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House OKs completion of student debt study

January 07, 2013

By Karen Fox, ADA News staff

San Francisco—The Task Force on Dental Education Economics and Student Debt will continue the work it began last year in studying the impact that escalating levels of educational debt has on students.

The House passed the initial resolution in 2011 calling for a comprehensive analysis of the economics of dental education, including student debt and its impact on new graduates and access to care for vulnerable groups, with short- and long-term recommendations. The task force—which includes members of the Board of Trustees, the Council on Dental Education and Licensure, and the New Dentist Committee—began in 2012 by conducting extensive research using data collected from the American Dental Education Association, the Commission on Dental Accreditation, the American Student Dental Association and the ADA Health Policy Resources Center, but did not spend the funds allocated for 2012.

The 2012 House passed Resolution 113H-2012, Dental Education Economics and Student Debt, which reiterated the call for the study with results to be reported back to the 2013 House. The unused funds originally allocated by the 2011 House are to be used to complete the study.

The issue of student debt is on the docket for the 2013 National Roundtable for Dental Collaboration, an annual event that gives dental associations the opportunity to identify and assess common challenges in the delivery of oral health care and work collaboratively to address those challenges. At press time for this issue of the ADA News, the Task Force on Dental Education Economics and Student Debt was scheduled to meet in conjunction with the Jan. 4-5 roundtable.