial aid officer at your school of choice. Your school’s financial aid officer will be able to point you in the right direction. 


FAFSA official website

Federal Pell Grants official page

Financial Aid Guide

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