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Financing a Dental Education

A dental education is an expensive undertaking.  While the major responsibility for financing a professional education rests with you and your family, external agencies, such as the federal government, assist students by offering low cost student loans to supplement family contributions.

Financial aid is only available to cover education-related expenses for the student for one academic year.  Reapplication is required for each subsequent year. Federal and state laws prohibit the use of financial aid for non-educational expenses such as car loans, lifestyle choices, and credit cards. 

View the estimated expenses and mandatory fees of attending the University of Kentucky College of Dentistry.

There are three steps to financing your dental education.

Step 1

Begin financing a dental education by tapping the nearest resource, which could be your family.  Parents, grandparents, other family members may be in a financial position to help you.  If they offer, it is wise to accept their assistance.  By reducing your costs, your overall debt will be kept in check.

Step 2

Look for scholarships.  Unfortunately, scholarships at the professional level are not as plentiful as at the undergraduate level, but they are out there.  Contact civic organizations, your church, your employer or your parent’s employer for opportunities.  Fraternities and sororities often offer scholarships.  There are books at public and college libraries, and internet resources for accessing free scholarship searches.  An increasing number of our students are turning to Military scholarships, which are a good investment.  For a three- or four-year commitment, you can get a free education.  Contact your local recruiter to see what they are offering in the area of health professions.

Step 3

The last step is to take a look at the federal loan programs.  You do have to re-pay loans, but thanks to the federal government, the Student Loan Programs are available at a 5.41% fixed interest rate.  With the cost of tuition continuing to rise, sometimes the Unsubsidized loan is not enough to cover your costs.  In this case, you may have to rely on the 6.41% fixed  interest rate Grad Plus Loan.  This loan is credit based, so if you have bad credit, try to get your credit problems resolved BEFORE you apply to dental school.  You may have to get a co-signer for this loan.
 
If you must rely on loans, you want to keep borrowing to a minimum.  A heavy debt burden when you graduate can and will limit what you do with your DMD degree.  It is important to remember that even though dental school is expensive, it is a great investment in your future.