As you grow from the classroom to your first office, Crest® + Oral-B® are here to support your aspirations with information and education.
Whether you’re just beginning your journey or you’re about to graduate, it’s important to understand your student loan finances. That’s why we asked trusted dental professionals how they’ve managed their student loans.
MARTELLE COKE, RDH
“In May 2012, | completed my AAS in dental hygiene. As a first-generation college student with a 2-year-old baby, I wasn’t prepared for the cost of hygiene school. | took out subsidized and unsubsidized student loans for school and my living expenses. My main piece of advice to dental students would be to work your network and find a mentor—a "big sister" or “big brother" in hygiene school—and ask their advice. Find a student loan counselor. Understand your options when it’s time to repay, the grace period before repayment begins, and how to refinance your student loans."
“Today, | help dental hygiene students with their loans through BrownGirl, RDH, a nonprofit organization that offers scholarships and support to remove cultural and economic barriers to joining the dental hygiene field.”
JORDAN BROWN, DDS
“| graduated from Morehouse College with a BS in biology and later attended the University of Michigan School of Dentistry. | distinguished myself in dental school by being the only student in my class to be selected for the highly competitive National Health Service Corps Scholarship Program (NHSC SP). In this program, | committed to practicing in underserved communities that have a severe limitation in their ability to access dental care. When students hear “underserved communities,” they may think of a place that’s far from a major city. But that isn’t always true. By participating in this program, students can avoid taking out student loans by committing to 2 years of serving these communities."
“| would encourage students to look into programs like the NHSC SP as an alternative to student loans. | created an educational eBook series on the subject called Plaque Masters Academy.”
Q: WHAT IS YOUR EXPERIENCE WITH STUDENT LOANS?
A: “| wasn't prepared for the hidden costs of hygiene school: books, your uniform, your boards. | took out subsidized and unsubsidized student loans for school and my living expenses. If | could do it again, | would have done better research on what it means to take out a subsidized loan vs an unsubsidized loan.” — Martelle Coke, RDH
Q: WHAT TIPS DO YOU HAVE FOR STUDENTS AND RECENT GRADUATES ON MANAGING THEIR STUDENT LOANS?
A: “Paying back loans is just like a diet—there’s no one-size-fits-all diet. | recommend working with a student loan counselor and creating a budget. Cut back where you can. Live with a roommate, if you can.” — Jordan Brown, DDS
Q: WHAT SHOULD STUDENTS DO IF THEY’RE WORRIED ABOUT AFFORDING THEIR PAYMENTS?
A: “If you’re worried about repayment, it’s important to understand your options, like the grace period before repayment begins or refinancing your loans.” — Martelle Coke, RDH
Q: WHAT’S SOMETHING THAT STUDENTS MAY NOT REALIZE ABOUT STUDENT LOANS?
A: “A lot of hygienists are paid hourly without benefits or a 401(k) plan. A higher hourly wage may seem better, but without benefits, that can catch up to you. It’s easier to save when you have benefits and a retirement plan with a 401(k) in place.” — Martelle Coke, RDH
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