Q: My boyfriend is about to graduate from dental school. He has accumulated a little more than $170,000 in student loans and is looking for a way to pay for orthodontics school without taking out more loans. Do you know of any grants and/or scholarships that can help him?
— Via the Internet
A: Before he goes searching far and wide for money to pay for school, I recommend that he start with nearby resources. Have him contact the American Dental Association (www.ada.org) or National Dental Association (www.ndaonline.org). Look under education, scholarships, and fellowship programs on the Website for specific information. Also contact the American Association of Orthodontists (www.braces.org) on the local, regional, and national level.
Your boyfriend should also visit the school of his choice and speak with the professors. If professors think he is someone they can work with, they can vouch for him, which could give him a better chance of getting aid.
Perhaps he could become a teaching or research assistant at a school in exchange for room, board, and a stipend. Check out Peterson’s Grants for Graduate & Post Doctoral Study (Peterson’s Guides; $32.95) and log on to www.moneyanswers.com.
These tips may not get him all of the money he seeks, but they are certainly steps in the right direction.