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For Authors Continuing Education
Vol. 72, No. 7
ISSN: 1488-2159
September 2006


The Burden of Debt for Canadian Dental Students: Part 1. Review of the Literature


• Ian R. Matthew, PhD, MDentSc, BDS, FDSRCS(Ed), FDSRCS(Eng) •
• Joanne N. Walton, DDS, Cert Pros, FRCD(C) •
• Cheryl Dumaresq, MA •
• Walter Sudmant, MA •

A b s t r a c t

Debt among Canadian university graduates is increasing, while money apportioned to federal and provincial needs-based student assistance programs has been decreasing since the 1990s. Dental students have had to absorb increased tuition fees at both the undergraduate and post-baccalaureate levels. Existing debt and high tuition fees may adversely influence a potential candidate's decision to enrol in dental school. Likewise, debt incurred during the minimum 2 years of pre-dental education adds to the future debt load of dental graduates. It seems that few dental students can remain debt-free during their dental education, although data are lacking about the extent of debt among dental students and its impact on their career decisions.

Government statistics focus primarily on tuition costs for baccalaureate-degree students. Tuition and clinic-related fees constitute a significant proportion of costs for dental students; moreover, university administrations perceive dentistry as an expensive curriculum.

This first article of a 4-part series examines debt among dental students, both nationally and internationally.


MeSH Key Words: education, dental/economics; students, dental; training support/trends
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