Dental School Grants: How and Where to Apply

Jocelyn Segoviano
Jocelyn Segoviano

Jocelyn Segoviano is a freelance writer specializing in personal finance topics. With a passion for helping individuals navigate their financial journeys, she has been providing insightful advice and practical tips to readers for over years.

See author page
Edited by
Daniel Kahn
Daniel Kahn
Daniel is the co-founder and COO at Sparrow. Daniel is responsible for the day-to-day operations of a company, working closely with other members of the executive team to develop and implement strategies to support the growth and success of the company.
Daniel was a 2023 Forbes 30 Under 30 lister in the Education category.  Daniel was born and raised in Raleigh, North Carolina and graduated from Duke University in 2020.
See author page
Reviewed by
Camden Ford
Camden Ford

Camden leads Sparrow’s business operations – everything from product management to business analytics. After graduating Cum Laude from Duke University where he studied Civil Engineering, Camden worked as a Consultant for A.T. Kearney where he worked in their Strategic Operations practice. With a strong background in analytics, Camden strives to deliver data-driven conclusions and insights.

See author page
November 13, 2023
On a similar note

How Much Does Grad School Cost?

January 22 · 5 min read

The average debt dental students have is around $300,000. This includes debt from both undergraduate and graduate studies. While that is a scary number, you can bring it down by securing free aid like grants. Here is what you need to know about dental school grants. 

Benefits of a Grant for Dental School

Grants are free money. Unlike federal or private student loans, once you receive the money, you will almost never have to pay it back. These will help cover the educational costs that you will incur. Grants will also lower the amount of money you might need to take out in loans. This, in turn, helps lower the number we mentioned at the beginning. 

Now that you understand why grants are great, where do you find them? 

How to Find Grants for Dental School 

There are many different sources that offer grant money for dental students. Here are the main ones you’ll probably look at. 

Federal Grants 

The most well-known federal grant you’ve probably heard of is the Pell Grant. The Pell Grant, however, is only for undergrads. While there are some other federal grants, there aren’t many grant programs for dental school. On the bright side, filling out the FAFSA can help you get grants from other places like your state or school. 

State Grants 

Most states offer financial aid to students to help cover the cost of attendance. What each state offers will vary depending on the state. To find out what’s available in your state, you’ll need to fill out the FAFSA. Repeat this for every year you’re planning to be in school. 

School Grants 

Most schools will offer financial aid to enrolled students. Your dental program may even offer grants or other forms of aid. To find out what’s available to you, talk to your school’s financial aid office. They’ll have more information on what grants are open and which ones are the best for you. Be sure to fill out the FAFSA as well since your school may offer additional aid based on the FAFSA. 

Professional Organization Grants 

You can join a dental association for exclusive access to free aid, including grants. This includes places like the American Dental Association or the Hispanic Dental Association. Both are examples of associations that provide aid to their members. Not only that, but they also offer career resources, testing help, and can be a great way to network. 

Other Places to Find Free Money for Dental School 

Of course, grants aren’t the only type of free money you can get. Scholarships, fellowships, and service programs are also great sources of free money. 


Much like grants, you can get scholarships from many different sources. Dental associations, like the ones mentioned above, offer scholarships. They are usually for members, so you’ll want to think about joining. Universities also offer scholarships to help their enrolled students pay for graduate programs. Again, you’ll want to have filled out the FAFSA already since most schools will offer aid based on that. 

A huge resource in looking for scholarships is search engines. Websites like FastWeb, Niche, and even Sallie Mae all have scholarship search engines. Each website even has its own features to help you with the scholarship search. FastWeb will match you with scholarships based on a profile you fill out. Niche offers no-essay scholarships. And registering with Sallie Mae enters you into their monthly $1,000 sweepstake. If you want to increase your chances of securing a scholarship, there are tutors, like the ones at Chegg, who will review your scholarship essays and help you with them. There are lots of other search engines, too! So, include them in your process because they can be a huge help. 


Fellowships are another great source of free money. They’re usually given based on achievements or to fund academic research. Having a fellowship under your belt will look really good on a resume, too. So, they can be a big help now and in the future. You can search for fellowships online. There might even be some available at different dental associations. 

Service Programs 

Service programs are places that offer funding and aid in exchange for work. Usually, you have to commit to serving a specific community for a set amount of time. The exact details will depend on the program. For example, the National Health Service Corps Scholarship provides funding in exchange for 1-2 years of work in an approved area. If this sounds interesting to you, it’s worth checking out and applying to service programs. 

Final Thoughts from the Nest 

Having a lot of student debt can be terrifying, but there are a lot of resources out there dedicated to helping you. Sparrow is one of those resources! Once you’ve exhausted all your options for free money, but you still need more, search for private loans with us. Our Sparrow application will match you with what you qualify for at 15+ lenders. Then, use the save feature to mark the ones you’re most interested in. You can even compare them to help you make a final decision. 

Take advantage of Sparrow and other resources to make your dental journey a lot easier!

Dive deeper in student loans