need money for dental school

Discussion in 'Pre-Dental' started by hey177an, Jul 3, 2001.

  1. hey177an

    hey177an Junior Member

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    Hello board. i'm a prospective dental student, and i'm very concerned about the financial aspect of a dental school. i'd like to go to a private school, hopefully columbia or harvard, but i realize that the tuition is just beyond me. i already am sitting on a huge debt from college, and the thought of borrowing even more money makes me concerned. recently, i heard that military can provide full scholarship if one decides to work for military for a contracted period. Is anyone familiar with anyone who is financed through military or can anyone give me an advice. i'd be very grateful. thank you
     
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  3. RacerDude2249

    RacerDude2249 Senior Member

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    Hey Hey11an (interesting name),

    Regarding finances for dental school, since you also carry a debt from your undergraduate institution, you might also want to consider attending a public dental school instead of a private one. Public dental schools like UCSF, UCLA, Connecticut, and Michigan have solid reputations like Penn, Harvard, Columbia, etc. and are a LOT less expensive. UCLA and UCSF are around 120-130K for the 4-year education compared to the 200K+ education for the 4-year education at Harvard, Penn... From all the dentists I talked to (the ones who attended private dental schools), most say if they could do it over again they would attend a public dental school because graduating with a 200K+ debt can seriously set a recent dental graduate behind in terms of trying to get a practice up-and-running.

    Regarding your military question, there was a long debate about this around 4-5 months ago, so you might want to check the SDN archives to get info. on this. My overall viewpoint of military dentistry is don't do it unless you feel really passionate about the military. AND NO, I'm not trying to say anything bad about the military--I highly, highly respect the military, but the drawbacks I see to military dentistry for me seem to outweigh the benefits. First, here are some of the pros:

    1. Dental tuition/fees totally paid for. (great if you went to a private dental school)
    2. Get to be assigned to an area of the nation/world that you may have never been to, therefore, good for the experience/sight-seeing.
    3. Free housing, inexpensive food/clothing.
    4. You will go into the military as an officer.
    5. Don't have to worry about trying to get patients because the military provides all the patients for you.
    6. Billing, insurance, and all the boring administrative paperwork is taken care of.
    5. Being part of the military is a noble, honorary thing.

    Cons:

    1. Yes, even though they pay for your tuition, you will get a stipend when you graduate that is not very high--if I remember correctly it is around 40-50K. The average dentist right out of dental school makes 70-80K and will begin to establish him/herself within the community and build up a clientele right away. The military dentist does not have this luxury. He/she will be stuck with the 40-50K for the duration of the military assignment and when he/she gets out, no client base will have been established--thus the military dentist will have to build up clients only AFTER the military assignment is complete.
    2. You may be assigned to some remote, desolate, boring military base with nothing better to do but to count the number of cactus growing.
    3. I hear one doesn't have too much of a choice where one is assigned--basically where the military needs a dentist is where YOU'LL be sent.
    4. The dental instruments and supplies a dentist will get are barely adequate to cover the dental procedures (from what I hear). Equipment is old and any access to state-of-the art equipment is not likely.
    4. You go into the military as a low-ranked officer, therefore you are told what to do and when to do it.
    5. Since you are a low-ranked officer, GUESS who gets to get-up at 2:00 in the morning when the pager goes off for an emergency dental procedure?
    6. I hear the housing the military provides isn't that great.


    Those are some pros/cons of military dentistry. If anyone else has info. to add to this or to correct anything I may have mentioned above, please add. This info. as I have mentioned in previous posts is just info. I have collected from asking questions and reading information.

    Racerdude

    P.S. If I were you Hey11an, I would ask the military dental recruiter if I could talk to current military dentists about their experiences. Talk to as many military dentists as you can before you make a serious commitment.
     
  4. groundhog

    groundhog 1K Member

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    The Army, Navy, and Air Force all offer to pay tuition and other related educational expenses for dental school students if you meet their conditions. You have to meet physical conditions as well as academic condtions to qualify. Once enrolled into the program, you receive the rank of O-1 and get about $1,0000 per month in salary in addition to school expense reimbursenent. You also must make normal progress towards graduation from dental school. Once you graduate, I believe you are promoted to the rank of O-3 and owe Uncle Sam one year of service for each year he covered your expenses.
     
  5. Thebeyonder

    Thebeyonder Senior Member

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    The salary of the dentist in the military
    has been drastically understated. If you look at the navy employment website you will find that dentists that start in the navy earn $70,000/year plus a $30,000 sign on bonus. You also get ~25 days of vacation.
    Look it up (navy.com)
    Tim
     
  6. hey177an

    hey177an Junior Member

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    Thank you everyone for useful information. i feel very welcomed here =) i'm in ny, went to both high school and college here, so not only am i more comfortable living in ny as a person who would like to enjoy diverse tastes ny has to offer, but i feel sorta obligated to stay around my old parents as i've been raised in a relatively conservative oriental family; no complaint about this. in any case, i've given considerate amount of thought into going away from ny for example, UCSF due to as u suggested a financial reason.
    so if i get accepted into UCSF and decide to go there, i will have to pay out of state tuition for one year but after one year, do i become eligible to apply for in state residency? and upon graduation, will i be better off staying in SF than coming back to ny to do residency/associateship?
    one more thing. i was a predental for quite some time. i graduated last year and now i'm working in a biology laboratory and i'll keep working there and hopefully publish some papers until i go to dental school next year. Embarrassed to share, becoming a dentist was such a far-fetched thing for me that i've been so lazy in actually finding out how dentist as a career is in general and how/if it fits me. and now i'm much more serious and am willing to investigate further. i took DAT last week even before i write applications, and luckily i received an excellent score (24 academic 18 pat) i dont' know how much emphasis does dental school puts on different parts on DAT. i don't plan to retake the test to raise my pat score. i'm postponing writing an application and getting recommendations because before i do anything else, i want to have a hands-on experience and actually do some volunteering or some kind of dental related work.
    but i don't know how i should go about doing it. i went to columbia dental clinic to check if they need any volunteers but i guess they don't need any helping hand or they already are in a glut for dentists. how does temp agency work? does anyone use that service to get a volunteering position or even to shadow a dentist? i dont' know why but i feel kinda intimidated to ask any dentists to help me out in this process because i feel i'm taking up their precious time. well maybe i'm just being too shy.
    anyways, thanx always for ur kind and knowledgeable information, and i'm all ears to any other information you would like to share/advise. take care racerdude/fellow predentals. =)
     
  7. RacerDude2249

    RacerDude2249 Senior Member

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  8. RacerDude2249

    RacerDude2249 Senior Member

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    Hi hey177an,
    Regarding your questions, I'll answer them in the order that they were asked. As for UCSF, if you apply as an out-of-state resident, you WILL pay out-of-state fees for the 4-year duration that you are at UCSF. A common misconception that out-of-state applicants have is that they will declare in-state residency the first year they are at a state dental school, and therefore, they think they will be able to take advantage of in-state resident fees for for the remainder of their dental education. That's not how it works unfortunately. When you are accepted as an out-of-state resident, your status (as far as financial matters go) will be as an out-of-state resident for the 4-year duration of your dental education. The only dental school that I am aware of that lets students declare in-state residency and then lets that student take advantage of the in-state residency fees is Connecticut. Next question--As far as when you graduate where you'll be better off--that really all depends on what you are looking for when you graduate. You have to ask yourself questions like: What area of the nation do you want to work--west coast, east coast, midwest? Do you want to work in an urban, suburban, or rural area? Do you want to work as an associate or as a private practitioner?..etc. Next question, as for your DAT scores, great scores! Lastly, regarding getting involved with shadowing/volunteering at a dental office, you just have to be aggressive and call as many dentists that you can until one says yes. Be sincere, nice, warm, friendly, eager, and caring when you present yourself at these dental offices along with looking presentable--nice shirt/pants...etc. Also, I would bring a resume and list of references--but that is just me--maybe I'm being a little too anal here, but I always like to be as prepared as possible and give the best impressions--it has always worked for me.

    Anyway, good luck...=)
    Racerdude
     
  9. hey177an

    hey177an Junior Member

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    hi racerdude. thanx again for the link/ur advice. now i don't want to go into military, and i'll just have to get loans to get through the dental school. sigh =( but i'm kinda relieved to hear that most of dental graduates are in the same boat.
    by the way, r u a predental urself? if u r, r u applying anytime soon? where r u applying to? r u familiar with columbia dental school? buffalo or nyu? it seems like columbia is going to be the one for me, if they accept me.
    and i'll be looking for some shadowing experience or a temp or voluteer at a dental office. by the way, is Aug considered too late for sending in applications?
    i'm asking too many questions. sorry =) anyways, i hope u have a good weekend, and God bless :)
     
  10. Gianuzzi

    Gianuzzi Member

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    hey177

    I was in similar situation last year(well early this year). I am also a NY resident and have applied/interviewed/accepted to NYU,Buffalo and Columbia. This fall, I will be attending Columbia.

    I see that you are delaying your application because you want to get dental assistance job however I would strongly urge you get your application ready ASAP and send it in. I do not know what your GPA is but with your DAT scores you should have no problem getting invitations for interviews.


    Fas as cost is concerned, NYU is the most expensive place. And the least expensive places are Stony Brook and Buffalo. I did not visit Stony Brook but far as facilities were concerned by far Buffalo was the best. NYU was too crowded and cramped. For tuition, Buffalo and Stony brook only costs 10K a year.

    If you have more questions feel free to drop me an e-mail!

    Henkel
     
  11. Lucus

    Lucus Member

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    Hi, I was also accepted to NYU, Columbia and Buffalo. Buffalo by far, had the best facilities and a very high reputation. Costs are low and the students were amazing. I would visit the schools and make your decision.
     

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