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Dental Student Debt
Student Debt Infographic

Download a copy of the dental student debt infographic.

According to the American Dental Education Association (ADEA), the average debt per graduating senior is $261,149. This high level of debt can jeopardize a new dentist’s ability to choose their preferred career path.

ASDA Policy

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?

ASDA closely monitors legislation that affects student debt. ASDA worked with other dental organizations to send the following coalition letters supporting student debt reform:


  • Coalition letter supporting the Post Grad Act


  • Coalition letter outlining principles to reauthorize the Higher Education Act
  • Coalition letter supporting the Student Loan Interest Deduction Act
  • Coalition letter supporting the Student Loan Refinancing Act

Dental Student Debt

On April 11-12, 2016, more than 380 ASDA members participated in National Dental Student Lobby Day, meeting with national legislators and lobbying on behalf of student loan refinancing.

ASDA keeps members informed on legislation that affects student debt through Engage, ASDA’s advocacy alert system, and the Advocacy Brief, ASDA’s monthly newsletter devoted to legislative updates.

Read what ASDA members are writing about student debt:

Resources to Help Manage Debt

Heartland Dental Pacific Dental Services ADA


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