What Types of Financial Aid Do Dental Assistant Schools Accept?

Going to dental assistant school is a big decision. But once you decide that it’s worth pursuing your career as a dental assistant, you’ll need to find some dental assistant schools that accept financial aid.

Fortunately, there are many types of financial aid and resources for achieving financial assistance. Here are a few common options to consider.

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Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA)

Most, if not all, dental assistant programs should accept any money you qualify for from your FAFSA. However, you will most likely have to talk to your school about getting everything worked out before starting your program. 

Now, remember that you have to actually qualify for aid from FAFSA and your school must accept the money. This means that you have to meet FAFSA’s annual application deadline before your first term starts, which varies by state.

You also need to report any money you qualify for on your tax returns every year. If you’ve already picked a school, and you’re unsure if they accept FAFSA money, check out their website or call them to ask.

Private Student Loans

If you don’t qualify for any grants through FAFSA, you may still qualify for private student loans. The state does not provide these loans, so the money comes from a private lender, usually a bank or school. 

Because a private entity provides the money for you, they get to state their own terms and conditions, so make sure you review these before agreeing to any private student loans. 

They can also be more expensive than federal loans because the lender determines the interest rate and whether it is fixed or variable. Your school may provide private student loans, but make sure you examine all the details closely before agreeing to anything.

Private Scholarships

Private scholarships are usually awarded to students by organizations, individuals, or companies. They can be for large or small amounts of money, depending on: 

  • How impressive your application is
  • How much you need the money
  • How much the school can provide

You could also get multiple private scholarships. If you are looking for scholarships through companies, they usually award aid that is tailored to their organization. For instance, a bank might award a scholarship to a finance major. So, reach out to dental offices to see if they offer any private scholarships

Some scholarships you can apply for might include: 

  • The Dental Trade Alliance Foundation Scholarship
  • The ADEA Scholarships, Awards
  • Fellowships for Students

If you want to use private scholarships, we still recommend applying for financial aid at the school you’re attending.

Deferred Payment Plans

Some dental assistants allow students to defer out-of-pocket tuition payments. This way, students can pay in smaller amounts throughout the program. 

If you want to use this kind of payment plan, make sure you pick dental assistant schools that accept financial aid of this kind. If you plan to pay out of pocket, this is your best option, but make sure you also apply for scholarships. 


Now that you know the different types of financial aid that dental assistant schools accept, it’s time to start applying. If you already know what scholarships or loans you will be using, call your school to make sure they accept them before enrolling for courses. If they don’t accept your chosen method of financial aid, you may have to go to a different school. 

However, most programs should accept any or all of these types of financial aid. Just give yourself plenty of time to apply for the FAFSA and seek private loan and scholarship opportunities. Remember – the earlier you apply for the FAFSA, the more likely you will receive the aid you’re looking for.