The American Dental Education Association (ADEA) issued their report on the Class of 2018 dental school debt. While there were a few positives, sadly, the debt situation continues to look bleak for dental school graduates.
Let’s start with the good news. (And quickly get it out of the way.) Roughly 20% of the Class of 2018 graduated with less than $100,000 in debt. Unfortunately, the ADEA did not break out how many of these graduates were debt free.
Now for the bad news. The average debt for those Class of 2018 dental school grads who had debt was $285,184. For comparison, the average debt for the Class of 2018 medical school grads who had debt was $200,000. Additionally, the average vet school grad had debt of under $200,000 in 2016 — the most recent figure we could find. Furthermore, the average bachelor degree debt is still under $30,000.
But wait. There’s more. The average debt for Class of 2018 private dental school graduates was a whopping $326,133. Public dental school graduates with debt averaged $251,869 in loan balances. Finally, about 40% of indebted Class of 2018 dental school grads had debt of over $300,000.
In conclusion, we hope we don’t sound too gloomy. Certainly, dentists can command high salaries. Particularly depending on their location and specialty. We just want to make sure you understand that dental school grads currently lead the nation in student debt. And, unfortunately, we don’t see that changing anytime soon.