For Which Dental Assistant Training Programs Can I Receive Federal Financial Aid?

Federal Financial Aid for dental assistant students is available to cover the costs of tuition, books, and even living expenses. If you’re a student pursuing any type of higher education, you will want to apply for federal financial aid by filling out the FAFSA, or free application for federal student aid.

Contrary to what many people believe, the FAFSA is not only for students applying to 4 year schools; it can lead to you sources of funding for certificate and non-degree programs too. This is a wonderful resource for those who are struggling to figure out how to pay for technical or vocational training. Financial aid comes in many forms, including loans, grants, scholarships, and work-study programs.

Along with the Federal Government, schools use the information on your FAFSA application to find local grants for which you may be eligible, as well as determine eligibility for their own scholarship programs.  In fact, most scholarship applications also require that the FAFSA be completed before they will consider you for an award, since many scholarships are need based.

To determine whether the program or school you are considering would make you eligible for federal financial aid, you should consult the database compiled by the US Department of Education.

The US Department of Education maintains a database of all programs that are accredited by various accreditation agencies and standards, which are eligible for federal financial aid. Students may apply for federal financial aid for only those courses that are listed by the US Department of Education. Keep in mind the US Department of Education does not actually accredit the schools; they only keep an accurate database for eligibility purposes.

You will find that most of the dental auxiliary schools that are CODA accredited (Commission on Dental Accrediation) through the American Dental Association will be listed, and will be eligible for federal financial aid. Smaller schools offering certificate programs may also be eligible, but if financial aid is an absolute necessity, you will want to check first whether or not it’s eligible for you to receive funding. 

If you’re going to invest your time and resources into attending a professional certification program, CODA accredited programs are the most highly recommended options, since they will prepare you to sit for the DANB exam, and are looked upon with more credibility from prospective employers.  Additionally, many state requirements can be met by attending a CODA accredited program, while certificate programs at non-accredited schools will not help you fulfill licensing requirements.  Each state has different requirements.

With the help of Federal Financial Aid and the FAFSA available, don’t let lack of funding stop you from pursuing a new and lucrative career as a dental assistant.