State Dental Education Forgivable Loan (DENT)
The State Dental Education Forgivable Loan (DENT) has been discontinued. Awards will be made only to renewal applicants during the 2017-18 and subsequent years.
The primary objectives of this program are to provide educational opportunities to students who wish to practice dentistry and to address Mississippi’s dentist shortage by providing qualified practitioners, particularly in underserved areas of the state. DENT awards will be made available, to the extent of appropriated funds, to persons seeking a degree in dentistry at the University of Mississippi Medical Center in exchange for employment as a general dentist in Mississippi.
Rules and Regulations:
DENT Rules and Regulations
Application Dates: October 1 – March 31
Document deadline: April 30, except the Letter of Acceptance and Letter of Good Standing (if required), which can be submitted through June 30.
Awards are made on a first-come, first-served basis, as funding is available. However, priority is given to eligible renewal applicants.
- Be a legal resident of the State of Mississippi for one year prior to application.
- Be fully admitted to the University of Mississippi Medical Center, School of Dentistry and enroll full-time.
- Agree to practice family/general dentistry in an eligible service location.
- Be in good standing on any prior federal, sate, or local educational loan.
Award Amount and Length of Eligibility:
- DENT awards up to the full cost of tuition each year at the University of Mississippi Medical Center, School of Dentistry for no more than four (4) academic years.
Dental School Residency Requirements:
- Complete a dental school residency required for the practice of family or general dentistry for a period not to exceed one (1) year.
- DENT is first and foremost a loan. The loan can be forgiven (discharged) on the basis of one (1) year of service for one (1) year of forgivable loan received. Service must be rendered as a licensed dentist in family or general dentistry in one of the following eligible service locations:
— Geographic Shortage Area
— State-operated Health Institution
— Community Health Center that is a grantee under Section 330 of US Public Health Service Act
- LIABILITY: Forgivable loan recipients who choose not to fulfill the service obligation will be required to repay the loan in full with interest.
To Apply – Renewal Applicants:
- Complete the online application. The online application must be completed each and every academic year for which the applicant seeks aid.
- Submit a letter of good standing from the Registrar’s Office.
- Some renewal applicants with a break in enrollment will be required to submit two forms of residency documentation:
Preferred Residency Documents:
2. Mississippi driver’s license (can be submitted electronically during the online application)Alternate Residency Documents Accepted:
— State Tax Return (NOT Federal) for the current tax filing year. Dependent students would provide a signed copy of the first two pages of the parent’s return. Independent students would provide a signed copy of the student’s return. Am I dependent or independent?
— Homestead Exemption
— Voter Registration
— Vehicle Registration
Note: Our office receives FAFSA results electronically for all Mississippi residents. When possible, the state tax return or Mississippi driver’s license pending document will be replaced by the FAFSA.
Documents must be RECEIVED, not post-marked, by the published document deadline date of April 30.
After the Application – the DENT Award Process:
- If funding is available, the Office will make award offers as soon as possible after receiving an appropriation, but no later than mid-June.
- Renewal applicants must sign a Private Loan Self-Certification Form every year for which the applicant receives funds. The self-certification form must be signed with pen and returned in hard-copy.
- When the Self-certification form has been received, the Office will notify the student’s attending institution that the student has been awarded.
Frequently Asked Questions:
- Why must I reapply every year?
Current legislation requires “…the board shall create a renewal application for each student who received the award for one or more terms during the immediately preceding academic year.” At a minimum, a student must file the following renewal document no later than the close of business on the deadline date: online application.
- As a recipient of DENT, I have a contractual obligation to practice as a family or general dentist in Mississippi, but I’m not sure I understand my options. What are the specific areas in which I’m allowed to practice? Eligible service locations include:
- What if I am unable to find a job immediately after completion of my residency?
All recipients are eligible for a one-year (12-month) grace period while seeking employment. After one year, recipients must submit documentation of proper employment or start making payments to repay the loan.
- May I receive funds to pursue post-graduate training? No. DENT funds are not available for post-graduate training. DENT is eligible for deferment during post-graduate training in conformity with specific requirements which are stated in the contract.
- Can I receive funds if I choose to go to another school? No. You must attend the University of Mississippi Medical Center.
- How do I submit supporting documents to the Office of Student Financial Aid?
How to Submit Supporting Documents