The average debt per graduating senior in 2020 was $304,824, 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?

  • When the Resident Education Deferred Interest (REDI) Act was re-introduced to Congress, ASDA was listed as a supporting organization, along with 28 others.     
    • 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. 
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  • At ASDA and the ADA’s virtual Lobby Day in April, nearly 500 students and dentists came together to lobby members of Congress in support of two bills pertaining to student loans.


  • At the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, 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 was extended multiple times.

What ASDA members are saying:

Resources to Help Manage Debt