Tips on Financing Your Dental Hygiene Education
enrolled in any degree program usually have many questions about financial aid,
especially student loans, and whether there will be any changes to the programs
and if those changes will impact their finances—either during school or later
when they are repaying any student loan amounts they may have borrowed.
considering how to pay for your dental education, the following tips may help.
contact with your school’s financial aid office (FAO):
aid for dental hygiene and dental students may be handled in a main campus FAO,
and if so, find out who there to work with when you have questions about
sure to ask about any grants and scholarships (free gift assistance) that may
be available, but don’t be surprised if all your financial aid comes from
with them about deadlines, but don’t wait to apply for aid until you’re
your school or program’s cost of attendance (COA):
available on the financial aid office website, the COA, also called the
financial aid budget, is the itemized listing of all the anticipated expenses
you will have each year.
number determines how much financial aid you can receive from all sources
combined (includes loans, scholarships, etc.).
on those items in the COA that you have some control over, like living
- Determine your monthly living
allowance by adding your living expenses (room and board, transportation, etc.)
and dividing that by the number of months you are in school that year.
- Don’t forget that consumer
debt cannot be included in your COA, so get rid of that before you start
consider how much you need to borrow and what kind of loans you need:
borrow more than you need, even though you can borrow up to the full cost each
loans are usually preferable to private loans because of their repayment
in undergraduate programs may be eligible for subsidized loans, which are
interest-free during school and have a six-month grace period after school, as
well as direct unsubsidized loans.
in graduate programs can expect to borrow direct unsubsidized and direct PLUS
(Grad PLUS), if needed, up to the full COA less other aid.
with your FAO to return any loan funds you find out you don’t need.
resources when gathering information about financial aid, especially loans:
rely on social media for information on financial aid, especially student
FAO should always be your first point of contact with questions about financial
out Money Matters at adea.org/GoDental and Financial Resources for Students at
adea.org under Information for “Current Students
& Residents” for more information.
budgeting leads to responsible borrowing, and responsible borrowing leads to responsible