Menu Icon Search
Close Search

The Costly Investment of Applying to Dental School

Created November 14, 2012 by Allison Greenberg, ASDA
Share


This article is reprinted with permission from the American Student Dental Association. It originally appeared in the summer 2012 issue of Mouth.

When you think about paying for a dental education, the first thing that comes to mind is usually the high cost of tuition. But the application process often is quite pricey as well. Between the AADSAS application fee, supplemental fees, buying an interview suit, transportation, lodging and deposits, it is almost guaranteed that you will spend $5,000 or more.

From my interviews, I learned that the average dental applicant applies to 10 to 15 schools. According to 2010 ADEA statistics, about 41 percent of applicants graduate into dental school. It’s critical to cover your bases and apply to safety, target and reach schools. The interview process is unpredictable: some schools may grant you an interview even though your credentials are below average; others may deny you an interview even though your credentials are above average.

I applied to 16 schools. My base application fee for AADSAS was $1,360, though this amount varies based on the number of schools to which you apply. However, most schools also require supplemental fees. My supplemental fees ranged from $45 to $100 per application, which totaled nearly $1,000.

Interviews greatly add to the expenses. First, you need to buy an interview suit if you don’t already own one. Then there’s the cost of transportation and lodging. Transportation costs range from gas and tolls to flights to schools that are farther away. Some schools don’t let you choose your interview date, causing you to pay more for last-minute flights. For example, one school that I applied to assigned me an interview date and would not guarantee me another if I missed the first date. I had to purchase a more expensive flight because I could not book it further in advance. While some hotels offer group discounted rates for students interviewing at dental schools, staying at a hotel still costs about $100 or more each night. I stayed with friends at a few schools, but had to stay at a hotel for most of my interviews.

Each school requires a deposit within a certain time, depending on when you are accepted. Most who are accepted between Dec. 1 and Jan. 1 get 30 days to put down a deposit. The time period for a deposit decreases the later you hear in the admissions cycle. These deposits can range from a refundable few hundred dollars to a non-refundable few thousand. One of my friends was accepted to Pittsburgh on Dec. 1 and paid a $750 deposit. Then she was accepted to Maryland shortly after and paid a $750 initial deposit and the $1,000 second deposit. Weeks later she was accepted to Stony Brook, where she will be attending at the deposit price of $2,500 solely because of timing. Two other future dental students each put down $1,500 deposits to NYU, which went to waste once they were accepted into their dream school, UPenn, at a later date.

The process of applying to dental school is daunting. I was accepted my first time applying, but some students take two or three cycles to gain acceptance, which amounts to double or triple the cost. Applications are an expensive, yet worthwhile investment. Optimize your chances of getting in by applying to a wide array of schools.

If you’re interested in more advice and resources for predental students, join the American Student Dental Association at www.ASDAnet.org/.

// Share //

// Recent Articles //

IOTW-SDN small
  • Figure 1 Case of the Week: “I recognized it immediately”

  • Posted August 26, 2016 by Figure 1
  • While red macules on the palms are the hallmark of hand, foot, and mouth disease (HFMD), lesions like these can also be present in Rocky Mountain spotted fever, erythema multiforme, and syphillis. HFMD can typically be differentiated from other conditions with a careful history. Knowing this key differential can help clinicians make important decisions quickly....VIEW >
20160824_anonymous
  • Anonymous: How Mental Illness Gets Overlooked In The Hospital

  • Posted August 24, 2016 by Katelee Barrett Mueller, Contributing Writer for in-Training
  • Reposted from here with permission The day Mr. Webster appeared on our service, I was late for morning rounds with our resident. Morning rounds are the time set aside for each medical student to present a summary of their patients: why they required surgery, how their recovery is progressing and what the plan for their care will...VIEW >
Brian Baxter
  • 20 Questions: Brian Baxter, PhD

  • Posted August 22, 2016 by Juliet Farmer
  • Brian Baxter, PhD, is a current postdoctoral scholar with the DeRisi Group at University of California, San Francisco (2011-present), where he is working to optically encode polymer microbeads containing rare-earth nanophosphors and produce them using an automated microfluidic device. Baxter received his bachelor’s degree in chemistry at University of California Davis (summa cum laude, 1994)....VIEW >
short coat logo 2015 with title
  • The Short Coat Podcast – The Ultimate Taboo: Medicine and Suicide

  • Posted August 19, 2016 by Short Coat Podcast
  • Just hours before a new crop of medical students are to be welcomed into the world of medicine, Kaci McCleary, John Pienta, Aline Sandouk, Mark Moubarek, and Lisa Wehr confront one of the most uncomfortable topics in medical education: resident and student suicide. Among doctors, suicide rates are much higher than among the general population. The long hours, high pressure...VIEW >
IOTW-SDN small
  • Figure 1 Case of the Week: Seeking Asylum and a Diagnosis

  • Posted August 19, 2016 by Figure 1
  • A 19-year-old Somali refugee presents with an eight-week history of non-pruritic verrucous growths on his face and ears. He has no significant medical history and is homeless. Do you recognize this presentation? Help solve this and other cases on Figure 1. Related...VIEW >
Chronicles of a Med Student
  • Chronicles of a Med Student: Gearing Up For Round Two!

  • Posted August 15, 2016 by Adelle
  • Welcome back! I’m so excited to start my second year (and write about it, of course), but first things first: my amazing summer experience! I went to South America for a few weeks to work at a women’s health clinic. It was an incredible experience. I don’t say that only because I’ve lived to tell...VIEW >

// Forums //