Frequently Asked Questions

General Questions

When can I apply?
The application is open from August to the following June.


When is the application deadline?
Programs have individual deadlines that can be found on their Search Engine profile at http://programpages.dhcas.org/search.


Which programs participate?
All participating programs are listed in the ADEA DHCAS Search Engine at http://programpages.dhcas.org/search.


Why aren’t all the programs I am interested in applying to using ADEA DHCAS?
All accredited entry level dental hygiene programs in the U.S. as well as degree completion and graduate programs in dental hygiene are invited to participate in DHCAS at no charge to the program, yet some have opted not to participate this year. Information on non-participating dental hygiene programs is listed on their individual websites.


What is a DentPin and how to I get one?
It is a personal identification number used in place of the social security number. Every applicant must retrieve a DentPin to initiate an ADEA DHCAS application. Applicants can register HERE


What documents do I need to apply?
Applicants are required to send in all official college transcripts and two letters of reference. An additional, third reference and high school transcripts are optional documents. Official test scores are not needed, although some programs may require them in their supplemental application.


What is the minimum GPA to get into a dental hygiene program?
ADEA DHCAS does not require a minimum GPA. Check the ADEA DHCAS Search Engine for GPA requirements by program at http://programpages.dhcas.org/search.


What is the ADEA DHCAS mobile portal?
The mobile portal is a handheld device-ready website that applicants can use to check the status of their application.


Does ADEA DHCAS include a criminal background check?
While ADEA DHCAS does not require a criminal background check, it may be required of some individual programs.


Can I apply to more programs after I’ve submitted the application?
Yes. Applicants can log into their application and designate more programs throughout the entire application cycle.


How can I contact the programs I am applying to?
Applicants can contact the individual programs through ADEA DHCAS Search Engine at http://programpages.dhcas.org/search.


Completing the online application

How long will it take me to complete the ADEA DHCAS application?
Applicants will have varying times when completing the application. To ensure applicants are able to complete the application in a timely manner, they should have all documents handy when opening an account.


What information is required to apply?
Applicants will need their background and academic information as well as the contact information for their references.


How long does it take for my application to reach the school?
Between 4-6 weeks after an application is complete.


What is the personal statement prompt?
Entry Level Applicants: Describe a dental hygienist. Why do you want to enter the dental hygiene profession?
Degree Complete/Graduate Applicants: Why do you want to continue your education to the baccalaureate or masters level? What are your career plans upon completion of this advanced degree?


What information can I change/edit/add/delete after my application is submitted?
Once an applicant e-submits the application, the ADEA DHCAS application is locked and an applicant may NOT make changes to it. The only sections that may be changed after submitting are contact information, password and security information, references which are in the status of “new” or “in-progress” and additional program designations to apply to. All other sections, including coursework, will not be able to be edited. An applicant should review each section of the application before submitting to avoid any errors.


Sending in Documents: Transcripts, Reference Letters, Resumes, Tests and Coursework

Where do I send my transcripts?
ADEA DHCAS Transcript Processing Center
P.O. Box 9129
Watertown, MA 02471


How do references submit a letter for me?

Applicants must submit the names and contact information for their references. The references will receive an email with instructions on how to upload the reference.


What is coursework and why do I have to enter it in?

Coursework is all of the individual courses an applicant has taken at all colleges attended. It is the responsibility of the applicant to record all coursework as it appears on official transcripts, as schools will not be receiving transcripts, but what appears on the online application. This process standardizes transcripts and grades for the dental hygiene programs. ADEA DHCAS uses transcripts to verify the accuracy of reported information and to calculate GPA’s.


Can I upload my resume?

No. Applicants will be asked to input professional and volunteer experiences instead. Applicants are advised to update their resume to assist in this process.


Should I request a transcript from the semester where I did a study abroad program?

No, this class will appear on your U.S. transcript and can be reported from that institution. There are some exceptions; questions can be directed to customer service.


Should I list a college if I only took one class there?

Yes.


What test do I have to take to apply?

Applicants should refer to the specific program that they wish to apply to which can be found in the ADEA DHCAS Search Engine at http://programpages.dhcas.org/search.


Where do I send my test scores?

Official test scores are not needed, although some programs may require them in their supplemental documents. Applicants will self-report scores in the application.


What is the minimum score I need on my test?

ADEA DHCAS does not require a minimum test score. Check the ADEA DHCAS Search Engine for testing information by individual program at http://programpages.dhcas.org/search.


Why does ADEA DHCAS include my repeated courses in my GPA?

ADEA DHCAS must standardize applicant information, and therefore does not recognize individual school or state academic “forgiveness” policies in regards to repeated courses, as each college treats these situations differently. Some schools average the two grades together, others factor in the higher grade, some take the second grade even if it is lower than the first, and others do not recognize repeated courses at all. Therefore, ADEA DHCAS must factor both grades into ADEA DHCAS GPA. Once the application arrives at the schools applied to, they may or may not recalculate GPA depending upon their individual policies.


How can I check if ADEA DHCAS received my transcripts?

Applicants will be able to view the date each transcript was received under the “Transcripts” section of the application. It is the applicant’s responsibility to ensure that all transcripts and application materials are received in a timely manner. ADEA DHCAS does not contact or notify applicants if their transcript has been received.


Who should write my reference letter?

ADEA DHCAS does not specify who should write letters on behalf of an applicant. Applicants should check with the programs to which they are applying to in the event the program would like to see letters from specific individuals (e.g. supervisors during an observation).


What is transcript verification and why is it important?

Transcript verification is the process of matching the self-reported education information to the official transcripts received by ADEA DHCAS. ADEA DHCAS calculates standardized GPAs to help participating programs evaluate applicants using uniform and consistent criteria, regardless of various institutional transcript policies. ADEA DHCAS GPAs may be different from those calculated by the colleges and universities because of the ADEA DHCAS grade standardization process. Institutions may choose to use the ADEA DHCAS GPAs or calculate GPAs for their own institutional use.


How do I submit an international transcript?

Applicants with foreign transcripts must have them evaluated before being sent to ADEA DHCAS. Foreign evaluated transcripts are required in order for the application to be considered complete. ADEA recommends applicants use World Education Services (www.wes.org) or Educational Credential Evaluators (www.ece.org). ADEA DHCAS does not verify coursework and does not use grades from international transcripts in computing ADEA DHCAS GPAs.


Do I have to send in transcript(s) for each of my schools?

Yes. ADEA DHCAS requires a separate official transcript from every U.S. and English speaking Canadian institution attended, regardless of whether it is required by the dental hygiene program applied to.


How can I edit a degree in the “Colleges Attended” section?

To change a degree entry in the Colleges Attended section while completing an ADEA DHCAS application, applicants should click on the blue Edit icon to the right of the degree to make any changes.


Supplemental Information

Do the programs need more information after I’ve submitted ADEA DHCAS?
Applicants should check with all individuals programs they applied to for information on supplemental information.


What is supplemental information and where do I send it?

Supplemental Information is any additional information that is required from a specific program outside of materials collected by ADEA DHCAS. All supplemental information required by a program must be sent directly to that program.


Fees and Fee Assistant Program

How much does ADEA DHCAS cost?
ADEA DHCAS is $95 for the first designation and $45 for each additional designation. Designations are individual participating programs.


What payment methods are accepted?

Credit and debit cards.


Where do I learn more about financing my education?

There is not a general answer that fits all situations or applicants. All programs have different policies and practices; applicants should contact the programs and financial aid offices of dental hygiene programs they are applying to for more information on financing the degree.


What is the Fee Assistance Program?

The ADEA DHCAS Fee Assistance Program (FAP) was created to reduce the cost of applying to dental school through ADEA DHCAS for students who demonstrate extreme financial need.


How long does it take to process the FAP application?
It will take 7-10 business days to process the fee assistance application from when it was mailed to ADEA DHCAS.


Will I receive a fee assistance for any additional schools I apply to?
No. The Fee Assistance Program will waive the initial fee only.


Am I able to appeal a decision if I have been denied?
Applicants are not able to appeal a decision once it’s been denied.