If you're looking to start a career in the dental field, getting an education is the first step. For many people, however, the cost of education can be a barrier to getting started. The good news is there are many ways to alleviate the cost of dental school with financial aid. Read on to learn more.
What Types Of Financial Aid Are Available?
The two major types of financial aid available include government-funded grants such as the Free Application for Student Aid (FAFSA) and the Pell Grant. In addition, there are student loans available that require reimbursement.
The majority of colleges have their own funds that can be applied for, whether it's a scholarship, grant, or loan. There are also state government and federal government courses.
Tell Me More About The Options
For many, grants are the most desirable option, because they don't have to be paid back. That means they don't accrue interest either. Two of the best options are the FAFSA and the Pell Grant.
While student loans help cover the costs of school, they must be repaid over a designated period of time, with interest. These loans are typically offered at a lower rate than the market, so the payback isn't as intimidating. They do not reduce the costs of schooling overall; they just help with the immediate cost. The U.S. Department of Education offers the William D. Ford Federal Direct Loan Program, and the Sallie Mae Career Training Smart Option Loan is also available.
Merit scholarships must be applied for at the dental school you will be attending. The scholarships are awarded based on certain criteria set by the school.
Scholarships Specific To Dental School
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 ranging from $2,500-10,000 annually. Additionally, there is the American Dental Education Association, which also offers a variety of scholarships.
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. If you’d like to look for options on your own, check out this financial aid guide to finding scholarships. Don’t let costs stop you from your dental career dream; there is financial aid money available.