Dental Assistant Scholarships in 2019 - Eligibility & Deadlines

With the cost of tuition skyrocketing exponentially every year, it’s no wonder students bound for dental assisting programs are seeking scholarships. Data from the U.S. Federal Reserve paints an economic picture by numbers: 43 percent of students who completed some education beyond high school acquired some debt to finance their education costs. Unpacking the data even further, it’s clear that the majority of students are dependent on loans; 94 percent of students owe money on student loans and 20 percent of students have used credit card loans to finance education expenses with the average amount of student loan debt coming in at $32,731.

The increasing number of younger adults in debt has wider economic repercussions beyond personal finance. Considering that data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reveals that most dental assistants make $38,660 per year and that 55 percent of students who have completed some college are between the ages of 18 and 29, young adults seeking employment in growing fields such as dental assisting are facing large amounts of debt in the early stages of their adult lives.

A closer look at the data revealed in U.S. Federal Reserve’s Survey of Consumer Finances illustrates a more contextualized story of how interest rates and public service loan forgiveness can end up increasing the total amount students owe. The average monthly student loan payment is $393 and while the term for most federal student loans is ten years, students needing more time to pay off student loan debt can end up paying thousands of dollars in additional interest charges with income-driven repayment plans, effectively extending the terms of the loan in exchange for a higher interest rate. Furthermore if a student qualifies for loan forgiveness, they are often taxed on the forgiven loan amount, further increasing the overall cost of the loan. Students who opt for income-driven repayment plans to extend the terms of their loan must apply for these programs annually and are at risk for monthly payments increasing dramatically if they fail to recertify their income and family size each year.

Given that higher education costs are in the top five expenses that consume 50 percent of lifetime earnings as reported by Forbes Media, it’s easy to understand why so many students are looking for scholarships to help offset their educational costs. To aid students in their quest to reduce or eliminate the financial burden of education expenses, below is a list of fifteen scholarships that support students pursuing degrees in dental assisting.

Dental Assistant Scholarships: Common Application Requirements

Here’s a list of common application requirements for dental assistant scholarships:

  • Official high school or GED transcripts
  • Completed scholarship application
  • Letter of professional intent
  • Letters of recommendation
  • Enrollment in a dental assistant program approved by the Commission on Dental Accreditation (CODA)
  • Proof of admission to a dental assisting educational program
  • Current membership in professional organizations
  • Passport-sized photographs

Some of the information regarding award amount and application deadlines is not publicly advertised but can be viewed by contacting the donor directly or creating a login account through the online scholarship application portal.

As a final note, some of the scholarship awards listed below are available for students to apply for directly. Others require educational institutions, professors, department heads, or instructors to initiate the nomination, so please check the application requirements carefully.

Featured Scholarships in Dental Assisting

1. American Dental Assistants Association (ADAA) Merit Scholar Award

  • Amount: One-year paid ADAA membership
  • Deadline: Information not available
  • Who Should Apply: Students who have demonstrated advanced achievement in academic and clinical performance.
  • About the Donor: ADAA is the professional organization for dental assistants and advocates for the profession of dental assisting in matters of education, professional development, credentialing, and legislation.

2. Hispanic Dental Association Foundation

  • Amount: $1,000
  • Deadline: July
  • Who Should Apply: Currently enrolled students in a dental assisting program and members of the Hispanic Dental Association.
  • About the Donor: The Hispanic Dental Association Foundation’s mission is to promote promising students in the future of dental careers.

3. American Dental Assistants Association (ADAA) / Dental Assisting National Board (DANB)

  • Amount: $250 to $1,000
  • Deadline: Information not available
  • Who Should Apply: Dues-paying ADAA members in good standing
  • About the Donor: This joint scholarship is offered by the professional organization for dental assistants and the national board examiners for dental assisting certification.

4. Juliette A. Southard Scholarship

  • Amount: Information not available
  • Deadline: March
  • Who Should Apply: ADAA members
  • About the Donor: Juliette A. Southard was the founder of the American Dental Assistants Association which was established in 1929.

5. Tylenol Future Care Scholarship

  • Amount: $5,000 and $10,000
  • Deadline: September
  • Who Should Apply: Healthcare students who are residents of the United States, Puerto Rico, or Washington D.C. who are enrolled in an accredited school and have completed one year of undergraduate study.
  • About the Donor: Tylenol is a pharmaceutical company.

6. Gates Millennium Scholars

  • Amount: Information not available
  • Deadline: January
  • Who Should Apply: Undergraduate scholars in the areas of computer science, education, engineering, library science, mathematics, public health, or science and be U.S. citizens or permanent residents.
  • About the Donor: The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation works to help all people lead healthy, productive lives.

7. Indian Health Service (IHS)

  • Amount: Information not available
  • Deadline: December
  • Who Should Apply: American Indian and Alaska Native students enrolled in health professional educational programs.
  • About the Donor: IHS’s mission is to raise the physical, mental, social, and spiritual health of American Indians and Alaska Natives to the highest level.

8. American Medical Technologists (AMT) – Student Scholarship

  • Amount: $500
  • Deadline: April
  • Who Should Apply: Students demonstrating financial need and studying a discipline certified by the American Medical Technologists (including dental assistants).
  • About the Donor: Founded in 1939, American Medical Technologists (AMT) is a nationally and internationally recognized certification agency and membership society for allied health professionals.

9. American Medical Technologists (AMT) – Outstanding Student Award

  • Amount: $250
  • Deadline: March
  • Who Should Apply: Students must be nominated by their program director or instructor for exemplary academic performance and participation.
  • About the Donor: Founded in 1939, American Medical Technologists (AMT) is a nationally and internationally recognized certification agency and membership society for allied health professionals.

10. American Medical Technologists (AMT) – Technical Writing Award

  • Amount: $200, $165, and $135
  • Deadline: March
  • Who Should Apply: Students who enjoy writing and want to submit a research paper pertinent to their field of allied health studies.
  • About the Donor: Founded in 1939, American Medical Technologists (AMT) is a nationally and internationally recognized certification agency and membership society for allied health professionals.

11. Steven Cutter Award for Outstanding Undergraduate

  • Amount: $5,000
  • Deadline: April
  • Who Should Apply: Undergraduate students in a health-related field of study who reside in one of the following towns: Portsmouth, Rye, New Castle, Greenland, Newington, and North Hampton, New Hampshire; Kittery, Elliot and York, Maine.
  • About the Donor: The Foundation for Seacoast Health aims to invest its resources to improve the health and well-being of Seacoast residents.

12. Health Occupations Students of America (HOSA)

  • Amount: Information not available
  • Deadline: March 15
  • Who Should Apply: Students who are current HOSA members enrolled in a variety of allied health educational programs.
  • About the Donor: The mission of HOSA is to empower its members to become leaders in the global health community through education, collaboration, and experience.