Applying for aid

Contact the financial aid office (FAO) at your dental school or university and ask the following questions: 

  • Are any grants or scholarships available? Are they based on need, merit, or both?
  • Are there any separate forms or applications to complete? What are the submission deadlines?
  • Does the FAO require parental information in the application in order to be considered for any campus-based grants, scholarships, or loans?
  • What is the first-year cost of attendance (COA)/financial aid budget? What is the expected monthly living allowance?
  • Are additional types of financial aid available through the school, such as work-study programs, traineeships, or fellowships?
  • Are there summer internships or other paid research or work opportunities for incoming dental students during the summer before school starts?
  • Does the school keep a list of current students or alumni who are using or have used service scholarships, such as the National Health Service Corps or armed forces, to help them fund their dental school educations?
    Complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). 

    You must complete the FAFSA to be considered for any kind of federal financial aid and most types of school assistance. Check with your FAO about deadlines, as recent changes in financial aid allow students to submit the FAFSA earlier than in past years, though dental schools may have their own deadlines.

    In addition, there are major changes to the FAFSA for the 2024-25 academic year, thanks to the FAFSA Simplification Act. Your FAO can walk you through the changes before you apply, so be sure to contact them when you are ready to apply for financial aid.

    If you have any outstanding student loans, get your financial aid records in order.

    • Contact your loan servicer(s) and ensure that they have your up-to-date contact information, including mailing and email addresses and phone number. Be sure they know when and where you are starting dental school and your expected graduation date. 
    • Go to and after you log in, look for your “dashboard” where you should see a listing of any outstanding federal student loans you have. You should also be able to find your current loan servicer(s) for federal student loans here.
      • Be sure to check the status of private loans you may have from college or postbaccalaureate programs. While such loans may be deferred during dental school, it is important to know when they will come due.
      • Set up both paper and electronic files to keep all financial aid-related documents, including:
        • Copies of any financial aid award letters or notices from the FAO.
        • Copies of your Master Promissory Note (MPN) for any federal loans.
        • Disclosure statements from your lender.
        • Borrower Rights and Responsibilities statements.

      Be sure to pay down any consumer debts before you matriculate.

      • Consumer debt cannot be included in your cost of attendance for dental school, so, you cannot get financial aid to cover these expenses.
      • You may face significant challenges with your budget if you carry consumer debts into dental school.