The Issues
Dental Student Debt
Student Debt Infographic

Download a copy of the dental student debt infographic.

According to the American Dental Education Association, the average dental student graduates with upwards of $241,000 of student loan debt—an increase of over 66% in the last decade and an amount vastly exceeding the national average. This debt can jeopardize a new dentist’s ability to choose their preferred career path while rising educational costs might also discourage potential students from pursuing dental school altogether.

The rising cost of dental education poses a significant threat to ASDA members. With dental school tuition nearly doubling since 2000, new dentists are faced with varying amounts of debt after graduation, which can jeopardize their ability to choose their preferred career path. Rising educational costs might also discourage potential students from pursuing dental school altogether.

ASDA considers the growing student debt crisis a top priority and advocates for financially sustainable, long-term solutions. ASDA's policy states: 

The American Student Dental Association encourages Congress and state legislatures to introduce and pass measures that include:

  1. Expansion of the tax deductibility of interest on educational debt, student scholarships and loan repayments;
  2. The reduction of student loan interest rates;
  3. Improved access to public service loan forgiveness programs;
  4. Loan forgiveness of tuition for dental students and residents practicing in underserved areas after graduation;
  5. Scholarship opportunities for dental students and residents practicing in underserved areas after graduation;
  6. Tax deductibility and rebates for dentists practicing in underserved areas;
  7. Prohibiting the compounding of interest during loan repayment and the capping of interest rates upon graduation;
  8. Strengthening regulations for the protection of private student loan borrowers

ASDA supports legislation providing tax exemptions for scholarships awarded to dental students under federal programs.
ASDA encourages state dental societies to make increasing state funding to dental schools a legislative priority.
ASDA encourages state dental societies to dedicate funding to scholarships for dental students.

What has ASDA done?
As a top priority, ASDA leadership and staff have conveyed our strategies to protect members from rising debt to policymakers during National Dental Student Lobby Day. Additionally, ASDA has coordinated advocacy efforts with fellow student/educational/dental associations and supported increased scholarship funding at the national level.

Lobbying for Student Debt 

On April 8, fifty-three ASDA chapters scheduled more than 175 appointments with lawmakers and staff, where students specifically lobbied on behalf of student loan refinancing and student loan interest deduction.

Resources to Help Manage Your Debt 

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