bleeding-moneyI never realized how expensive applying to dental school actually was. In reality, there are quite a few expenses that people normally don’t account for when budgeting for the application cycle. Here is a quick breakdown of everything you should consider when applying to dental school. If you are applying while completing your 4-year university education, I highly recommend budgeting the following expenses into your student loans.

 

Expected Expenses

DAT – $385

  • The exam is required to apply to any US dental school
  • Expect to pay for prep materials (not included in calculation)

Opening an AADSAS application – $244 for first school

  • Applying to dental school in the US requires AADSAS with the exception of Texas schools. See miscellaneous section below.
  • First school fee can be waved via the Fee Assistance Program (FAP)
    • This takes a few weeks to process and is offered on a  first-come-first-serve policy. Apply as soon as AADSAS opens.

AADSAS fee for each school – $90 for each school after first

  • This fee is required for AADSAS to mail your application to each school.
  • Fee table

Secondary Fees – $60-100 for each school

Interviews ~$400+ per interview

  • Interviews can be expensive since they are often offered at such short notices.
  • Expect the following expenses:
    • Round-trip plane tickets
      • Although flying in the same day as your interview saves money, I always recommend that interviewees fly in the night before. There is too much unpredictability when flying in the same day. I have seen people miss interviews due to unexpected circumstances such as the LAX shooting in 2013.
      • Personally, one of my flights the night before was nearly cancelled (ended up being delayed for 3 hours). The flight after mine was cancelled altogether. This experience was highly stressful, but provided me with enough time to plan for alternate transportation if the flight was cancelled.
    • Hotel stay
      • Along with flying in the night before, a hotel room will put you at an ease of mind.
      • Use websites like www.priceline.com to “bid” for a hotel if you are trying to save money.
    • Public transportation/taxi/rental
      • Taxi drivers have been known to take longer routes to destinations for people unfamiliar with the area. This is called “long-hauling”. Use a mapping application to know when you are being scammed.
    • Food
  • These expenses can easily equal $400+ dollars per interview

Deposit to Reserve a Seat – $1,000+

  • Deposits range from $1,000 and can reach upwards of $3,000 dollars.
    • Ask if the deposits are partially or fully refundable. I was able to recover $2,000.
  • People forfeit December deposits for an offer in spring. Leave yourself a bit of cash for this situation!

 

Example Expenses for Applying to 15 Schools

+$385 (DAT)

+$244 (AADSAS)

+$90 x 14 = $1260 (14 Additional Schools)

+$70 x 10 = $700 (10 Secondary Application Fees)

+$400 x 6 = $2,400 (6 Interviews Attended)

+$1,000 (1 Deposit)

————————-

Total: $5,989*

*That example above is using very conservative numbers. Actual expenses could be significantly more (or less) depending on the number of schools applied to and location of interviews attended.

 

Misc Expenses:

Transcripts ~$50-100

  • Expenses very per institution. Attending multiple schools will multiply your expenses (Community College, 4-year university, different university for summer school, etc.)
  • I mailed my transcript 4 times (5th in June)
    • 3 regular mail @ $17 (lost AADSAS transcript, AADSAS academic update, school specific update)
    • 1 express @ $37 (after my initial AADSAS transcript was lost)

 

TMDSAS (Texas Dental School Application System) – $140

  • Required if you plan to apply to Texas Dental Schools
  • One fee covers all 3 schools
  • No fee wavers

 

Certiphi Background Check ~$100

  • DO NOT pre-authorize the background check through AADSAS! Only half the schools mandate Certiphi (so far) and pre-authorizing it will not affect/improve your application in any way. This will not be reviewed until after a student accepts an offer.
  • An updated list of schools requiring Certiphi can be found here.
  • Background checks can cost up to $200 dollars depending on the number of counties you have lived in and your history.

 

CSS / Financial Aid PROFILE (CollegeBoard) – $25+

  • “FAFSA 2.0” mandated by some schools

 

Deposit on Housing – $1,000+

  • You may have to place a deposit on housing well before you receive your dental school financial aid.
  • Request your credit score in preparation.

 

 

I hope this helps put into perspective the expected costs while applying to dental school. Please plan ahead for these expenses and leave yourself a cushion for unexpected circumstances like switching programs.

 

If I neglected to mention any expenses you may have endued during this process let me know through Ask Elias and I would be more than happy to include them.

inspectorA week ago we announced that the new 2014 ADEA Official Guide to Dental Schools has been published. I received my copy yesterday and have spent a  bit of time reviewing the contents. Overall the 2014 guide is a welcomed update to the 2013 edition however I will breifly discuss the issues with the 2014 edition below.

The 2013 edition is 208 pages while the  2014 is 226. This is likely due to more information from the recently opened dental schools. Other than statistics, most of the content is  identical as expected since much of this information (such as descriptions) does not change from year to year. What I did find disappointing is the number of errors in the book that were immediately noticeable.

As with every edition of the ADEA Official Guide there are misreported statistics or incomplete stats. With a book that has thousands of numbers it is understandable to have a few of these errors. In this edition of the book, I am noticing FAR MORE errors than that in the 2013 guide. Some of these errors are completely obvious to a layperson and should have been caught by anybody reviewing the material before publishing. For example, Western University of Health Sciences College of Dental Medicine notes that 62 out of their 67 students from the class entering fall 2013  are over the age of 30; however, their average age is 25 years old. Things like this should have been noticed with a single read through. There is a lot more information lacking in this book relative to the 2013 guide. For example, University of the Pacific did not report origin for out-of-state students other than those accepted internationally. Many schools failed to properly report the numbers between Accepted and Enrolled students. This leads to many schools showing a near perfect yield (students matriculated divided by those offered a spot) which in many cases is realistically 50% or less. These mistakes did occur in the 2013 guide, but they are much more common in the 2014 guide.

I am not sure who is responsible for these inconsistencies. Was the book rushed so that students can have it in time to research potential schools? We won’t ever know; however, 95% of the book is pure gold and outweighs the cons. Please utilize this resource when applying to dental school. I once again recommend purchasing the digital version through the ADEA (Available April 7th, 2014) which is sold at a fraction of the price ($10) compared to the price of the printed book and associated shipping ($45+). Hopefully those with the digital version will also receive updates if schools choose to fix their profiles and stats. Contacting the dental school directly may help in getting more accurate information if something seems off.

 

Overall rating:

4.5-stars

ADEA Official Guide 2014 2015 Cover

EDIT 4/8/2014: The digital version has been released in addition to stats compiled by the community. More information below!
EDIT 4/2/2014:
You can read my review of the new guide book here!

Are you planning on applying to dental school starting in June 2015?

Each year the ADEA publishes an Official Guide to Dental Schools filled with the latest statistics and information on every dental school. The guide also contains comprehensive information about a career in dentistry. This information can be used to help you decide which dental schools fit you and your interests and helps to avoid any rejections due to any unique requirements such as residency or coursework to qualify for the program. This guide is updated through the cooperation of the dental schools involved and the ADEA (the organization that operates the AADSAS application system) based on the  first year dental school class at the time of publication. This year, this data is based on the 2012-2013 application cycle which wrapped up nearly a year ago.

 

Published annually by the American Dental Education Association for more than 40 years, this handy guide provides authoritative information on every accredited dental school in the U.S., Puerto Rico, and Canada. Prospective applicants gain general information about each school’s entrance requirements (GPA, Dental Admissions Test scores, and predental education), application and selection processes, dental curriculum, special programs and services, costs, and financial aid. Quick look-up tables offer cumulative comparisons of individual dental schools’ number of applications, total students interviewed and accepted, summary of admission requirements, and origin of out-of-state students. The first few chapters cover opportunities in dentistry, the application process, financial aid details, and lists of useful dental organizations and references. … This informative, low-cost guide is an ideal reference book for most libraries. Summing Up: Highly recommended.”

-CHOICE Current Reviews for Academic Libraries, October 2009, Vol. 47 No. 2

 

Details on the bonus chapters have not been released yet, however it is presumed to closely follow the 2013 guide that contained the following bonus sections.

 

The 2014 ADEA Official Guide to Dental Schools costs $35 dollars (+S&H). You can purchase online through the ADEA store. Alternatively, you can find the book elsewhere or some of its content in other forms.

  • The physical version of the book is complete and orders placed now will be fulfilled immediately. Shipping cost can vary depending on your location (Continental United States is $10).
  • Starting last year, an ebook version of the text has also been provided at a subsidized cost ($10 dollars). You can purchase this year’s ebook from the ADEA. Please note this book requires an internet connection and expires on March 31, 2017 (3 year subscription).
    I have confirmed with the ADEA that the ebook will be available within the next few weeks (April 2014). UPDATE 3/31/14: Ebook will be available April 7, 2014.
  • The studentdoctor.net dental forums often compiles some of the information found in the book into easy to use excel documents. Please note this is an unofficial replication and may have errors and will not be available immediately. Latest rankings compiled by user Doc Toothache can be downloaded here.
  • Ask your pre-dental club (e.g. Pre-Dental Society) to borrow their copy. If they don’t have one, recommend buying one for the organization and its members.

 

I highly recommend every pre-dental student expecting to apply in June 2014 to look through this book at least once! Please buy it if you can! It will be the cheapest investment for your future as a dentist. Like always, if you have any questions, ask away! A copy of the 2014 Official Guide to Dental Schools is on its way and I will hopefully receive it within the next week. I plan to do a review of the book if any sections have significantly changed.

 

If you’re exploring dentistry or advising prehealth students, then you need the ADEA Official Guide to Dental Schools, the most authoritative guide to dental education on the market.

  • Published for 46 years
  • The only resource on dental education developed directly by dental education professionals
  • Updated annually

Includes:

  • Tips for preparing and applying to dental schools from the pros
  • Insights into how the admissions process works and picking the school that’s right for you
  • Individiual profiles of all 68 dental schools in the United States and Canada
  • An overview of the dental profession, including career and specialty options
  • Financing a dental education

 

UPDATE 3/31/2014: Official Information Page now updated. Contains a thorough outline of all the sections. Book just arrived today and will be reviewed within the next week (hopefully before the ebook is released).

 

ISBN 978-0-9839001-2-2