SDDS Dental Student Loan Forgiveness Program


January 15, 2020



Second District Dental Society (SDDS) has kicked off the fourth year of its Dental School Loan Forgiveness Program. The program was formerly established by the SDDS Board of Trustees in 2016, recognizing the increasingly burdensome and well-documented dental school loan debt problem experienced by our younger dentists who are just starting out in practice. It has been reported that the average dental school graduate’s debt now approaches $300,000! The program was created to help lighten the load for some deserving new dentists who have chosen to call Brooklyn or Staten Island their professional home. In 2017, four young dentist members received grants totaling $37,500. In 2018, ten recipients received grants totaling $100,000. And in 2019, SDDS awarded grants totaling $200,000 to 20 recipients.


SDDS continues to be on the forefront of helping new graduates in areas that count. We make available over two dozen continuing education courses to hospital residents tuition free. Residents and new members are also encouraged to learn and socialize with other members at our SDDS and Richmond County Dental Society membership meetings free of charge. Special social events with programmatic topics designed specifically for them are presented during the year. And through our Greater New York Dental Meeting, the entire package of CE geared toward new practitioners, volunteer opportunities and social exposure on a much grander scale is there for the taking.


In this its fourth year, the Loan Forgiveness Program will provide several awards to eligible and deserving new licensed dentists in amounts up to $10,000 who are selected. Once again, the program application is open to all newly licensed dentists who have had their New York State license five years or less, successfully completed at least a full postgraduate year of residency prior to the time of application, are paid Active members of SDDS and organized dentistry (not graduate student members), and have more than $50,000 in documented dental school loan debt. The award is a one-time grant. Past recipients may reapply in subsequent years and are eligible to receive up to three awards if they meet current program criteria. The grants are paid directly to the loan provider on the awardee’s behalf.


New for this year is the inclusion of those who are licensed in New York and in a second or greater year of postgraduate training (if they have converted to full Active membership). You may wish to call SDDS directly to verify eligibility at (718) 522-3939.


The application, which may be found at SecondDistrictDental, asks candidates to fill out demographic information, send dental school transcripts and complete three essays that will distinguish themselves to the program committee. The application also requests the applicant’s current Brooklyn/ Staten Island employer(s) to complete a directed recommendation form that describes the candidate’s character, leadership skills and commitment to the Brooklyn – Staten Island area.


The application period for this year’s program opened on January 10, 2020 and will close April 3, 2020. The Loan Forgiveness Program Committee, through its program consultants International Scholarship and Tuition services (ISTS), will sort through the completed applications and select the 2020 recipients for presentation to the SDDS Board for final approval. The awardees will be notified by the end of April 2020.


So, if you are a new dentist who has been licensed for five years or less, have fully completed your first year of postgraduate residency prior to January 1, 2020, are practicing the majority of the time in Brooklyn and/or Staten Island, have more than $50,000 in dental school loan debt, are a paid Active member of the ADA, NYSDA and SDDS and would like to pay up to $10,000 less to your loan provider, we encourage you to submit a completed application at SecondDistrictDental no later than April 3, 2020. It is our sincere hope that you will be one of the selected award recipients!