Unless you’re independently wealthy, there’s a pretty good chance that money will be an issue if you’re looking into a dental school. The average dental student will have to spend over $150,000 in order to complete an education at a public school within his or her state. In fact, your dental education may end up costing you over $200,000 if you’re looking at private or out-of-state dental schools. The education that you need to become a dentist can require a significant investment, and you will have to find a way to make this investment.
It is important to note, however, that your dental school education is indeed an investment and not a money drain. You will typically be able to earn between $70,000 and $230,000 a year as soon as you begin your career as a dentist (the specific amount that you earn will vary from region to region and specialty to specialty). You will be able to recoup the costs of your dental education very quickly if you can figure out how to pay for it initially.
If you are having difficulty paying for your education, there are typically two methods that you can use to find the money that you need. The first method is to break your total cost down into a series of cost categories, so you can look for ways to lower each of the undergraduate and dental school costs that you may be required to pay. The second method is to use financial aid. Financial aid is simply money that schools and other organizations offer to help students pay for their education; there’s no reason for you to pay for your entire education if someone else is willing to help.
Undergraduate Requirement Costs
All of the costs that you may incur for your dental education typically can be split into two main groups: undergraduate requirement costs and dental school costs. Undergraduate requirement costs are the expenses that you will have to pay in order to attend an undergraduate program and fulfill the undergraduate requirements needed to enter a dental school. Undergraduate costs may include your basic necessities, the books for your courses, your tuition, the computer system required for your courses (including both hardware and software), entrance examination fees (typically the fees for the SAT or ACT), your room and board, and your gas and other transportation costs An undergraduate program will typically cost you somewhere around $20,000 a year, but some undergraduate programs may cost you anywhere from $8,000 to over $35,000 a year with student loans. This means that you may need to pay anywhere from $32,000 to over $140,000 to complete your undergraduate program.
It is important to note, however, that there a few simple ways that you can reduce your undergraduate requirement costs.
- The first way is to look for undergraduate programs that are less expensive. You don’t need to go to the top private college in the country to get your bachelor’s degree. In most cases, you will be able to save a lot of money if you attend an accredited in-state public college that offers the courses and the degree that you need.
- The second way that you may be able to reduce your undergraduate costs is to look for schools that are nearby. In-state schools are not only cheaper but also easier to get to. You may be able to save a lot of money in gas, car repairs, room and board, parking, plane rides, and other similar expenses if you don’t have to travel very far.
- The third way that you may be able to reduce your undergraduate costs is to look for a combined program. Some dental school programs will allow you to begin taking courses toward your graduate degree in your junior or senior year of college instead of your first year of dental school. This means that you can combine some of your expenses and that you will only have to pay for your undergraduate courses for two or three years instead of four.
- The fourth way that you may be able to reduce your undergraduate costs is to look for cheaper alternatives to some of your common expenses. You will always have to eat, buy books, talk to your friends and family, and carry out other similar tasks, but you may be able to find less expensive ways of doing so. For example, you might decide to get some Ramen noodles or peanut butter if you’re looking for a cheaper way to eat; you may buy used books or ask other students to loan you a book if you’re looking for cheaper textbooks; or you may use e-mail or instant messenger programs rather than your cell phone if you’re looking for a cheaper way to talk to your friends and family.
Dental School Costs
All of the costs that you may incur for your dental education can typically be split into two main groups: undergraduate requirement costs and dental school costs. Dental school costs are the expenses that you will have to pay in order to attend a graduate program and obtain the degree in dentistry needed to receive your license. Dental school costs may include the costs associated with your basic necessities, the books for your graduate courses, your tuition, your dental tools, the computer system required for your graduate courses, the educational and dental simulation software required for your graduate courses, entrance examination fees (typically the fees for the GRE and/or the DAT), National Dental Board Examination (NBDE) fees, your room and board, and your gas and other transportation costs. A graduate program at a dental school will typically cost between $25,000 and $51,000 a year, but some dental schools may cost up to $90,000 a year. This means that the total amount that you will be required to pay to obtain your graduate degree will typically be between $100,000 and $205,000, but some schools may require you to pay over $400,000 by the time you’re done.
It is important to note, however, that there are a few simple ways that you can reduce your dental school costs.
- The first way is to look for a dental school that is less expensive. The amount that you will have to pay to attend a dental school can vary drastically from school to school, and you may be able to find a school that is significantly cheaper if you look for a public school that is in your state or in an area in which living expenses and income are relatively low. For example, the dental school of the University of Mississippi is significantly cheaper than many of the other dental schools in the United States because it typically costs less to live in the area where that university is located; the university has a lower tuition rate because the people who live in the area cannot afford to pay $90,000 a year.
- The second way that you may be able to reduce your dental school costs is to look for dental schools that are located within your state. Attending a dental school in your state will not only help you obtain the discounts that most dental schools offer to in-state residents, but also help you keep your transportation costs down.
- The third way that you may be able to reduce your dental school costs is to look for a university that offers the undergraduate courses and the dental degree that you need. Some dental schools may not only offer combined programs, but may also offer discounts to individuals already enrolled in another program at the school or to individuals who obtained a degree from that school.
- The fourth way that you may be able to reduce your dental school costs is to look for cheaper alternatives to some of your common expenses. For example, you will be able to lower your food costs if you eat with your family and make your own coffee, and lower your book costs by buying used textbooks or borrowing textbooks.