School Grants And Scholarships For Dental Assistants

Obtaining an education at a reasonable price can be a daunting task. Not surprisingly therefore, many of you who wish to train to become dental assistants will wish to investigate some sort of funding, usually in the form of grants and scholarships. There is some good news, however…

In some cases, you only need to go to school for one to two years to get a certificate as a dental assistant. This keeps your tuition costs down.

Secondly, there are plenty of funding options available for you to investigate, so there’s no need to let the high cost of tuition deter you from pursuing the career in which you are the most interested. If you are determined enough, you will find the funding you need for the education you want.

Let’s look at some of your options…

Federal “Needs-Based” Grants

Students who need funding for school should always submit in their Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) before doing anything else. Submitting this form will enroll you to receive funds from the main federal and state grants, should you be eligible to receive them.

Needs based grants are awarded according to financial status. In other words, the less income you have (or your parents, should this be applicable) , the more likely you will obtain a grant. Grant eligibility is largely determined by the income disclosure element of the FAFSA. This information is used to calculate your “Expected Family Contribution” (EFC). The lower your EFC is, the easier it will be to get need-based funding for an education.

The two main forms of federal aid are the Pell Grant and the Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant. Both of these aid packages are given to financially needy students who are studying any academic programs.

To be eligible for these grants, students must have a low EFC and be a United States resident. They cannot have any charges for drug possession and must file with the Selective Service if eligible. Students must also be attending their school at least part-time to qualify for any aid. Although these grant programs are not specifically designed for dental assistance programs, they are available to students of any academic program.

Filing for the FAFSA is also important because it determines your eligibility for need based grants in your state. Some dental assistance grants and scholarships will also require you to submit your EFC so they can determine your financial need.

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Health Care Careers Opportunity Program (HCOP)

This program is operated by the United States Department of Health and Human Services. It is intended to help economically disadvantaged students pursue a degree in the health care fields. It can also be used by students who are pursuing a graduate or professional degree.

More details can be found here!

American Dental Association

The ADA gives scholarships for students studying to be a dental assistant. These awards are given out every year to students who apply to the various scholarship programs located at their website:

http://www.ada.org/applyforassistance.aspx.

Although eligibility requirements vary, the ADA has a variety of scholarships intended for minority students. Students should expect to meet various need-based or academic merit requirements.

American Dental Assistants Association (ADAA)

Scholarships offered by the ADAA are intended entirely for dental assistants. One such award is the ADAA Student Achievement award. Students who apply for this award must be members of the ADAA and be in the process of studying at a school for dental assistants. The application is due before March 31 every year and the award is for the amount of $250.

A second award offered by this organization is the Juliette A. Southard/Oral-B Scholarship program. Further details and application forms can be found here!

Hispanic Dental Association Awards

Students who are members of the Hispanic community can apply for these awards. There are several…

1)  Colgate-Palmolive / HDA Foundation Scholarship
2)  HDAF Scholars Award
3)  Dr. Juan D. Villarreal / HDA Foundation Scholarship

These grants pay out varying amounts of money; from $500-$10,000 to applicable students. Full details can be obtained from the official web site.

National Dental Association Foundation (NDAF)

Started in 1990, the NDAF created this award program to help students that come from a minority background.

Known as the Colgate-Palmolive Scholarship, this funding program has an application available here. This award is given to one dental assistant student each year for the amount of $250. If dentistry students choose to pursue further studies, they can receive higher award amounts for graduate work, dental hygiene programs and doctoral programs.

There are also five $2,000 scholarships given out to freshman students for every year they are in school.

To be eligible, students should demonstrate academic merit and financial need. They should submit their FAFSA in a timely manner prior to turning in their scholarship application. Staff members at the National Dental Association Foundation are not eligible for any award programs.

Job Corps

Run by the U.S. Department of Labor, Job Corps is a “career technical training and education program for students ages 16 through 24.” Developed for financially disadvantaged individuals, Job Corps trains you for your career, provides you with housing and meals, and even a monthly allowance.

If you are eligible, there is no cost for the Job Corps program.

That’s correct… Job Corps can help you become a dental assistant for free!

Directly From Schools

Always inquire about grants and scholarships directly at the admissions office of the schools which you are investigating. The people here are the best suited to inform you of what’s available. And, more often than not, you’ll find that the school will have its own funding options for which you can apply.

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