Student Debt Resources

According to the American Dental Education Association (ADEA), the average debt per graduating dental student senior is $261,149 (survey, class of 2016). The story is no different for Missouri new dentists. We polled new dentists attendees at the 2016 Connect4Success meeting: 24 dentists had a combined $4,450,969 in dental school debt! These staggering numbers are why the MDA has created a Student Debt/Loan Forgiveness ad hoc to address all ideas, concepts and programs available related to debt and loan forgiveness. The purpose of this page is to be a resource for dental students and new dentists.

Student Debt Resources

It won’t be easy to jump straight from school to your dream practice setting in your dream location, but being informed will give you the best shot at lining up your path to fit your financial needs and practice preferences. Wherever that path leads, the MDA and all of organized dentistry is a major resource for your success. Here’s a navigational tool to help you get connected with possible debt-reduction options.

If you have questions, please don't hesitate to contact the MDA. Also, scroll to the bottom to give us your honest feedback so we can continue to improve the effectiveness of this tool and the accuracy of the information on this page.


Loan Repayment

  • HRSA Loans for Disadvantaged Students
  • Indian Health Service
  • Military
  • Missouri Health Professional State Loan Repayment Program
  • Missouri PRIMO
  • NHSC Loan Repayment Programs
  • NHSC Students to Service Loan Repayment Program



  • HRSA Scholarships for Disadvantaged Students
  • National Health Services Corps
  • ADAF Dental Student Scholarship Program

ADA Resources

The American Dental Association has created a page for members, Manage My Debt, with resources to help dentists decide if they should refinance and consolidate their loans, as well as budgeting tips.

ASDA Resources

The American Student Dental Association considers the growing student debt crisis a top priority and advocates for financially sustainable, long-term solutions. Access their many resources, including Career Compass, ASDA’s new career portal offering tools and resources to students graduating dental school.

ADEA Resources

The American Dental Education Association has resources for financing dental education, such as Financing Your Dental Education, which focuses specifically on predoctoral education.

Laurel Road Student Refinancing (ADA program)

There has been a name change to Darien Rowayton Bank (DRB)—the student loan refinancing program endorsed by the ADA—which now calls its student loan program Laurel Road. Even with a new name, the program is the same. Qualifying ADA members can continue to refinance existing federal and private loans at a lower rate and receive an extra 0.25 percent discount on their loan rate. If you’re interested in joining your fellow members who are saving an average of $33,000 over the life of their loan by refinancing with Laurel Road, visit today. Additionally, click here to view a graphic which helps a dentist understand if they should consider refinancing their student loans.

Additional Information & Resources

This section features information, articles and other resources that may be beneficial to the topic of student debt. If you have a great resource to share, send it to us using the feedback below. 

The Simple Dollar Student Loan Consolidation Guide | The Simple Dollar website is dedicated to conducting data-driven and unbiased research that has served as a trusted resource for families, organizations and major publications such as Forbes, Business Insider and The Wall Street Journal.

"That’s why we created this guide – to give borrowers a useful resource that empowers them to choose if student loan consolidation is right for them and which type may best suit their needs. We start by discussing the basics of student loan consolidation and refinancing, and comparing the benefits and drawbacks of federal and private consolidation loans. We then detail a step-by-step guide to using and choosing consolidation loans. The last section is dedicated to identifying the best private consolidation loans for those with a few different financial profiles."