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Dental Career Scholarship and College Financial Aid Help

Last updated: 04/20/2018

Dental school is a serious undertaking, both educationally and financially. According to the American Dental Education Association (ADEA), the average debt for all indebted dental graduates in 2017 was $287,331. Over 30% of dental school graduates left with student loan debt totally more than $300,000.

While dental school is certainly expensive, don’t let that discourage you – there are many excellent scholarships available for all kinds of dental career paths. This guide will cover some of the best national and regional scholarships to help both dental and pre-dental students reach their educational goals. This list won’t include every single scholarship available in the country, so we encourage you to do your own research on finding a scholarship that’s right for you.


Table of Contents
Scholarships for Dental Students
Scholarships for Pre-Dental Students
Location-Based Scholarships


Scholarships for Dental Students

These scholarships are available for students that are currently enrolled in dental programs and are seeking financial assistance to complete their education. This includes students who are enrolled in dental hygienist programs.

ADA Foundation Dental Student Scholarship

Sponsor: American Dental Association

Amount: Up to 7 scholarships — up to $20,000 each

Eligibility requirements: Applicants must:

  • Be a U.S. citizen in their second year of study
  • Be enrolled at an accredited dental school with a minimum course load of 12 hours
  • Must have a GPA of 3.25 out of 4.0

Application details: None

Renewable: Yes

Enrollment level: Second year of study at an accredited dental school.

Application deadline: February 2018*

*Note: At publishing time, the scholarship issuer has not updated its deadline for the upcoming year. Continue to check the website for updated information for next year’s scholarship deadline.

ADEA/Crest Oral-B Scholarships for Predoctoral Dental Students Pursuing Academic Careers

Sponsor: American Dental Education Association (ADEA) and The Procter & Gamble Company

Amount: 2 scholarships. $5,500 each ($4,500 to tuition and fees, $500 for travel to ADEA Annual Session and Exhibition, $500 for travel to the Procter & Gamble Research Center)

Eligibility requirements: Applicants must:

  • Be an individual member of the ADEA
  • Be enrolled in a predoctoral program at an ADEA Member Institution
  • Demonstrate interest in advanced education
  • Show commitment to pursuing an academic career in dental education

Application details: The following items should be submitted for application

  • A personal statement detailing his or her experiences, influences, and decision-making that demonstrate a firm commitment to becoming a dental educator
  • A letter of recommendation from the student’s dean or person of equivalent academic rank
  • Individual letters of nomination and evaluation from two faculty members that address the candidate’s career goals
  • Transcripts obtained from the candidate’s school registrar verifying academic standing

Renewable: Yes

Enrollment level: Predoctoral

Application deadline: November 1, 2017*

*Note: At publishing time, the scholarship issuer has not updated its deadline for the upcoming year. Continue to check the website for updated information for next year’s scholarship deadline.

ADEA/GlaxoSmithKline Consumer Healthcare Preventive Dentistry Scholarships

Sponsor: American Dental Education Association and GlaxoSmithKline

Amount: 12 scholarships – $2,500 each.

Eligibility requirements: Applicant must:

  • Be enrolled at a U.S. or Canadian dental school as a full-time student at the time of submission
  • Be an ADEA Individual Member
  • Demonstrate, through personal activities and achievements, a strong interest in preventive dentistry
  • Possess a superior academic record
  • Be nominated by the dean of his or her dental school or the dean’s designate (no more than three nominations are accepted from each school)

Application details: The following items must be submitted to be considered for the scholarship:

  • A letter from the dean describing the applicant’s academic record, achievements and activities (research, community service and program development) in preventive dentistry that have gone beyond those required of all students for graduation
  • Transcripts obtained from the candidate’s school registrar verifying academic standing
  • A current curriculum vitae
  • A summary of the insights the student has gained from achievements and activities (research, community service and program development) in preventive dentistry

Renewable: Yes

Enrollment level: Predoctoral with interest in preventive dentistry

Application deadline: November 1, 2017*

*Note: At publishing time, the scholarship issuer has not updated its deadline for the upcoming year. Continue to check the website for updated information for next year’s scholarship deadline.

ADEA/Sigma Phi Alpha Linda DeVore Scholarship (Dental Hygienist)

Sponsor: American Dental Education Association and Sigma Phi Alpha

Amount: $1,000

Eligibility requirements: Applicants must:

  • Be an ADEA Individual Member
  • Be enrolled as a part- or full-time student in a course of study in dental hygiene, education or public health (baccalaureate, master’s, or doctoral degrees)
  • Demonstrate a commitment to leadership in education or health care; examples include serving as an exemplary class officer or organizing a major class or school wide community service activity
  • Be in good academic standing in his or her program of study

Application details: Students should submit the following items:

  • Transcripts obtained from the candidate’s school registrar verifying academic standing
  • A personal statement providing details of personal qualities and leadership experiences
  • A letter of nomination from a faculty member addressing the candidate’s leadership qualities
  • A letter of support from the applicant’s dean, dental hygiene director or equivalent in an academic setting

Renewable: Yes

Enrollment level: Part or full-time enrollment at baccalaureate, master’s, or doctoral levels

Application deadline: November 1, 2017*

*Note: At publishing time, the scholarship issuer has not updated its deadline for the upcoming year. Continue to check the website for updated information for next year’s scholarship deadline.

Chinese American Medical Society Scholarship Program

Sponsor: Chinese American Medical Society

Amount: $5000

Eligibility requirements: Applicants must:

  • Be in first, second, or third year at a medical or dental school
  • Be in good standing at an accredited U.S. school

Application details: The following items should be submitted:

  • Completed and Signed Application Form
  • Applicant’s Current Curriculum Vitae
  • A Letter from the Dean of Student Verifying The The Applicant is in Good Standing
  • Two Letters of Recommendation
  • A letter from the applicant’s Dean or Professor supporting their claim for financial need

Renewable: No

Enrollment level: First, second, or third year of medical or dental school

Application deadline: March 31, 2018*

*Note: At publishing time, the scholarship issuer has not updated its deadline for the upcoming year. Continue to check the website for updated information for next year’s scholarship deadline.

Dental Trade Alliance Foundation Scholarships

Sponsor: Dental Trade Alliance Foundation and partners

Amount: 34 scholarships — $5,000 each

Eligibility requirements: Applicants must:

  • Be in the class of 2019 or 2020 in a dental school accredited by the Commision on Dental Accreditation
  • Demonstrate financial need, good academic standing, and a history of charitable work
  • Be a full-time student
  • Be nominated by the dean of their dental school or the dean’s designate (no more than one nomination from each school)

Application details: Students should submit the following:

  • DTA Foundation Scholarship Qualification form (completed and signed by Dean)
  • Student Community Service and Accomplishment form (completed by student)
  • 2 minute video creatively highlighting student and his/her work with one charity (link to be included on Student Accomplishment form)
  • Student’s curriculum vitae

Note: All application materials must be submitted simultaneously via email. Incomplete applications will not be considered.

Renewable: No

Enrollment level: Class of 2019 or 2020

Application deadline: May 16, 2018

Hispanic Dental Association Foundation Scholarship Program (Residency or Specialty Program)

Sponsor: Hispanic Dental Association and Colgate-Palmolive Company

Amount: $4,000

Eligibility requirements: Applicants must:

  • Accepted or enrolled in an accredited residency program
  • Have an undergraduate or graduate degree in an oral health related field (dentistry, dental hygiene, etc.)
  • Be a member of the Hispanic Dental Association or Hispanic Student Dental Association
  • Be a full-time student during the academic year for which you are applying
  • Have a minimum average grade point of 3.0 on a 4.0 scale or in good academic standing at your school if your dental program does not provide a GPA
  • Show interest in improving the oral health of the Hispanic community
  • Show evidence of commitment and dedication to serve the Hispanic community

Application details: The following items must be submitted:

  • You must submit your completed application to the HDAF
  • The Verification form must be sent directly from the school to the HDAF
  • One recommendation must be submitted directly from the recommender to the HDAF

Renewable: Yes

Enrollment level: Undergraduate or graduate degree in oral health

Application deadline: July 1, 2018

Hispanic Dental Association Foundation Scholarship Program (First, Second, Third, and Fourth Year Dental Students — First and Second Year Dental Hygiene Students)

Sponsor: Hispanic Dental Association and Colgate-Palmolive Company

Amount: $2,000 for dental students — $1,000 for dental hygiene students

Eligibility requirements: Applicants must:

  • Be accepted or enrolled in an accredited dental program, dental hygiene program, dental assisting program, or dental laboratory program in the U.S. or Puerto Rico
  • Be a member of the Hispanic Dental Association or Hispanic Student Dental Association
  • Be a full-time student during the academic year for which you are applying
  • Have a minimum average grade point of 3.0 on a 4.0 scale or in good academic standing at your school if your dental program does not provide a GPA
  • Show interest in improving the oral health of the Hispanic community
  • Show evidence of commitment and dedication to serve the Hispanic community

Application details: The following items must be submitted:

  • A completed application must be submitted directly to the HDAF
  • The verification form must be sent directly from the school to the HDAF
  • One recommendation must be submitted directly from the recommender to the HDAF

Renewable: Yes

Enrollment level: Full-time student; first, second, third, fourth year for dental students — first and second year for dental hygiene students.

Application deadline: July 1, 2018

Hispanic Dental Association Foundation Scholarship Program (Third and Fourth Year Dental Students)

Sponsor: Hispanic Dental Association Foundation and A-dec

Amount: $2,000

Eligibility requirements: Applicants must:

  • Be a member of the Hispanic Dental Association or Hispanic Student Dental Association
  • Be a full-time student during the academic year for which you are applying
  • Have a minimum average grade point of 3.0 on a 4.0 scale or in good academic standing at your school if your dental program does not provide a GPA
  • Show interest in improving the oral health of the Hispanic community
  • Show evidence of commitment and dedication to serve the Hispanic community

Application details: The following items must be submitted:

  • A completed application must be submitted directly to the HDAF
  • The verification form must be sent directly from the school to the HDAF
  • One recommendation must be submitted directly from the recommender to the HDAF

Renewable: Yes

Enrollment level: Third and fourth year dental students

Application deadline: July 1, 2018

Hispanic Dental Association Foundation Scholarship Program (First, Second, and Third Year Dental Students)

Sponsor: Hispanic Dental Association Foundation and Dr. Esperanza Rodriguez

Amount: $1,000

Eligibility requirements: Applicants must:

  • Be a member of the Hispanic Dental Association or Hispanic Student Dental Association
  • Be a full-time student during the academic year for which you are applying
  • Have a minimum average grade point of 3.0 on a 4.0 scale or in good academic standing at your school if your dental program does not provide a GPA
  • Show interest in improving the oral health of the Hispanic community
  • Show evidence of commitment and dedication to serve the Hispanic community

Application details: The following items must be submitted:

  • A completed application must be submitted directly to the HDAF
  • The Verification form must be sent directly from the school to the HDAF
  • One recommendation must be submitted directly from the recommender to the HDAF

Renewable: Yes

Enrollment level: First, second, or third year dental student

Application deadline: July 1, 2018

National Dental Association Dr. Joseph L. Henry First Year Scholarship

Sponsor: National Dental Association Foundation

Amount: $2,000

Eligibility requirements: Applicants must:

  • Have an undergraduate GPA of 3.5 or greater
  • Be a United States citizen
  • Have verifiable community service

Application details: Students should submit the following items:

  • An acceptance letter to an accredited dental school
  • Have a letter of recommendation from an undergraduate professor

Renewable: No

Enrollment level: Undergraduate

Application deadline: May 15, 2018

Sarasota Dentistry Dental Scholarship Essay Contest

Sponsor: Sarasota Dentistry

Amount: $1,500 scholarship for one dental student

Eligibility requirements: Applicants must:

  • Write a 1,000 to 1,500-word essay on the topic given by Sarasota Dentistry
  • Must be admitted to or attending an undergraduate or graduate degree program at an accredited US university or college

Application details: The following items must be included:

  • A statement of your current academic status, including evidence that you are currently attending college as set forth under our Eligibility requirements
  • Your written submission as a Word document or PDF attachment

Renewable: Yes

Enrollment level: Any level

Application deadline: December 15, 2017

Scholarships for Pre-Dental Students

“Crack the DAT” Pre-Dental Scholarship

Sponsor: Crack the DAT

Amount: Four prizes – $100, $300, $600, $1,000

Eligibility requirements: All applicants must:

  • Write a 1-2 page essay (single-spaced) on why you deserve the “Crack the DAT” scholarship
  • Possess a GPA of 3.0 or above
  • Be enrolled full-time seeking a career in dentistry and at least a junior in college (or graduated)

Application details: Items to include:

  • Resume or CV
  • 2×2 picture
  • Scanned unofficial transcript

Renewable: Yes

Enrollment level: At least junior in college

Application deadline: September 30, 2018

Kool Smiles Scholarship

Sponsor: Benevis Foundation

Amount: $5,000

Eligibility requirements: Applicants must:

  • Be enrolled in an accredited high school (final year), college or university in the United States
  • Be considered in academic “good standing” at current institution
  • Hold a minimum cumulative Grade Point Average (GPA) of 3.0 or higher (or equivalent)

Application details: Applicants must submit an essay that:

  • Effectively and insightfully develops a point of view on the issue and demonstrates outstanding critical thinking, using clearly appropriate examples, reasons and other evidence to support its position
  • Is well organized and clearly focused, demonstrating clear coherence and smooth progression of ideas
  • Exhibits skillful use of language, using a varied, accurate and apt vocabulary, demonstrating meaningful variety in sentence structure
  • Uses originality and creativity in approaching the topic

Renewable: Yes

Enrollment level: Senior in high school, or enrolled in graduate or undergraduate college/university.

Application deadline: February 28, 2018*

*Note: At publishing time, the scholarship issuer has not updated its deadline for the upcoming year. Continue to check the website for updated information for next year’s scholarship deadline.

Sarasota Dentistry Dental Scholarship Essay Contest

Sponsor: Sarasota Dentistry

Amount: $1,500 scholarship for one undergraduate student

Eligibility requirements: Applicants must:

  • Write a 1,000 to 1,500-word essay on the topic given by Sarasota Dentistry
  • Must be admitted to or attending an undergraduate or graduate degree program at an accredited US university or college

Application details: The following items must be included:

  • A statement of your current academic status, including evidence that you are currently attending college as set forth under our Eligibility requirements
  • Your written submission as a Word document or PDF attachment

Renewable: Yes

Enrollment level: Any level

Application deadline: December 15, 2017*

*Note: At publishing time, the scholarship issuer has not updated its deadline for the upcoming year. Continue to check the website for updated information for next year’s scholarship deadline.

Location-Based Scholarships

Arizona State University Pediatric Dentist of Tomorrow Scholarship

Sponsor: Dr. Jaren Jensen of Smile Reef

Amount: $500

Eligibility requirements: Applicants must:

  • Be a resident of Arizona
  • Have a minimum GPA of 3.20
  • Currently enrolled in an accredited college or university, aspiring to a career in dentistry

Application details: Students should submit the following items:

  • A 300-1,000 word essay according to scholarship rules

Renewable: Yes

Enrollment level: Full-time student

Application deadline: March 15

Carol Bauhs Benson Scholarship (Dental Hygiene)

Sponsor: ADHA Institute for Oral Health

Amount: Maximum of $1,000

Eligibility requirements: Applicants must:

  • Be a resident of Minnesota, North Dakota, South Dakota, or Wisconsin
  • Be an active ADHA or Student ADHA member with a minimum GPA of 3.5
  • Have completed one year of a dental hygiene program
  • Be enrolled in an accredited school
  • Demonstrate financial need

Application details: Students should submit the following items:

  • A completed application from the ADHA website
  • An essay according to scholarship rules

Renewable: No

Enrollment level: First year of dental hygiene program

Application deadline: February 1

Hispanic Dental Association Foundation Scholarship Program (Texas)

Sponsor: Hispanic Dental Association and Dr. Juan Villarreal

Amount: $1,000 for dental students — $500 for dental hygiene students

Eligibility requirements: Applicants must:

  • Be accepted or enrolled in an accredited dental program, dental hygiene program, dental assisting program, or dental laboratory program in the state of Texas
  • Be a member of the Hispanic Dental Association or Hispanic Student Dental Association
  • Be a full-time student during the academic year for which you are applying
  • Have a minimum average grade point of 3.0 on a 4.0 scale or in good academic standing at your school if your dental program does not provide a GPA
  • Show interest in improving the oral health of the Hispanic community
  • Show evidence of commitment and dedication to serve the Hispanic community

Application details: Students should submit the following items:

  • A completed application must be submitted directly to the HDAF
  • The verification form must be sent directly from the school to the HDAF
  • One recommendation must be submitted directly from the recommender to the HDAF

Renewable: Yes

Enrollment level: Full-time student; First, second, third, fourth year for dental students — first and second year for dental hygiene students.

Application deadline: July 1, 2018

John Dawe Dental Education Fund

Sponsor: Hawaii Community Foundation

Amount: Varies

Eligibility requirements: Applicants must:

  • Be a permanent resident of Hawaii
  • Be enrolled in dentistry or dental hygiene program
  • Have a minimum GPA of 2.7

Application details: Students should submit the following items:

  • A letter from school confirming enrollment in dentistry or dental hygiene program
  • An essay according to scholarship rules

Renewable: Varies

Enrollment level: Full-time

Application deadline: February 15

Vermont Dental Hygiene Scholarship

Sponsor: Vermont Student Assistance Corporation (VSAC)

Amount: $15,000-$18,000

Eligibility requirements: Applicants must:

  • Attend an accredited postsecondary school approved for federal Title IV funding
  • Demonstrate financial need

Application details: Students should submit the following items:

  • Completed application from provider’s website

Renewable: No

Enrollment level: Full-time student

Application deadline: February 16, 2019

Wilma Motley Memorial California Merit Scholarship (Dental Hygiene)

Sponsor: ADHA Institute for Oral Health

Amount: Maximum of $2,000

Eligibility requirements: Applicants must:

  • Be a resident of California or attending a dental hygiene program in California
  • Have completed one year of dental hygiene program
  • Be an active ADHA or Student ADHA member with minimum GPA of 3.5

Application details: Students should submit the following items:

  • A completed application from the ADHA website

Renewable: No

Enrollment level: First year of dental hygiene program

Application deadline: February 1