This forum made possible through the generous support of SDN members, donors, and sponsors. Thank you.


New Member
Aug 3, 2016
Reaction score

Members don't see this ad.
First off, thanks for anybody that responds, and this is my first post so... Hello!

Alright guys, I'm really hoping that somebody can come in here and give me some solid advice. So a little background on myself, I am a 20 year old male. I am a current National Guardsman and I am finishing my second and going into my 3rd year as an undergrad student at the University of Houston. I am going to school for a business degree, either in entrepreneurship if I'm accepted into the program or marketing if not. Uncle Sam and my day job are paying for my schooling and I am on track to graduate debt free (woohoo). I am completely financially independent from my family, with my own insurance and housing. I want to increase my current earnings while finishing my degree, and I have been looking into putting my bachelors on hold for a bit and going to school for dental hygiene at a local community college. I have almost all of the pre-requisites for the program, and it would be significantly cheaper than my current tuition (I have to pay upfront tuition and apply for partial reimbursement). In my area the average salary ranges between 50-70k annually by my research and there is plenty of opportunities for part time work, more than full time actually. I figure I can get this degree knocked out in about a year and a half, maybe two at most which is less than I anticipate it will take me to finish my bachelors which would put me in a higher tax bracket earlier. As a DH I would likely be making more money starting than if I get my business degree as they seem to be a dime a dozen these days. I have a strong interest in entrepreneurship that I think could be honed with business studies and applied to a dental practice. I have already started and ran an online retail company (unsuccessful, but a great learning opportunity) and I am in the process of starting a side business as a FFL selling firearms online and doing transfers out of a small office (waiting to turn 21, paperwork ready). My plan would be to land a job as a DH, finish the remaining two years for my business degree while working part time as a DH and running my FFL business a few hours a week, and then I would apply for dental school and continue to work while finishing school. I could always lower the hours I work and halt sales in the side business to give myself more study time when needed. My contract with the military would likely end about the time I would be applying for dental school which would give me a significantly larger amount of time to spend studying than I have become accustomed to. The idea behind this approach is as follows. I have a passion for business, but not as a worker bee. I like to start and build things, and I like helping people. The economy is in the gutter at the moment and I have many friends finishing their business degrees and getting stuck in low level retail and sales positions paying less than 20 an hour. If I become a DH I know I will be able to find work, there is demand in my area as we are growing so fast. I already work full time while going to school, I would just be making about 3 times the hourly rate I am currently making. Having experience in the dental field, even as a hygienist, should help me look like a better candidate for dental programs, paired with military service and a business degree should make me seem more well rounded, and owning a small (and hopefully successful business) will aid in the rounding and help set me apart from other applicants. On the chance that I am turned down from dental school, I will still have a bachelors degree, a technical skill, and a small business to market myself with for future employment. My concerns are this, am I stretching myself too far down the line? Assuming it takes me 2 years to become a hygienist, 2 for my bachelors, and 4 for dental, the earliest I would begin practice would be 28. A lot can happen over that course of time, I could get deployed and push back my schooling, I could have a child, I could change my mind about my career path. I'm not overly passionate about being a dentist, I will admit. I don't get pumped about teeth, but I love to help others, the money would be a serious plus, and it would be a great avenue to explore my entrepreneurial instinct. Are there any obvious flaws in this course of action that would prevent me from getting into dental school? Is this A bad idea for any other reason? Is there a better set of options I am not thinking of? Please share your thoughts and advice :)