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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?

2022

  • In March 2022, hundreds of dental students and dentists joined together in Washington, D.C. to lobby two bills, among others, that address student debt:     
    • The Student Loan Refinancing Act would allow borrowers to refinance federal student loans more than once, so they can take advantage of lower interest rates.
    • The Resident Education Deferred Interest (REDI) Act would allow medical and dental residents to defer their student loans, interest-free, during residency. Since Lobby Day, 18 new members of Congress have signed onto this legislation with their support. 
  • In February 2022, ASDA sent a letter along with 38 other organizations thanking the Senate sponsors of the REDI Act.
2021
  • When the REDI Act was re-introduced to the House of Representatives, 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. 
  • 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.

2020

  • 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 other student debt bills does ASDA support? 

You can view all student debt bills that ASDA supports on the Bills tab of ASDA Action. Just sort by either Federal or State-level bills, and by the student debt category.

What ASDA members are saying:

Resources to Help Manage Debt