Infrastructure: Ensuring the Best and Brightest Future Gator Dentists

StudentsDentistry is a highly-rewarding profession, and UFCD is a known leader in providing high quality education and clinical experience for our students. Becoming a dentist is increasingly expensive, though, and the reality of significant future debt for dental students can present a huge burden to aspiring dentists.

According to the American Dental Education Association, or ADEA, U.S. dental graduates in 2017 had an average of $280,000 of debt, and over 39 percent of indebted dental school graduates in the same year reported debt in excess of $300,000.

That’s why UFCD is taking steps to provide financial assistant for dental students by growing our pool of merit-based and need-based scholarship funds. On average, over the past three years, approximately 180 students apply for scholarships each year.

For the 2017-18 academic year, UFCD awarded over $1 million to 76 students, including HRSA’s Scholarships for Disadvantaged Students. Approximately $300,000- $400,000 is awarded annually from funds established by our generous donors.

Health Resources & Services Administration, or HRSA, Scholarships for Disadvantaged Students help UFCD recruit and retain the most talented students. These funds also improve access to a health-professions education and fostering a diversified health workforce, and reduce student debt so that scholarship recipients may be more likely to provide care in underserved areas after they graduate.

HRSA’s latest Scholarships for Disadvantaged Students award is $2.6 million for the 2016-20 period. A total of $647,979 was designated for the 2016-17 academic year, with recommended future support for the same amount each academic year for the grant period. For the 2012-2016 period, UFCD was one of only three dental schools in the country to receive these highly competitive HRSA grant awards, and one of five dental schools across the country for the 2016-20 period.