Finances and Other Important Decisions for Dental School Applicants
As an applicant
to or a student enrolled in a dental education program, you will often hear “borrow
responsibly and never borrow more than you need.” Why? Because being a
responsible borrower means that when you become a dentist, you are typically
not stressed about what you borrowed for dental school because you feel
confident you can responsibly repay your loans. While finances are an important
part of your decision about which dental school to attend, it is important to
remember they are only one part of this decision.
Financing is available
to help pay for dental school. With a combination of federal loans—direct
unsubsidized and direct PLUS (also called Grad PLUS)—you can borrow what you
need, up to the full cost of attendance (also called your annual financial aid
budget). So again, if you are eligible and willing to borrow federal loans, the
financing is there.
important factor about deciding where to go to dental school is the dental
program itself. So, ask yourself: “Why do I want to go to dental school?” and
then look for the program that answers that question.
your primary goal to get your clinical education, then graduate and start
practicing dentistry? If so, find the program that prepares you to do just
your goal to specialize, do research or perhaps engage in public health policy?
Then find the program that prepares you for that.
your goal to work in academic dentistry and teach? Then find the program that
helps prepare you for that career path.
The dental schools
you are considering have professionals who can assist with these questions and are
more than willing to help you see if your interests in dental education match
up with their program and institutional mission.
going to spend a lot of money regardless of where you go, so it’s important to
make sure that you’re spending your money wisely. The return on the investment
that dental students make in their dental education when they borrow continues
to be strong. However, you don’t want to get well into your program only to
discover that the program you are spending good money on is not meeting your
goals and objectives for becoming a dentist. Cost will always be a part of your
decision about which dental school to attend, but it should never be the
primary and only concern.