Sunday, April 15, 2012

Paying for dental school with no loans

Is it possible to pay your way through dental school? Considering how outrageously expensive dental school is, I wonder how many people are paying for dental school with cash. (Here I’m imagining someone dropping off a briefcase full of cash. And because this is dental school, while flashing a full set of diamond-encrusted grills.)

Here is Penn’s expense budget for the 2011-2012 academic year. Don't have a panic attack on me:

This is almost $100k a year. Penn is one of the most expensive dental schools in the country, yes, but even Texas residents at UTHSC-Houston are to budget around 50k a year (21k in tuition).

Take a look at these statistics from ADEA annual survey of graduating seniors from 2009:image
The average debt for the 2009 dental school graduates is $180,644. You can pay $1,113 a month for the next ten years to pay it off. But here’s another table that tells a scarier tale:

56% of private dental school graduates have a debt of $200,000 or more. 38% have more than $250,000 in debt. That is quarter of a million dollars in the red as you receive your diploma, even before opening your practice (=$$$).

Does this make dental school a profession only the brave (and fortunate) can pursue? Even bankrupcy can’t erase your student loans.

I just messaged my dad and typo-ed “student” as “studebt”… So is my post title is a misnomer Mission Impossible for most? A quarter of a million dollars (you could hand over this cash to drive one of these babies instead) with four years of your life as a student, more reasons to be absolutely sure before embarking.

University of Southern California has the most informative financial aid sessions. If you are invited to interview, go if only for this alone. (Plus their campus is gorgeous.)


  1. Sad to see that no one commented on this. Congrats on UPenn. Did you ever find a way to ease the burden of dental school education? I'm in the application cycle right now and just interviewed at USC. I think I must've looked like a ghost after the financial aid seminar.

    1. I think everyone looked pretty shocked after the financial aid seminar... I think every school should have a similar presentation though! GOOD LUCK! December is coming up! :)

  2. Nice post!! It is really need for getting the well calculation students account and their loans information. This is a most important article which will be very useful to me as well. keep it up.


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