Dental Student Loan Forgiveness

Can dentists avail forgiveness on their student loans? In short, yes, they can. Learn more about forgiveness and the major forgiveness programs available. There are state-wise student loan repayment and forgiveness programs for dentists.

Updated by B Harshitha on 22nd July 2020

For people who work really hard to keep our smiles healthy and bright, you would be surprised to know that dentists are no less affected by concerns of student loans than the rest of us out here. No one can escape student loans. Getting a student loan can help us afford education and dentistry being quite an important and expensive field of study, aspiring dentists need to take out student loans to be able to fulfill their dreams.

It should be noted that are a number of jobs available to help get your loans forgiven. Having an in-depth understanding of the various student loan forgiveness jobs out there is crucial to see if your job can get your loans forgiven.

Graduating dentists, on average, had a debt of $292,169 in the year 2019. Their average annual salary is $156,528 as of January 2020. The difference between how much they owe and how much they earn is evidently massive. This disparity can seem hopeless.

But is there a way by which they can alleviate the burden of student loans that so immovably sits on their back? The answer to that question would be a “yes”.

Dentists, like people from many different professions, can get their student loans “forgiven”. We will learn more about what forgiveness is and what different programs there are that dentists can take advantage of.

TABLE OF CONTENTS:

What is Student Loan Forgiveness?

If your student loan is “forgiven”, you are no longer expected to repay your loan. Your federal loan balance may get forgiven, discharged, or canceled under special circumstances.

If you have ever wanted your student loans forgiveness, the closest you will ever come to that would be getting them forgiven. A part or all of your student loans may get canceled by the federal government in special scenarios. To qualify for federal student loan forgiveness, you might have to:

  • Engage in volunteer work

  • Participate in military service

  • Be a medical practitioner or a teacher in certain communities

  • Fulfill some other criteria that they specify

Federal student loans may get discharged under the following circumstances:

  • Disability

  • School closing during the time of study

  • Identify theft while getting the loan

  • If the school ails to refund loans to the student loan lender

  • If the borrower passes away


Major Dental Student Loan Forgiveness Programs

State-based dental student loan forgiveness programs

U.S. states along with the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico have designed student loan forgiveness programs aimed at helping dentists with repayment of their student loans. We speak about each state in length in this article.

Public Service Loan Forgiveness

Public service loan forgiveness is applicable only for federal student loans.

After borrowers make 10 years’ worth of repayments while working for the government or a nonprofit organization that qualifies, their remaining student loan balance is forgiven. Dentists working for any qualifying employer may also avail the benefits of this program. Submit the PSLF employer certification form to the U.S. Department of Education to check if your employer qualifies.

National Health Service Corps Loan Repayment Program

This is applicable for both federal and private student loans.

The National Health Service Corps Loan Repayment Program offers tax-free student loan repayment for dentists up to $50,000 who serve for at least two years in a Health Professional Shortage Area.

A HPSA is a location that lacks primary care, dental care or mental health care. If you work in general or pediatric dentistry, you may qualify for this program. Parent PLUS loans are not eligible for this program.

National Health Service Corps Students to Service Loan Repayment Program

This program is applicable for both federal and private student loans.

The National Health Service Corps Students to Service Loan Repayment Program offers tax-free student loan repayment up to $120,000 (up to $30,000 annually for a duration of four years) for students who agree to work full time in a HPSA for a span of three years and are in their final year currently.

If your plan is to practice general or pediatric dentistry, you may qualify. Again, Parent PLUS loans are not eligible for this plan.

Health Resources and Services Administration Faculty Loan Repayment Program

This program is applicable for both federal and private student loans.

The HRSA’s Faculty Loan Repayment Program offers health professionals, including dentists, up to $40,000 in student loan repayment. These professionals need to serve as a member of the faculty of a health school for at least two years.

Being from an economically or environmentally disadvantaged background can help you qualify.

National Institutes of Health Loan Repayment Programs

This program is applicable for both federal and private student loans.

There are eight National Institutes of Health Loan Repayment Programs that offer student loan repayment to dentists involved in biomedical or biobehavioral research careers. They are offered up to $35,000 each year. 

Your student loans will not qualify if you had them refinanced or consolidated them with loans issued to a parent or spouse.

Indian Health Service Loan Repayment Program

This program is applicable for federal and private student loans.

The Indian Health Service Loan Repayment Program offers in student loan repayment assistance for dentists who serve for a period of at least two years in communities of American Indian or Alaska Native populations. Dentists are offered up to $40,000. You may extend your contract beyond the first two years and continue receiving benefits of the program until your student loans are fully paid off.

Again, your student loans may not qualify after refinancing or consolidation with loans issued to others, like a parent or spouse. The program even pays a part of your federal taxes since this forgiven part is taxable.

Military loan repayment programs

Enquire your military branch regarding the eligibility of both federal and private student loans.

Doctors who serve are offered student loan repayment assistance by the U.S. military.


State-Wise Student Loan forgiveness Programs for Dentists

We have presented in this section a list of student loan repayment and forgiveness programs offered to dentists and health professionals in all the states of America.

Alabama

The Dental Service Program in Alabama is offered by the Alabama Board of Dental Scholarship Awards. The loan awarded will be equal to the cost of in-state tuition and fees required at the University of Alabama at the Birmingham School of Dentistry. Economic need and the candidate’s academic ability are deciding factors. The applicants must work full-time in areas of critical need as licensed dentists. They have to be willing to work for a certain number of months and serve a certain number of patients supported by Medicaid. 

About $3,000 will be awarded per year by the Alabama Board of Dental Scholarship Awards for a period of 4 years at the maximum. 

Alaska

The Supporting Health Access (through loan) Repayment (SHARP) program is Alaska’s Student Loan Repayment Program. Primary care physicians and clinicians working in HPSAs are offered student loan repayment assistance. The state of Alasks’s General Fund, the Alaska Mental Health Trust Authority, the Health Resources and Services Administration along with some qualifying employers all help this program by supplying funds.

Health professionals may offer to work for three years in underprivileged areas under the Health Care Professionals Workforce Enhancement Program established by the SB 93 law. Inreturn, they receive repayment of student loans or other incentives. 

Dentists may receive up to $35,000 per year or $47,250 for higher positions. 

This program, nicknamed SHARP-3 has new settings and roles and builds on its predecessor iteration, SHARP-2.

Arizona

The Arizona Department of Health Services (ADHS), in collaboration with the Bureau of Women’s and Children’s Health has administered the Arizona State Loan Repayment Program(SLRP). This provides eligible dentists with student loan repayment benefits.

SLRP has two components:

Primary Care Provider Loan Repayment Program (PCPLRP) 

Rural Private Primary Care Provider Loan Repayment Program (RPPCPLRP)

The guidelines for both these programs are very similar. These dentists must work in underprivileged areas in Arizona or HPSAs designated by the federal government.

They are required to work for at least 2 years either full-time or half-time. The duration that they serve for determines the amount of loan that they will receive from the program along with other factors such as their total student loan debt and the HPSA score of the site where they serve.

There is one major difference between PCPLRP and RPPCPLRP. The PCPLRP requires physicians and dentists employed with a public or private, non-profit organization located in a HPSA in the Arizona state. The RPPCPLRP, on the other hand, requires physicians employed with rural private primary care establishments located in HPSAs or medically underprivileged areas in the Arizona state.

Arkansas

Assistance is provided to students looking for professional training in the field of dentistry to permit them to look for institutions outside the state by the Arkansas Health Education Grant (ARHEG) Program.

This is mainly aimed at students attending accredited institutions outside of the state of Arkansas where certain programs are offered that are not available inside the state. 

The number of students who will be awarded each year is decided upon based on the priority that they design and the funding that is available by the Arkansas Higher Education Coordinating Board (AHECB). A certain number of slots are set aside for each school that the Arkansas Department of Higher Education. 

California

The California State Loan Repayment Program (SLRP) recruits dental care professionals to serve in HPSAs. The candidates must be US citizens. They should also hold a valid license to practice in the state of California. They should be willing to work full-time for a period of two years or half-time for a span of 4 years and should be employed at a SLRP approved site. The amounts offered may change depending on federal requirements on an annual basis. Applicants may receive an amount of $50,000 for their initial two year commitment. 

Dentists working in underserved areas may also avail the student loan repayment assistance and other benefits offered by the California Dental Corps Loan Repayment Program. The lesser of the total loan amount and $105,00 will be offered to the candidate at the end of three years. This amount of $105,000 is split into 3 equal parts, i.e. $35,000 and given to the candidates annually.

The Dental Board of California prioritizes the following candidates:

  • Can converse in one or more Medi-Cal threshold languages

  • Hail from economically disadvantaged backgrounds with adverse economic, social or other circumstances

  • have served in the health field in with underserved populations or in underprivileged areas

  • are recognized dentist specialists under the American Dental Association 

CalHealthCares helps eligible dentists and physicians by providing student loan repayment assistance. The candidates’ patient demographic should consist of at least 30% of people who rely on Medi-Cal. These dentists can either avail a loan repayment of $300,000 in return for a service of five years or a Practice Support Grant for up to $300,000 in return for a 10-year period of service.

Colorado

Dentists may avail awards up to $90,000 and hygienists up to $20,000 under the Colorado Health Service Corps. They must work full time at a HPSA. Half these awards may be given to people working half time.

Dentists and hygienists who serve in public, nonprofit or private dental establishments in Colorado that serve patients reliant on Medicaid, Child Health Plan Plus or are uninsured can be eligible for awards from the State Dental Loan Repayment Program. These professionals must be willing to serve for a minimum period of 2 years. 

The amount of award received by these dentists vary depending on the number of underprivileged patients they see each month.

Connecticut

Loan applications are currently not being accepted by the Connecticut State Loan Repayment Program.

There are a range of federal programs that dentists can look into.

Delaware

Up to $100,000 worth of student loan repayment assistance is offered to qualified dentists by the Delaware State Loan Repayment Program. It also offers repayment up to $60,000 for dental hygienists. They are required to commit to serving for a period of at least 2 years consecutively either full-time or half-time in a HPSA.

An additional $50,000 may be received annually by dentists who choose to work for an extra 2 years, while for hygienists this amount will be $30,000. At least a minimum of 20% of their patients should be beneficiaries of Medicaid or the State Children’s Health Insurance Program or should have low income. Eligible clients of the Division of Developmental Disabilities must receive preventive dental care from these dentists. 

District of Columbia

The DC Health Professional Loan Repayment Program (HPLRP) provides student loan repayment assistance to healthcare professionals who are practicing at HPSAs in the district of Columbia.

Physicians and dentists are recruited by the HPLRP to serve in underprivileged areas. This program gives them repayment assistance up to $151,841.29 over a period of four years.

Florida

The Dental Student Loan Repayment Program was established in the year 2019. Dentists employed by any eligible public health program that serves Medicaid reliant or underserved patients may avail student loan repayment assistance offered by the new program set up by the Florida Department of Health.

Up to 10 dentists get selected each year to get awarded a repayment amount of $50,000 annually or $250,000 in total. They may receive these funds for a maximum of 5 years.

Georgia

Up to 4 dentists may receive an amount of $25,000 per year for a maximum of 4 years from the Dentists for Rural Areas Assistance Loan Repayment Program administered by the Georgia Board for Physician Workforce. These dentists must serve full time in underserved counties with populations of 50,000 or less.

Hawaii

The Hawaii State Loan Repayment Program does not cover dentists and dental hygienists.

Dentists and dental hygienists are advised to look into federal programs that could benefit them.

Idaho

The Rural Health Care Access Program (RHCAP) aims to provide quality primary medical and dental health care to the residents of Idaho state. So it offers grants to nonprofit organizations to recruit required professionals. 

For a maximum of one year, grants of up to $35,000 may be awarded to eligible entities serving in any HPSA or serving a medically underprivileged community.

The applicants are also welcome to submit proposals for grants that are likely to improve healthcare access in any of the following categories:

  • telehealth projects,

  • Projects aimed at developing community health 

  • Others such as loan repayment for primary/dental health care professionals.

The Idaho State Loan Repayment Program (SLRP) is a state-based loan repayment program for primary health care providers, dentists, hygienists and other health professionals working in a HPSA. Federal grants are offered and all the awards must be matched with employer provided funds. A sliding-fee scale must be implemented at these HPSAs for low-income patients and must also accept Medicare and Medicaid. These awards may vary anywhere between $10,000 and $25,000. The practitioners are required to work for a minimum of 2 years and should submit reports on an annual report.

An application has to be submitted by both the site of healthcare employment and the applicant.

Illinois

Dentists who are willing to sign a contract for a minimum period of two years with the Illinois Department of Public Health to work in a HPSA may be eligible to receive up to $25,000 annually. This has been implemented under the Illinois National Health Service Corps State Loan Repayment Program (SLRP). The maximum that they will receive for their full time service will be $50,000. 

Dentists can opt for either full or half time service and their awards will vary accordingly.

Dentists in financial need or belonging to a racial minority may avail grants offered by the Dental Student Grant Act. These grants can pay for educational purposes.

Indiana

The Indiana Health Care Professional Recruitment and Retention Fund Program (IHCPRRF) offers to provide student loan repayment assistance for students who incur health care related student loans. They must be practicing in public or private nonprofit establishments located in HPSAs. Dentists may receive an award of $20,000 for the first two years and another $20,000 for the next two-year long commitment that they make. Both dentists and dental hygienists may avail these awards.

Iowa

The Primary Care Recruitment and Retention Endeavor(PRIMECARRE) offers to help dentists with affairs of their student loan repayment if they are willing in HPSAs in Iowa. They are required to work in private or public non profit establishments. They must work for a minimum of two years. They will receive an amount of $50000 for two years of full time service and $25,000 for half time service over the same period of time. The numbers are $30,000 and $15,000 for full-time and half-time respectively for dental hygienists. 

The Delta Dental of Iowa Loan Repayment program offers an amount of $50,000 on a yearly basis to dentists for the repayment of their dental education student loans. This could go on over a three year grant period.  

There is an extension of the Delta Dental of Iowa Loan Repayment Program called FIND. This program works with communities to recruit dentists and establishes private dental practice setups in rural and ud=nderserved areas in the state of Iowa. 

Dentists are offered an amount of $100,000 to repay their dental education student loans and this is stretched over a five year period. In exchange for this favour, dentists are required to work in underprivileged areas of Iowa and allocate at least 35% of their services to underserved patient populations.

Kansas

The Kansas State Loan Repayment Program (SLRP) offers dentists a student loan repayment of up to $25,000 in exchange for a committed service of at least 2 years. This number can go up to $20,000 for dental hygienists. Their practice sites must be a private or public non profit practice establishment that meets Kansas SLRP eligibility requirements. The Health Care Practice Site Application form has to be completed by all the practice sites. This form has to be submitted with every candidate’s application.

The contract may be extended for another three years after the initial two year period is up. These awards are subject to availability of funds.

Dentists have been promoted to work in rural areas through a program called KIND which stands for the Kansas Initiative for New Dentists Program. The Kansas Dental Association and the Kansas Dental Charitable Foundation have collaborated with Delta Dental of Kansas to set up this program. Dentists may receive up to $50,000 for relocation. They are required to commit to serving for a minimum of three years and be a KanCare(Medicaid) provider. 

This KIND scholarship is also granted for students. The annual amount provided by the grant is $25,000. They may also opt to avail $100,000 in total. 

The Kansas Dental Education Opportunities Program is another program designed to encourage dentists to practice dentistry in Kansas. 

Kentucky

Kentucky State Loan Repayment Program provides a 50/50 matching loan repayment administered by the Kentucky Office of Rural Health. The program requires a two-year commitment to practice at an eligible site. It requires a two-year commitment and gives up to $80,000 for dentists and $20,000 for registered dental hygienists.

Louisiana

The Louisiana State Loan Repayment Program aims to encourage primary care practitioners to serve in HPSAs. The program will repay government or commercial education loans obtained by the practitioner. Dentists can receive up to $30,000 annually for a three-year initial commitment. Dental hygienists can receive up to $15,000 for a three-year initial commitment. They can also extend their commitment for a two-year extension of $24,000. 

The Louisiana Tax Credit for Healthcare providers provides a nonrefundable tax credit for up to $3,600 for five years to dentists who establish and maintain a primary office within a federally listed HPSA under the Louisiana Department of Health.

Maine

Maine Dental Education Loan is provided as a forgivable loan program in which to get a loan forgiveness program, you will have to work full time in a medically underserved area. With a recent increase in the number of participants, they can get from $20,000 to $25,000.

There is also a repayment program in Maine called the Maine Dental Education Loan Repayment Program that provides loan repayment assistance for dentists practicing general dentistry in the underserved areas of Maine. The initial term of the contract is for two years, with the ability to renew for an additional two years, along with many terms and conditions such as treating all the patients independent of payment methods, including through MaineCare and not limiting service to any individual based on the payment source. The amounts can receive from $20,000 to $25,000 as per the latest update of the policies.

The Maine Health Professions Loan Program is a need-base, competitive loan for Maine students that provides up to $25,000 annually and up to $100,000 total for a maximum of four years. The number of loans awarded each year is limited and depends on the funding. Some eligible dentists who practice in underserved areas receive a tax credit from $6,000 to $18,000. 

Maryland

The purpose of the Maryland Dent-Care Loan Assistance Repayment Program for Dentists is to increase access to oral health care services for the Maryland Medical Assistance Program recipients by increasing the number of dentists treating that population. A three-year commitment and treat a minimum of 30% MMAP recipients as a portion of their total patient population per year. Under this program, loan repayment assistance is provided to five Maryland dentists a year.

Massachusetts

The Massachusetts Loan Repayment Program for Health Professionals awards up to $25,000 per year and $50,000 total for dentists and up to $20,000 per year and $40,000 in total for dental hygienists. Eligible professionals must be employed by or have a contract to work in eligible public or nonprofit health care organizations in an HPSA(Health Professionals Shortage Area), along with a commitment of part-time work(20 hour week would mean a 4-year contract).

Michigan

The Michigan State Loan Repayment Program (MSLRP) is responsible for the recruitment and maintenance of medical, dental and mental health care providers for employers who continue to express their commitment towards developing long-term, primary care practices in understated communities designated as health professional shortage areas (HPSAs).MSLRP aims to assist the selected members by providing $200,000 in tax-free funds, helping them repay their educational debt over a period of up to 8 years. New Applicants, as well as current participants, must compete for consecutive two-year MSLRP agreements which requires them to remain employed for a minimum of 40 hours per week for a minimum of 45 weeks per year at an eligible, nonprofit practice site providing primary health care services to ambulatory populations. Nonprofit employers are required to contribute a 20% match. For-profit employers that place providers in nonprofit practice sites, such as state prisons, are required to contribute a 50% match. Providers are obligated to work with the employers who sponsor them during their two-year agreements, and employers must continue to employ the providers they sponsor during their two-year service obligations. 

Dental hygienists are not currently eligible for reimbursement under this program. 

Minnesota

The Martha Mordini Rukavina Loan Forgiveness Program awards loan reimbursement to dentists who are willing to practice in the Taconite Assistance Area (TAA) of northeastern Minnesota for a minimum of five years. Forgivable loans amounting up to $120,000, not to exceed the applicant’s documented outstanding educational debt, shall be dispersed at a rate of $30,000 per year for the next four years.

Dentists can also apply to the Minnesota State Loan Repayment Program (MN SLRP). The MN SLRP grants funds for repayment of qualifying educational loans amounting up to $20,000 annually for full-time, primary care providers. In return, participants are obligated to complete a two-year service commitment at nonprofit, public or private sites located in federally designated health professional shortage areas. Dentists, as well as registered clinical dental hygienists, are eligible. 

The Dedicated to Minnesota Dentists Loan Repayment for Service Program is a competitive program being sponsored by the Delta Dental of Minnesota Foundation in collaboration with the Minnesota Dental Foundation. Chosen dentists are required to be practicing in a town with a population of less than 15,000 in a Minnesota Dental Health Professional Shortage Area for five years, as well as serve a patient population of which 15% must be public program patients. Those accepted are qualified for up to $200,000 in qualified loan repayments.

The Minnesota Dental Therapist/Advance Dental Therapist Loan Forgiveness Program is accessible to practicing Dental Therapists (DTs)/Advanced Dental Therapists (ADTs) or final year DT and ADT students who are in the process of completing their training or certification. Selected participants are expected to practice in a designated rural area full-time for at least three years, along with an optional fourth year. Participants can receive an annual award amounting to $13,000 with a cap of $52,000 or the balance of designated loans, whichever is lower. 

Mississippi

You may not find any student loan forgiveness program specific to the state of Mississippi, but dentists from Mississippi can get a special scholarship that might help them pay off their student loans or support them financially in their studies. The Mississippi Rural Dentists Scholarship Program (MRDSP) identifies qualified university and college students from rural areas of the state for dental school matriculation.

This scholarship program has three stages through which the dentists progress:

1.Undergraduate pre-dental education

2.Dental school

3.Future plans that include the establishment of an initial practice entry support system.

Amount awarded: $35,000 per year during dental school training.

Missouri

The Missouri Health Professional Loan Repayment offers the repayment of outstanding educational loans in exchange for providing primary health care services in areas designated as health professional service areas (HPSAs). As dentists are also considered as Health care professionals, they can qualify for this repayment program.

Amount awarded: Maximum up to  $50,000 for two years of service in an HPSA.

Along with the above-mentioned student loan repayment program, Dentists of Missouri can make use of another program called the Primary Care Resource Initiative.

The Primary Care Resource Initiative awards forgivable loans to students pursuing health care training leading to Missouri licensure or registration in dentistry or dental hygiene. 

Amount awarded: Depends on the discipline and educational status.

Montana

The Montana NHSC Student Loan Repayment Program provides loan repayment funds for dentists and dental hygienists working in health professional shortage areas at an approved National Health Service Corps site. 

Dentists who commit to providing service at specified areas for at least two years on a full-time basis may receive up to $15,000 per year.

This program is funded through a federal grant that requires a $1-to-$1 match with non federal dollars. Approved sites that provide $1-to-$1 matches can award up to $25,000 per year for a two-year commitment from the eligible health care providers.

Nebraska

Student loan repayment assistance is offered to primary care, mental, dental and other health care professionals who are practicing in underserved areas in the state of Nebraska by the Nebraska Loan Repayment Programs.

The candidate must start an application for the same. A notice will be sent to them after with the matching funds. Dentists may receive up to $200,000 through this program and hygienists up to $100,000 when practicing at a HPSA.tage area. 

Nevada

The Nevada Health Service Corps(NHSC) program offers loan repayment for dentists and registered clinical dental hygienists in exchange for full-time clinical practice in an HSPA for a contractually specified period, usually for two years. The NHSC reserves the right to determine the amount of award and the length of the period of obligated service individually for each application.

New Hampshire

The New Hampshire State Loan Repayment Program provides funds to health care professionals, including dentists and clinical dental hygienists, working in HPSA. For full-time dentists up to $75,000 for a minimum service obligation of 36 months with an opportunity for a 24-month extension at $40,000. Registered dental hygienists are eligible to receive $30,000 for a 36-month minimum service obligation, with an extension for 24 months at $10,000.

For part-time, dentists are offered $27,500 for a minimum 24-month service obligation, with an opportunity for a 12-month extension at $10,000. For dental hygienists at $17,500 for a 24-month minimum service obligation, with an opportunity for a 12-month extension at $5,000. 

New Jersey

Effective from July 1, 2019, the Primary Care Practitioner Loan Redemption Program of New Jersey program does not provide funding for new applicants. Those who were already accepted into this program will continue to benefit, provided all other eligibility is met.

New Mexico

The New Mexico Health Professional Loan Repayment Program (HPLRP) offers to provide student loan repayment assistance to dentists who are willing to make a two-year commitment to serve in an area of medical aid shortage in New Mexico. This is a federal program that is funded by the state and it is open to residents of the state of New Mexico. The distribution of funds from this program to applicants is based on a priority and professionals serving in a designated HPSA will be given higher priority. This service obligation is renewable after the first two years.

Stipends are offered to dentists and dental hygienists in exchange for a minimum of two years of service with the New Mexico Department of Health by the New Mexico Health Service Corps. The service has to be provided at designated underserved sites in rural areas of New Mexico. The stipend amount offered is dependent on the amount of funds available and is given for a maximum of two years.

Health care professionals may be eligible for an income tax credit under the New Mexico Rural Health Care Practitioner Tax Credit Program. The requisite is that they should be serving in rural, underserved areas of the state. They must serve for at least 2080 hours in the said places in a taxable year to avail the tax credit benefits. Professionals may be eligible for this credit even if they serve for less than 2080 hours if they serve for at least 1040 hours. Full time dentists may receive $5000 in tax credit and dental hygienists, $3000.

The Allied Health Loan for Service Program offers student loans to those seeking certification in a health field. This includes the field of dental hygiene. The student must declare their intent to practice their profession in a designated HPSA for a certain period of time. A portion of the loan will be forgiven for every year of service that they offer in these places. The entire loan may be forgiven if the service agreement is fulfilled. The award offered depends on the student's financial need and may not exceed $12,000 for a year.

The award may be renewed for a maximum of four years.

New York

The New York State Primary Care Service Corps Loan Repayment Program (PCSC LRP) is designed to increase the number of certain health care professionals, including dentists and dental hygienists, in underserved areas. The Dentists can qualify for the PCSC LRP by committing to practice at an active New York State Department of Health approved site.  

North Carolina

In North Carolina, the dentists can qualify for the North Carolina State Loan Repayment Program. Under the North Carolina State Loan Repayment Program dentists who provide services in eligible facilities serving those with high need may receive loan repayment of principal plus interest maximums of $100,000 for general practice with a four-year commitment. For a four-year commitment, a dentist may get a maximum of $60,000. 

The committed dentists must provide at least 32 hours of direct care per week at the site of work which will be considered as a full-time work. To qualify for the program one must provide at least 20 hours of direct care per week for part-time status.

North Dakota

In the state of North Dakota Dentists are provided with two Repayment plans that may be helpful to pay off their student loans. The two programs are:

  • North Dakota Dentist Loan Repayment Program

  • North Dakota Federal/State Loan Repayment Program

The North Dakota Dentist Loan Repayment Program will repay loans for selected dentists. Those dentists who serve in a public health clinic, practice with a focus on underserved populations or a nonprofit clinic are most likely to be qualified for this repayment program. The dentists must serve in areas of the state where there is a need for their service. On signing a contract to practice for five years in an area with service requirements, a dentist may receive up to $1000,000 to repay their student loans.

The North Dakota Federal/State Loan Repayment Program is also available for general and pediatric dentists and registered dental hygienists who practice in eligible public and nonprofit sites. Applicants are declared eligible for this program only if they agree to practice two years in a selected area and do so. A complete two-year service may fetch you up to $50,000. Dentists are expected to work for at least 32 hours per week so that it is considered as full-time work.

Ohio

The dentists from the Ohio state can make their student loan repayment easy by qualifying for the Ohio Dentist and Dental Hygienist Loan Repayment Programs. The Ohio Dentist and Dental Hygienist Loan Repayment Programs provide loan repayment for selected eligible dentists and dental hygienists who provide dental care in a health professional shortage area or a dental health shortage area. The minimum number of hours to be spent on work every week should be 40 hours to be considered full-time. Regular service can fetch you up to $25,000 annually for the first two years and $35,000 annually for the third and fourth years. Dentists who do part-time work will be awarded with half the amount of full-time participants.  Funds are tax-exempt

To qualify for this program, applicants must be dental or dental hygiene students in the final year of dental or dental hygiene school, dental residents in the final year of residency or currently practicing general or pediatric dentists or dental hygienists. A two-year initial contract is required with a maximum of two additional one-year renewals. 

Oklahoma

In order to increase the number of dentists to provide care and services in rural and underserved areas, the state of Oklahoma has come up with a repayment plan called the Oklahoma Dental Loan Repayment Program.

To qualify for this program a dentist must agree to teach at the University of Oklahoma College of Dentistry where there is a faculty requirement, otherwise, provide dental care service at a selected underserved area. And continue to serve in the assigned division for two to five years. Amount awarded: Minimum $25,000 per year.

Oregon

Oregon offers various programs. They are briefly described below:

  • Under the Oregon Partnership State Loan Repayment Program, Dentists must agree to a two-year obligation to receive half of their student loan debts up to $35,000, for full-time. For part-time practitioners, they can receive up to 50% in loan repayment on qualifying educational debt, up to a maximum of $17,500 per obligation year, for an initial four-year obligation. Two extra one-year continuations beyond obligation period can be used by practitioners and may receive up to 60% of their remaining qualified educational debt, up to a maximum of $35,000. This program limits providers to $100,000 maximum in total loan repayment funds.

  • Oregon Health Care Provider Loan Repayment provides loan repayment for dentists and expanded- practice dental hygienists who work at eligible HSPAs and serve patients regardless of their source of coverage or ability to pay. A three-year full-time commitment can be made in exchange for a tax-free award of 50% of their qualifying educational loan debt balance, up to $35,000 per obligation year. Part-time service providers must commit to a three-year minimum service obligation in exchange for a tax-free award of 25% of their qualifying educational loan debt balance, up to $25,000 per obligation year.

  • The Oregon Medicaid Primary Care Loan Repayment Program is open to dentists, expanded-practice dental hygienists and other specified practitioners. Awardees receive up to $35,000 per year for a minimum of three years and a maximum of five years.

  • There is also a Rural Practitioner Tax Credit for Dentists Program, which grants up to $5,000 in a personal income tax credits to eligible dentists practicing in an area with less population and provided the annual adjusted gross income below $300,000.

  • The Scholars for a Healthy Oregon Initiative covers the tuition and fees for a limited number of eligible students entering specific clinical programs, D.M.D program in this case and is administered by Oregon Health and Science University. The funding is awarded annually. It only covers the tuition and required fees, but not living allowance. 

Pennsylvania

The Pennsylvania Primary Health Care Practitioners Loan Repayment Program is for the practitioners willing to serve in the underserved areas of Pennsylvania. Professionals interested in submitting an application must meet all the eligibility requirements and must be currently employed at a loan repayment program-approved site either located in an HSPA. For a two-year contract, Dentists may receive up to $100,000 of educational loan repayment for a full-time commitment or up to $50,000 for a half-time commitment and dental hygienists may receive up to $60,000 of educational loan repayment for a full time service commitment, or up to $30,000 for a half-time commitment.

Rhode Island

The Rhode Island Department of Health is currently operating the Health Professional Loan Repayment Program, to which dentists and dental hygienists may apply for the awards. This program requires a two-year full-time service in a health professional shortage area or a four-year commitment for part-time service.

South Carolina

Funds for the South Carolina Rural Dentist Program assists the repayment of educational loans for dentists who practice in an HPSA or serve as full-time faculty at the MUSC College of Dental Medicine. Priority is judged based on the need of the student and expressing intent to remain in an underserved area. The payments can be made directly from South Carolina AHEC.

South Dakota 

South Dakota has a program called the South Dakota Recruitment Assistance Program, which has two slots for dentists and gives up to a maximum of $231,384. Before you apply,  make sure to read all the eligibility required for the program.

Tennessee

Tennessee has a program called the Tennessee State Loan Repayment Program that provides educational loan repayment assistance to qualified practitioners including dentists. In exchange, they will have to agree to work for two years full-time or part-time at a federally designated health professional shortage area. It provides a maximum of $50,000 for an initial two-service obligation. You can reapply for a maximum of up to $20,000 per year in continued loan repayment awards after the two-year service obligation.

The deadline for submission of applications is Jan. 7, 2020.

Texas

Texas had many programs out of which many are discontinued due to not being given funds from the Texas Legislature. The Rural Communities Health Care Investment Program uses funds from a permanent endowment established from the tobacco settlement for the State of Texas. It is established to assist rural communities in recruiting health care providers, other than physicians.

The Texas Dental Education Loan Repayment Program (DELRP) aims to recruit dentists to serve in dental health professional shortage areas of Texas.

There is another program called the St. David's Foundation Public Health Corps Loan Repayment Program which has similar aims.

Utah

Utah provides a Health Care Workforce Financial Assistance Program which provides educational loan repayment assistance to healthcare professionals, including dentists who are willing to practice in underserved areas, in exchange for a two-year service obligation in HPSA. 

However, this program did not receive any funding for the fiscal year 2020.

Vermont

It has a program called the Vermont Educational Loan Repayment Program for Health Care Professionals. Under this program, eligible candidates are given up to $20,000 in state/federal funds per year. Retention contracts are for up to two years. 

Virginia

The Virginia State Loan Repayment Program is operated by the Virginia Department of Health-Office of Health Equity and provides a non-taxed incentive to eligible dentists for two years of service at an HPSA. The maximum award for a four-year commitment is $140,000 and can only be made for a qualifying educational loan. It is a first-come and first-serve basis with priority given to renewals.

Washington 

There are two programs for dentistry in Washington. They are:

Washington State Health Professional Loan Repayment Program: It provides eligible dentists and registered dental hygienists a maximum award of $75,000 in exchange for service at an eligible HPSA. The term is three years for full-time employment or equivalent term of up to five years for less than full-time employment. Part-time workers require at least 24 hours per week.

Federal-State Loan Repayment Program: It provides an award of up to $70,000 in exchange for a two-year contract that requires employment at an eligible site serving an underserved population. People who receive the award must work a minimum of 40 hours per week.

In 2019, the Washington Health Corps was established by the Washington Legislature.

West Virginia

West Virginia offers a State Loan Repayment Program for eligible dentists who make a two-year commitment to practice at an eligible site located in an HPSA, within the state. Up to $40,000 is given to dentists for an initial two-year commitment, $25,000 per year for an additional two-year commitment and a maximum award of $90,000 for four years of service.

There is also an additional program called the West Virginia Health Sciences Service Program. This is a recruitment-incentive program for health professional students interested in practicing in underserved communities in West Virginia. This program gives away nearly 15 awards each academic year to students in the state’s higher education system. $30,000 for students in the final year of a graduate program in dentistry. The service obligation is either two years of full-time or four years of half-time employment at an eligible practice site.

Wisconsin

The Wisconsin Health Professions Loan Assistance Program assists rural and urban underserved communities in recruiting and retaining primary care health and dental professionals. Dentists who agree to work at an eligible site located in a federally designated health professional shortage area(HPSA) are eligible for up to $50,000 in education loan repayment assistance through this competitive program. Dental hygienists are eligible for up to $25,000. A service commitment of three years is required in a federally designated HPSA.

Wyoming

Wyoming Healthcare Professional Loan Repayment Program, is not funded for applications or awards between July 1,2019 and June 30, 2020.

The WY-DENT program is under different dental schools and the State of Wyoming, which will pay the cost of attendance for a certain number of dental students at each institution, provided the applicants are certified residents of Wyoming(their parents must be legal resident of State of Wyoming for five continuous years immediately prior to their enrollment in dental school).


In Conclusion

It is no secret that dental school education is pretty expensive and no student in college has time enough to work a job that can make any substantial difference to the debt amount raked up. Parents can help you out only up to a certain extent. 

It is important that you consider student loan forgiveness as a worthy option to take care of your loans. Investigate more to know better and make the right decisions.

Student loan forgiveness and repayment programs offer to pay a portion of the debt that you have accumulated while studying in college. Quite a number of these programs are also applicable for dentists. And quite a lot of these programs are aimed to support dentists and healthcare professionals who work in underserved areas in an effort to improve access and quality of healthcare available. 

We have mentioned a number of repayment and forgiveness strategies that dentists can adopt to pay off their student loans effortlessly. You could simply apply for one of them if your career goals align with the program’s requirements and prospects. Otherwise you may have to look into alternative student loan repayment options such as refinancing or payment that is income-driven.

Being timely with your student loan repayments and practicing good repayment measures are very important regardless of which program you choose to take help from. Regular and timely repayments can increase your chances of availing forgiveness on your student loans. As mentioned, a majority of state-offered programs come with repayment benefits of their own. Some programs even offer complete forgiveness on your student loans if you fulfill your service obligations.