Spending time determining how to pay for dental school is just as important as applying. Encourage your students to explore the Money Matters section of the ADEA GoDental website for information and advice on making dental school an affordable investment.
Additionally, the following 10 financial aid insights can help you more effectively advise your students on the many options available to them:
- The financial aid office (FAO) remains the number one point of contact for all questions regarding student financial aid, especially regarding recent changes to aid programs.
- Since gift aid does not have to be repaid, students should always look for grants and scholarships first before taking out student loans.
- Students can now complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) prior to January 1 of the year in which they are applying for financial aid. Students should contact their FAO about this change.
- Graduate and professional students are not eligible for new subsidized federal loans. In general, all federal loans for these students are unsubsidized will accrue (build up) interest during school and during any grace and deferment periods following graduation.
- All federal loans are made directly by the government through the direct loan program, including direct unsubsidized and direct PLUS loans. Borrowers usually have one loan servicer for all of their federal direct loans, negating for many the need to consolidate.
- Graduate and professional students may currently borrow up to their entire cost of attendance each year (minus other aid) with federal loans through a combination of direct unsubsidized and direct PLUS (Grad PLUS) loans, negating the need for private loans.
- Borrowers can track their federal loans (including those from college and post-baccalaureate programs) on the National Student Loan Data System (NSLDS) website at www.NSLDS.ed.gov.
- Federal direct loans have multiple repayment and postponement options, and are eligible for forgiveness provisions; such is not the case with private loans. Students should always speak with their financial aid office before taking out a private loan.
- Students interested in public sector, non-profit careers may want to consider help through the Public Service Loan Forgiveness (PSLF) program. You can find information at www.studentaid.ed.gov/publicservice. PSLF is currently available to all borrowers who meet the eligibility requirements, regardless of their degree.
- There are a number of significant changes that have been proposed to the student loan program, including a new loan program and elimination of PSLF. Therefore, it is extremely important that students stay in touch with their financial aid office about changes that might impact their aid and repayment options.