Student Debt 2023

The average debt per graduating senior in 2022 was $293,900, according to the American Dental Education Association (ADEA). 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 F-4 policy states: The American Student Dental Association supports initiatives to reduce the burden of debt for dental students. The association urges Congress, state legislatures and state dental associations to pass measures that include, but are not limited to:

  1. Reducing student loan interest rates;
  2. Providing refinancing opportunities to borrowers;
  3. Providing opportunities for loan forgiveness, scholarships, grants and tax deductibility.

What Has ASDA Done?

Students and dentists have lobbied members of Congress in support of several bills pertaining to student loans at ASDA and the ADA’s annual Lobby Day in Washington, D.C.

  • The Resident Education Deferred Interest (REDI) Act. This legislation would allow medical and dental residents to defer their student loans, interest-free, during residency. This measure would save residents a significant amount of money in the long run. ASDA lobbied for this bill at Lobby Day in DC in 2021, 2022, and 2023.

    ASDA has signed onto several coalition letters and has been listed as a supporting organization for the REDI Act many times:

    June 2021, February 2022, July 2022, March 1, 2023March 9, 2023

Want to show your support for this bill? Make your voice heard by sending a letter to your legislator today via ASDA Action.

Other student debt bills that ASDA has lobbied at Lobby Day include:

  • Student Loan Refinancing Act This legislation would allow borrowers to refinance federal student loans more than once, so they can take advantage of lower interest rates. ASDA lobbied for this bill at Lobby Day 2021 and 2022.
  • Student Loan Refinancing and Recalculation Act. This bill directs the Department of Education (ED) to establish a program to refinance the outstanding principal, interest, and late charges on federal student loans to give borrowers fixed interest rates equal to the 10-year Treasury note rate plus 1%. Further, this bill would eliminate origination fees and would allow borrowers in dental internships or residency programs to defer student loan payments until the completion of their programs. ASDA lobbied for this bill at Lobby Day 2021.

You can view all student debt bills that ASDA supports on the Bills tab of ASDA Action.  Review student debt bills that ASDA has supported in previous sessions of Congress here.

COVID-19 and Student Debt

At the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020, ASDA members came together and successfully lobbied to defer all monthly payments and interest accrual on federal student loans. View the letters sent to leaders in both the House and Senate here.

Throughout the course of the pandemic, the cutoff date for ending these flexibilities has been extended multiple times.

Visit the federal student aid website for the most up-to-date information.

What ASDA members are saying:

Resources to Help Manage Debt