Federal Program Offers $120,000 in Student Debt Relief

Dentistry Today


Todays’ dental school graduates carry significant debt. But those who are willing to give back to underserved communities can get help from the National Health Service Corps (NHSC) Students to Service Program. It offers up to $120,000 to dental students in their final year of school in return for a commitment to provide care full time for at least 3 years at an approved NHSC site in a Health Professional Shortage Area of greatest need. 

The 2018 application cycle will be open through 7:30 pm eastern time on Thursday, October 19. Applicants will be asked for loan information verification, a school transcript, verification of good standing, proof of passing Part I of the National Board Dental Examination, letters of recommendation, and a curriculum vitae or resume. A 500-word essay describing relevant work experiences and activities is required as well.  

Applicants must be US citizens or nationals pursuing a DDS or DMD degree full time at a dental school accredited by the ADA Commission on Dental Accreditation in the United States or its territories. They also must be eligible for federal employment. Applicants are encouraged, but not required, to complete accredited postgraduate training in an NHSC-approved specialty, such as general dentistry, pediatrics, public health, or geriatrics.

The NHSC offers online information and guidance for applicants as well as a video detailing the factors that are used in determining how awards are distributed. The Health Workforce Connector outlines the HSPAs where successful applicants may serve. Plus, the NHSC will host an Application Q&A Session webinar on Thursday, September 28 from 7 to 9 pm eastern time. The application is available online as well.

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