Student Debt Policies
Below are the ADA's official policies and statements on federal student loans and postgraduate educational debt, as adopted by the ADA House of Delegates.
Federal Student Loan Programs
Resolved, that the American Dental Association supports the federal graduate and professional degree student loan programs authorized under the Higher Education Act of 1965, with an emphasis on:
- Protecting access to federal Direct Unsubsidized Stafford Loans (Direct Loans) and Grad PLUS loans for graduate and professional degree students.
- Reinstating eligibility for graduate and professional degree students to take advantage of federal Direct Subsidized Stafford Loans.
- Removing annual and cumulative borrowing limits on federal student loans.
- Lowering the interest rates and fees on federal student loans.
- Capping total amount of interest that can accrue on federal student loans.
- Halting the accrual of federal student loan interest while a dentist is completing a medical/dental internship or residency.
- Extending the period of federal student loan deferment until after a new dentist has completed his or her medical/dental internship or residency.
- Permitting federal graduate student loans to be refinanced more than once.
- Simplifying and adding more transparency to the federal graduate student loan application process.
- Encouraging institutions of higher education and lenders to offer training to help students make informed decisions about how to finance their graduate education.
- Encouraging collaborative approaches to handling borrowers who fail (or are at risk of failing) to fully repay their federal student loan(s) in the required time period.
and be it further
Resolved, that the ADA's position on allowing private lenders to have a role in the federal student loan program shall depend on whether the loan terms and conditions and borrower protections are guaranteed to be as favorable or better than the existing system of federal student loans, and be it further
Resolved, that the ADA supports strengthening federal regulations for the protection of all student loan borrowers.
Federal Student Loan Repayment Incentives
Resolved, that the American Dental Association supports using state and federal funds to provide payments toward a dental professional’s outstanding federal student loans in exchange for practicing in underserved areas, entering and remaining in public service and academic teaching and research positions, and filling other gaps in areas of national need, and be it further
Resolved, that the ADA supports removing barriers that prohibit those with private graduate student loans from taking advantage of state and federal student loan repayment programs.
Tax Treatment of Student Loan Interest, Scholarships and Stipends
Resolved, that the American Dental Association supports the tax deductibility of interest on health profession student loans, and be it further
Resolved, that the ADA supports a tax exemption for scholarship assistance and stipends awarded to health professions students under federal programs.
General, Pediatric and Public Health Dental Residency Programs
Resolved, that the American Dental Association supports using state and federal funds to support general, pediatric, and public health dental residency programs, including those authorized under Title VII of the Public Health Service Act, for dentists to obtain extended clinical training and experience in facilities that provide a disproportionate level of care to the underserved.
NHSC Policy on Scholarships and Loan Repayments
Resolved, that the ADA work to expand the availability of National Health Service Corps (NHSC) scholarships and loan repayments for dentists and dental students who agree to work in a NHSC-approved site.
American Dental Association
October 2016 (1988:488; 2016:347)
Prepared by: Division of Government and Public Affairs
Last Updated: September 30, 2019