New dentists are entering the workforce with alarming levels of educational debt. In 2016, the average educational debt per graduating dental school senior was $219,463. Factoring out the 16.3 percent of dental school seniors who graduated with no debt, the average debt per graduating dental school senior was $262,119 ($238,582 for graduates from public dental schools and $291,668 for graduates from private and private state-related dental schools)
Reducing the excessive burden of educational debt will make banks more open to loaning start-up funds to new dentists who would like to open their own dental practice or to assist them in purchasing a practice from a retiring dentist. It will also remove barriers for those wanting to pursue careers in public service, teaching, research and administration.
The American Dental Association (ADA) and the American Student Dental Association (ASDA) are advocating that any reauthorization of the Higher Education Act include lowering interest rates, allowing grad students to use federally subsidized loans, and extending the period of deferments. Now is the time to make your voice heard. Use the link provided below to reach out to your legislators now; Write, Call, Tweet your elected officials so they know where you stand on the issues.
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