College Financial Aid Scholarship

A college financial aid scholarship is sometimes used as a synonym for a financial aid award. The costs of a four year dental school education is usually offset thru financial aid awards in the form of scholarships, loans and grants, for which most dental students are eligible.

There are financial aid programs offered by the armed forces and the U.S. public health service that may drastically reduce the amount of a loan through dental service appointments for a specified number of years after a student graduates. The American Dental Education Association (ADEA) and the American Student Dental Association (ASDA) have developed packages for dental students seeking federal and private loans, while the ADA offers dental scholarships.

The ADA Foundation has scholarship programs for students pursuing careers in dentistry, dental hygiene, dental assisting and dental laboratory technology. These scholarships are awarded to defray dental school expenses, which include tuition, fees, books, supplies and living expenses.

Only dental schools accredited by the Commission on Dental Accreditation of the American Dental Association are eligible to participate in the ADA Foundation's college financial aid scholarship program. Students must contact the associate dean for student affairs/program director or financial aid officer to request an application. School officials are also responsible for selecting and submitting to the ADA Foundation, its top two students for scholarship consideration. Generally, the criteria includes the applicant being a US citizen, being enrolled as a full-time student, demonstrating a financial need and maintaining a minimum GPA of 3.0.

The top two student applications must be submitted by the dental school to the ADA Foundation by the deadline date of October 16th for consideration. Any applications received after this date will not be considered. Notification of funding decisions are usually made after December 31st.

Because the ADA is very limited in the number of scholarships it awards, it is extremely important to consider other external scholarship resources, as well as federal student loans and grants for college.

Its a common misconception that scholarships are only for straight-A students. In reality, there are all types of college financial aid scholarships for all types of students, including those with less than perfect academic records. In addition to the athletic or academic scholarship, there are college financial aid scholarships available for minority women, left-handed people, single moms, students planning to study in particular fields, students involved in community services and so much more. Some scholarship providers reward students for living in a certain city or state!

Scholarships are available for all levels of college study, from freshman undergrads to graduate and PhD students and may be classified as follows:

  • Merit-based - the award is determined by a student's academic, artistic or other ability. The purpose of this type of scholarship is to help motivate the student and promote the study of the subject.
  • Athletic-based - awarded to student athletes who perform well in various athletic programs.
  • Need-based - an award based solely upon a student's financial situation. This type of scholarship can often cover all or part of the tuition, and in some cases, the student's living-costs.
  • Ethnicity-based - an award that is limited to those applicants who qualify by ethnicity, religion, gender, or national origin with the final recipients being screened by additional factors such as their academic GPA or volunteer activities.
  • Institutional-based - an award presented by a specific college or university to a prospective student.
  • General - awards are open to anyone or limited to children of employees at a particular corporation.

Some scholarships, like the National Health Service Corps or the Armed Forces Health Professions dental scholarships may also contain a promissory note type of requirement. In these cases, the dental student agrees to accept the scholarship in return for promising to provide dental services in a specific geographical area, for a specified period of time.

All in all, there are many college financial aid scholarships and grants available for practically anyone. Many dental students often limit themselves in this area, focusing on completing one free scholarship application and two or three private loans with the dental school they plan to attend. For many, they believe the process of searching for scholarships online and writing scholarship essays to be a tedious task. But fortunately, the process has become much simpler with the help of many companies providing scholarship services. From essay writing to finding scholarships based upon a completed questionnaire, scholarship services are helping to eliminate some of the stress associated with paying for college.

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This Website was compiled using a variety of resources and is not intended to substitute or replace the professional financial advice. The content provided is strictly for informational purposes on financing a career or education. Please seek additional information and consult a professional with any questions or concerns you may have regarding financing a dental or other professional career.

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