15 Best Dental Schools to Avoid Six-Figure Student Debt

Updated on February 16, 2024

At a Glance

  • The article provides a list of 15 affordable dental schools in the U.S. that offer high-quality education and help avoid six-figure student debt.
  • Each school is detailed with information about its dental program, unique offerings, and commitment to affordability.
  • The piece emphasizes the importance of considering both in-state and private dental schools for potential savings, even if private schools seem initially more expensive.
  • The article also includes a FAQ section answering common queries about ways to save money on dental school and the cost difference between private and public dental schools.

Are you dreaming of becoming a dentist, but worried about ending up drowning in student debt? Well, fear not my friend! In this article, I’ll introduce you to the 15 best dental schools that will set you on the path to success without breaking the bank. So, let’s get started!

1. East Carolina University

Located in Greenville, North Carolina, East Carolina University is a prestigious institution known for its commitment to excellence in dental education. The university’s dental program is highly regarded and has produced some of the finest dentists in the country.

At East Carolina University, students are provided with a comprehensive curriculum that covers all aspects of dentistry. From basic dental sciences to advanced clinical training, the program ensures that students are well-prepared to enter the field of dentistry with confidence and competence.

One of the standout features of East Carolina University’s dental program is its state-of-the-art facilities. The university has invested heavily in creating a modern and technologically advanced environment for dental education. But what truly sets East Carolina University apart from other dental schools is its commitment to affordability. The university understands the financial burden that comes with pursuing a dental degree and strives to make education accessible to all students.

Furthermore, East Carolina University offers numerous opportunities for students to gain practical experience and expand their knowledge beyond the classroom. The university has partnerships with local dental clinics and hospitals, providing students with real-world exposure to different dental practices and patient populations.

2. Texas A&M University

Everything is bigger in Texas, right? Well, that might be true, but fortunately, the student debt at Texas A&M University‘s dental school doesn’t follow the same trend. With a strong focus on affordability, this school will have you smiling from ear to ear, both because of your new dental skills and the money you’ll save along the way.

Texas A&M University School of Dentistry has a lot to offer. It is one of the oldest dental schools in the state. Not only that, but it’s so good that it even turned into one of the country’s best dental schools. It mostly accepts students from inside the state, but a few lucky out-of-state students also get accepted.

What’s more, the university knows that students may not always be able to afford their studies, so it tried to make its programs as affordable as possible. It also takes part in various scholarship and loan programs to help students.

3. LECOM School of Dental Medicine

Looking for a dental school that not only offers an excellent education but also emphasizes financial literacy? Look no further than LECOM School of Dental Medicine. They understand that becoming a dentist is a big investment, so they provide resources to help you manage your finances wisely. You’ll be filling cavities and saving money like a pro!

LECOM knows the importance of aspiring dentists preparing for their future careers. It helps them turn into the professionals they want to become by offering them programs of excellence in clinical care, research, education, and community service. The university is aware that dentists have become a key part in managing patient health in the industry.

Most of the time, fees, tuition, and other charges can be paid by registration, but you can also arrange something different with the accounting office if necessary.

4. UT Health Science Center at San Antonio

If you’re searching for a dental school in the heart of Texas that won’t leave you with a toothache of debt, UT Health Science Center at San Antonio is the place for you. With affordable tuition and a reputation for excellence, this school provides the perfect balance between quality education and financial sanity.

The School of Dentistry from the UT Health Science Center at San Antonio is internationally recognized. It is one of the top such institutions in South Texas, being one of the leaders in community service, research, dental education, and patient care in this part of the state. The school attracts famous faculty specialists in order to prepare the next oral health care professionals.

Being a prestigious university and also being able to keep you out of debt, this is one of the best universities, especially considering the affordable tuition.

5. University of Connecticut

The University of Connecticut’s dental school combines high-quality education with a reasonable price tag. So why settle for draining your bank account at some other school when you can receive top-notch dental education and have a little money left over to enjoy life? UConn is the answer!

The University of Connecticut is one of the best dental schools in the United States. Not only does it provide the perfect environment for learning thanks to its trained professors, but it is also packed with a lot of technologically advanced facilities. UConn offers some competitive programs that make sure you can study without getting in debt.

6. UT Health Science Center at Houston

Another gem in the Lone Star State, the UT Health Science Center at Houston offers a dental program that won’t leave you gasping for air from financial stress. With affordable tuition and a comprehensive curriculum, this school will have you well-prepared for a successful dental career.

UTHealth is located in the Texas Medical Center and it’s one of the best academic health centers in the Southwestern part of the United States. It ranks very highly among dental schools, and the best part about it is that the tuition is very low.

It is perfect for students who want to seek a medical field career without breaking the bank. Also, it has many financial assistance opportunities for students to keep tuition rates low, allowing students to focus on studying without worrying about money.

7. Meharry Medical College

Located in vibrant Nashville, Tennessee, Meharry Medical College’s dental school offers not only great education but also a reasonable price tag. So why not combine your dental studies with a dose of country music and Southern charm? It’s a win-win situation!

This is one of the most diverse schools in the U.S., preparing students for their future in the medical field. On top of tuition fees being very low, the school also opens an affordable housing center for its students. There are also some financial support programs that make it easier to handle the price.

8. Oregon Health & Science University

If you’re looking for a dental school that prioritizes making education affordable, then Oregon Health & Science University is worth a closer look. With its competitive tuition and commitment to providing financial support, this school will help you achieve your dental dreams without emptying your bank account.

OHSU is a unique institution, with over 55 programs you can choose from. Aside from the wonderful journey that awaits you, you will also be able to study without being concerned about money. The tuition is not the highest out there, and you also have the opportunity to get financial aid if necessary.

The school aims to form some of the best dentists, making sure they can focus on their studies and not on loans and finances.

9. University of Mississippi

Are you ready to say “Hotty Toddy” and pursue a dental degree without the worry of massive student debt? Look no further than the University of Mississippi’s dental school. With their reasonable tuition and dedication to providing an excellent education, you’ll be on your way to a bright dental career without the added burden of financial stress.

The University of Mississippi is very affordable compared to similar institutions. Tuition is very cheap, especially for in-state students. However, while more expensive for them, students coming from out of state will also not have to worry – the tuition for them is much cheaper than the national average.

10. University of California, San Francisco

If you’re dreaming of sunny California and a dental education that won’t leave you financially drained, the University of California, San Francisco’s dental school is here to make your dreams come true. With a commitment to affordability and a world-class faculty, this school is the perfect place to carve out your dental career.

The institution ensures a strict, yet effective and cheap learning environment for everyone. Students are honored, and their education is supported not only by highly trained and skilled professors, but also by the affordable tuition.

11. University of North Carolina

When it comes to affordable dental education, the University of North Carolina‘s dental school is a shining example. With its reasonable tuition and emphasis on providing students with a top-tier education, this school offers the best of both worlds – quality education and financial peace of mind. Tar Heels, get ready to smile!

On top of providing a nice, rustic setting for students, it also has a very diverse student community. So, if you want diversity and affordable tuition, this is your perfect university for you. It has an acceptance rate of 92%, and tuition both for in-state and out-of-state students is very cheap, so you won’t have to get in debt. It’s certainly one of the cheapest universities in the state, so you don’t want to skip it.

12. Columbia University

If you’re looking to study dentistry in the Big Apple without a big price tag, Columbia University’s dental school is the place for you. With affordable tuition and a location that offers countless opportunities, this school will provide you with the skills and knowledge you need to succeed without leaving you drowning in debt.

What’s great about Columbia University is that it strives to help those who are less fortunate in a financial sense. So, if you come from a family with an annual income of less than $150,000 and typical assets, you will not have to pay any tuition. Over $215 million is offered every year in grants and scholarships. This way, you can keep doing your best to become a dentist and not worry about when you’ll be able to pay your tuition.

13. Rutgers School of Dental Medicine

Located in the heart of New Jersey, the Rutgers School of Dental Medicine combines affordable tuition with an outstanding dental education. With a reputation for excellence and a commitment to financial accessibility, this school will help you build a solid foundation for your dental career without breaking the bank.

This is the only dental school in New Jersey and one of the best oral healthcare providers in the state. Whether you live in the area or you’re coming from a different location, the reasonable tuition is one of the most attractive parts about the university. It leaves you more room to breathe and makes sure you can keep studying without being burdened by debt.

14. Tufts University

Tufts University‘s dental school is a hidden gem when it comes to affordability. With reasonable tuition and a curriculum that prepares you for success, this school offers you the chance to pursue your dental dreams without the burden of overwhelming student debt. Your future patients will thank you!

Tufts offers some financial aid to certain students as a way to ease their financial burden. For instance, students from low-income families can receive an amount of money during their first year to help them deal with the costs of their studies. Some form of financial aid is offered to a large

15. Augusta University

Last but certainly not least, Augusta University’s dental school provides an excellent education without squeezing your wallet dry. With a focus on affordability and a commitment to student success, this school offers you the opportunity to embark on your dental career with financial peace of mind.

Augusta University is very cheap, as its tuition is lower than the national average, especially in terms of in-state tuition. Moreover, even out-of-state students will be able to enjoy cheaper tuition, which is absolutely impressive.

Augusta University is one of the most prestigious institutions in the state and in the whole United States, and with its tuition discounts, it’s definitely something to consider for people who do not have a lot of money but want to become dentists.

Cheap Dental Schools Can Lead to Huge Savings

When it comes to dental education, affordability shouldn’t be an afterthought. Choosing a dental school that won’t leave you drowning in student debt can have a significant impact on your future financial well-being. Here are a few reasons why considering cheaper dental schools can lead to huge savings:

In-state tuition saves an average of $108,000

Did you know that opting for an in-state dental school can save you an average of $108,000 compared to out-of-state tuition? That’s a whopping amount of money that can be better spent on building your future or enjoying the finer things in life!

While public dental schools often have lower tuition rates, don’t overlook the possibility of private dental schools offering scholarships or financial aid. Broadening your search to include both public and private schools can open up a world of opportunities to save money.

The Bottom Line

So, don’t let the burden of student debt dampen your dream of becoming a dentist! By choosing one of these 15 dental schools that prioritize affordability, you can achieve academic excellence without the weight of six-figure student debt dragging you down. Keep smiling, keep learning, and remember that a toothy grin is priceless – especially when it doesn’t come at a sky-high cost!

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

How can I save money on dental school?

Considering in-state dental schools can save you an average of $108,000 compared to out-of-state tuition. Also, look for schools that offer financial aid or scholarships.

Are private dental schools more expensive than public ones?

While public dental schools often have lower tuition rates, some private dental schools offer scholarships or financial aid that can make them an affordable option as well.

What are some of the cheapest dental schools in the United States?

Some of the cheapest dental schools in the U.S. include East Carolina University, Texas A&M University, LECOM School of Dental Medicine, and UT Health Science Center at San Antonio.

Do any dental schools offer free tuition?

Some dental schools, such as Columbia University, offer free tuition to students who come from families with an annual income of less than $150,000 and typical assets.

What factors should I consider when choosing a dental school?

Apart from tuition, consider factors such as the school’s reputation, the curriculum, location, facilities, and opportunities for practical experience.

Are there dental schools that offer financial support programs?

Yes, many dental schools offer financial support programs to help ease the burden of tuition. For example, Tufts University offers financial aid to certain students.

How can I determine if a dental school is affordable for me?

Consider not only the tuition but also your living expenses, potential earnings during school, and the likelihood of receiving financial aid or scholarships.

Are there dental schools that are particularly good for in-state students?

Many dental schools offer lower in-state tuition. For example, the University of Mississippi is very affordable for in-state students.

Can I work while attending dental school to offset the cost?

Working while attending dental school can be challenging due to the demanding nature of the program. However, some students may find part-time work or work-study programs feasible.

What is the average debt for dental school graduates?

The average debt for dental school graduates in the U.S. is over $290,000. However, by choosing an affordable dental school, you can significantly reduce this amount.

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