Despite the advantage of scheduling your studies and projects during dental school, the four-year period requires large sums of money. A lot of students think they have to attend an expensive or to pay for dental school in order to make lots of money after graduating. Not true.
As a college student, money can be tight. How will I pay for dental school? There are many options available for paying for dental school. They all have different pros and cons, so it’s up to the student to decide which option is the best fit.
But this doesn’t mean they’re all equal or equally good; some of these financial aid options even cost you more than others depending on your situation. Read on from this post to learn about the most cost-effective way to pay for dental school.
- Applying for a Dental School Scholarship
The first step to paying for dental school is applying for scholarships. The dental school scholarships funds can be awarded based on academic merit, financial need, or a combination of both. By completing the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA), you’ll be eligible for several types of federal aid, including grants and loans.
Combined with the scholarships that you receive from your school’s financial aid office, these funds will help cover the cost of tuition and other college expenses. Once you’ve sourced all of the money that you can from scholarships and federal aid, you may have to consider private student loans in order to cover the difference between your costs and the amount that you’ve received in scholarship funds.
It’s important to remember that private student loans are not free money. You’ll have to repay this debt with interest after graduation.
- Federal Student Loans
Federal student loans are federally subsidized, which means the government pays the interest while you are in school, during the grace period, and periods of authorized deferment. However, if you have an unsubsidized loan, you must pay the interest that accrues on your loan each month.
Taking out federal student loans to finance your education is a good idea if you can pay them back after graduation. While a low-interest rate can make your monthly payments more manageable, it is important to understand that if you default on your loan, the government can garnish your wages or withdraw funds directly from your bank account. In case this is not an option, you can always apply for a loan among the low-rate best private student loans.
- Service Programs
The most cost-effective way to pay for dental school is through a service program. Here you will be allowed to provide your services as dental hygienists and dental assistants to patients in need of oral care.
Service programs provide students with hands-on experience in a real-world setting and ensure that they don’t graduate with debt. These programs are usually offered exclusively to students in dental and medical schools. However, some programs place students throughout their four years of school.
- Flexible Spending Accounts & Health Savings Accounts
These are both tax-advantaged accounts that allow you to set aside money from pre-tax dollars for eligible health care costs before tax time. You’ll typically need to see a health care provider for a recommendation letter before you can set up either account.
The bottom line is that you need to open as many doors for yourself to get the most funding possible. If you have any money tying you down, do your best to pay it off and set it aside. The more money you can have coming in before dental school starts, the better off you’ll be during those tough beginnings of your career.