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Vol. 72, No. 9
ISSN: 1488-2159
November 2006


The Burden of Debt for Canadian Dental Students: Part 3. Student Indebtedness, Sources of Funding and the Influence of Socioeconomic Status on Debt


• 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

In recent years, tuition fees at most universities across Canada have increased substantially, particularly in professional programs such as dentistry. Anecdotal evidence suggests that these increases have a significant adverse impact on the educational experience of dental students. In January 2004, students at Canada's 10 dental schools were invited to participate in a survey on costs, debt and other factors related to attending dental school in Canada. This third article in a series of 4 examines the effects of funding sources and socioeconomic status (SES) on dental students' debt.

The survey provided key information about the costs of attending dental school and the levels of debt among dental students across Canada. Choice of school and year of study had a significant effect on the overall costs of attending dental school, and dental students' costs were largely financed by private loans or other forms of debt. Canadian dental students' average debt varied between $24,000 to $26,000 per annum, depending on their year of study.

Key determinants of borrowing included type of residence, SES, total costs, and number of dependents. Students who lived at home or with relatives borrowed significantly less than those who were renting. Parents' SES was related to students' access to forms of educational funding that result in no debt burden. SES also played a role in determining the likelihood of a student pursuing further professional education.


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