Dental students in the classroom

The rising cost of a dental education

College of Dental Medicine

Even after adjusting for inflation, the cost of a dental education has never been higher than it is right now. 

Over the years, our College has been asked to pay a growing share of the operating costs once paid by the state of South Carolina. As a result, the cost of a dental education for in-state students has increased more than four times over since 2003, from about $40,000 to more than $176,000 today – not including living expenses.

Student loans for the class of 2018

This same scenario is playing out at dental colleges throughout the entire country. Consequently, dental students in the United States are beginning their careers today with an average debt of nearly $290,000 each. And that’s before they see their first patient.

Why is dental tuition so expensive?

  • Years of declining state support.
  • New budget obligations added by the state of South Carolina.
  • The unique environment and resources required for dental education and practice.
  • Tuition today provides almost half of the College’s entire budget.

Less than 5% of MUSC’s budget is provided by the state of South Carolina