Student loan reform

The ADA supports many pieces of legislation that would help to alleviate student loan debt for dental students and dentists.

A photograph of a dental school graduate that reads, "Help future dentists begin their careers without student debt holding them back."

Lowering student loan debt

The average educational debt per graduating dental school senior is almost $300,000.

Over 85 percent of dental student used federal Direct Unsubsidized Stafford Loans, and 76 percent used federal Grad PLUS Loans—either as a stand-alone financing mechanism or to supplement what the Direct Stafford Loan did not cover. The interest on these loans can reach as high as 9.5 or 10.5 percent, depending on the type of loan and market conditions.

The ADA advocates for numerous of pieces of legislation that would help to lower the repayment amounts and interest levels for dental students and new dentists. One bill in particular is the Resident Education Deferred Interest Act (REDI) (H.R. 1202 and S. 704) , which would allow dental and medical students to defer interest and payments while they are in their residency programs. This bill is both bipartisan and bicameral and if enacted could result in thousands to tens of thousands of dollars in savings for dental student and new graduates.

Read more about the ADA’s support of student loan and postgraduate educational debt reform.

ADA Advocacy in action

See how the ADA is working with lawmakers, education leaders, and dental students to mitigate educational debt.

The ADA supports better repayment options

Reducing the burden of higher interest rates and providing better repayment options for educational debt will allow new dentists to better access start-up funds to open or take over an existing dental practice. It may also remove barriers for those wanting to pursue careers in public service, teaching, research and administration. The ADA currently supports legislation that would provide better interest rates, deferment and repayment options.

The ADA also supports numerous federal loan forgiveness and repayment options including, but not limited to, the Public Service Loan Forgiveness Program, the National Health Service Corps’ Students to Service Program, the Faculty Loan Repayment Program and the Indian Health Service Loan Repayment Program. The ADA will continue to advocate to fully fund these programs.

Learn more about ADA policies supporting student loans and postgraduate educational debt.