Studying to be a dentist like any other university subject comes at a heavy price these days. In the UK there is a continual argument about the funding of higher education and how much contribution a student should make.
As dentists and medical students tend to spend longer at university than other degrees, such as physics or economics, the cost of this can be very high. Excluding the costs of living away from home if an 18 year chooses to do this, studying for a dental degree is likely to cost in the region of £45,000 in tuition fees alone and possibly even more over the coming years.
Unfortunately, this view that it is OK to go into debt while studying for a degree is not confined to British students. Canadian students are also feeling the same sort of pressure. For instance, one student told reporters, that to date the cost of studying for a dental degree is about Canadian $40,000. He expects his debt to reach more than $200,000 by the time he’s qualified. That’s about £130,000.
Student loans in Canada don’t cover the true cost of studying. This means he is going to have to look for some extra form of credit to meet his needs. He said: “I’d have to get a line of credit, but I’m not really sure, though. That’s part of what I’d like to find out.”
He added: “It’s not so much that I’m worried about this year, because my current loan will have me covered, but how am I going to take care of myself in future years?”
Being a student these days requires you to develop a much more savvy way of working financially. While in North America this has been normal for students for decades, in the UK it is something that is relatively new. One Canadian financial planner believes that this particular student appears to have his financial head screwed on the right way. He said: “It doesn’t look like he lives a crazy lifestyle and has done a good job on his spending,” Lussier says. “He’s on a budget, and a lot of students don’t even have a budget at all.”
Unfortunately though, many if not most students are not financially savvy. This has to be a cause for concern. What’s more, with austerity cuts about to bite in Britain, future students dental or otherwise may require more help to cope.