How Much Does Dental School Cost?

The road towards becoming a dentist takes anywhere from seven to eight years. If you intend to become one, the cost is naturally going to be one of the things that you will be concerned about. The expenses associated with dental school are certainly going to be hefty considering that you will have to obtain a bachelor’s degree before you can be accepted for dental school.

If the rate of student loan debt is anything to go by, prospective dentistry students should really prepare themselves financially if they want to complete the course. The American Dental Education Association revealed that on the average, dental students graduate with a student loan debt of more than $241,000. This makes financial preparation even more necessary.

How much you pay for dental school depends on where you get your dental education. You can expect to pay less if you go to a public school, especially if you become eligible for in-state student discounts. The costs for annual tuition and fees, books, supplies, housing and food for a four-year pre-dentistry course leading to a bachelor’s degree can range anywhere from $15,000 to about $60,000 a year. At Ball State University in Indiana, in-state students spend around $19,240 a year while out-of-state students shell out $34,204. At Kent State University at Kent in Ohio, the annual cost for in-state students is $20,752 while for out-of-state students, it is $28,712.

Private schools, meanwhile, are typically more expensive. They also charge the same fees for all students regardless of their state of residence. At Boston University in Massachusetts, the yearly cost for pre-dentistry studies is $59,500. At the University of Dayton, the annual cost is a bit cheaper at $48,290.

After obtaining a bachelor’s degree, students can then proceed to get formal dental education. Students can expect to spend less if they obtain their education from a public school compared to if they would get it at a private university. To show an example of the cost, let’s take a look at the School of Dentistry at the University of Washington. In-state students can expect to spend $45,718 for their first year, $45,832 for the second year, $47,822 for their third year and $45,506 for their fourth year. Out-of-state students, on the other hand, have to shell out $66,235 for their first year, $66,349 for the second year, $78,484 for their third year and $76,168 for their fourth year. This covers the cost of tuition, fees, books, supplies and immunization fee.

These are just the initial expenses. They will have to spend for their housing, food and personal and transportation expenses. At the University of Washington, the room and board costs for all the four years of dental school is $65,688 while personal expenses can reach $10,570 for all the four years. Transportation costs reach $6,048 for all the four years. Living expenses for one’s entire time in dental school can reach $82,306.

Based on all these figures, an in-state student will have to spend a total of $267,184 while out-of-state students will have to shell out $369,542 before they can graduate from formal dental school.

If you’re worried that you won’t be able to afford these expenses, you don’t have to give up on your dream that easily. Many students are able to lower the cost of their bachelor’s degree and that of formal dental school through some form of financial aid. Ask the financial aid supervisor of your school to see if you are eligible for merit-based or need-based scholarships and grants. While it is tempting to borrow money in the form of student loans to finance dental school, be sure that you do it with the full knowledge that you will need to pay off these amounts completely in the future.

Career Spotlight: Dentist

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