New Rankings Reveal the Best Dental, Medical, and Pharmacy Schools to Avoid Student Debt

medical dental grad school

Student Loan Hero ranked the most affordable programs to become a dentist, doctor, or pharmacist.

Austin, Texas, October 12, 2017

Whether students are in dental school, medical school, or pharmacy school, working toward a professional degree in the medical field usually means going deep into debt. In fact, the average graduate of one of these programs carries six figures in student loans:

  • Average student debt for dental school graduates: $262,119
  • Average student debt for medical school graduates: $164,776
  • Average student debt for pharmacy school graduates: $157,425

While six-figure debt is the norm in these programs, candidates can limit their student debt if they focus on affordable schools.

New rankings from Student Loan Hero, a leading financial news and education site, highlight the best dental schools, medical schools, and pharmacy schools to limit tuition costs and student debt.

“From deciding if a professional degree is the right choice to selecting schools to apply to, financial factors should be at the forefront of every applicant’s mind,” said Elyssa Kirkham, a Student Loan Hero researcher and writer. “It is a huge factor in limiting dental school debt, which will help you graduate with less financial stress and more professional freedom.”

“The reality of paying back a quarter of a million dollars’ worth of student debt will be uglier than you realize, even with a six-figure income,” Kirkham added.

Rankings: Best Dental Schools

In its most recent rankings, Student Loan Hero surveyed 54 U.S. dentals schools to find the top schools with affordable tuition costs and low debt levels across four years.

  • In-state tuition at public dental schools is 42.9 percent cheaper than out-of-state tuition, on average.
  • A dental student paying in-state tuition will save $108,600 over four years compared to a student paying out-of-state tuition, on average.
  • Private dental schools are the most expensive, with average four-year tuition costs of $263,000.

Here are the 10 most affordable dental schools, per those rankings:

  1. East Carolina University
  2. Texas A&M University
  3. LECOM School of Dental Medicine
  4. UT Health Science Center at San Antonio
  5. University of Connecticut
  6. UT Health Science Center at Houston
  7. Meharry Medical College
  8. Oregon Health & Science University
  9. University of Mississippi
  10. University of California, San Francisco


Rankings: Best Medical Schools

Student Loan Hero ranked 110 medical schools based on student debt levels, tuition costs, and financial aid in each program. It identified some key takeaways:

  • Average annual tuition at medical schools is $39,116.
  • Average graduate indebtedness across medical schools is $164,776.

The rankings also revealed the most affordable medical schools, including the following schools in the top 10 spots:

  1. East Carolina University
  2. University of New Mexico
  3. Baylor College
  4. Texas A&M University
  5. Mayo Clinic
  6. Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center
  7. University of Central Florida
  8. University of California — Los Angeles
  9. University of Texas Southwestern
  10. UT Health Science Center at San Antonio


Rankings: Best Pharmacy Schools

To find the top pharmacy schools that help students limit costs, Student Loan Hero surveyed 141 programs’ tuition and fees.

Here are the top 10 pharmacy schools to earn a Pharm.D while paying less:

  1. Florida A&M University
  2. University of Montana
  3. Texas A&M University
  4. University of Connecticut
  5. Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center
  6. University of Wyoming
  7. University of Texas at Austin
  8. Rutgers University
  9. Texas Southern University
  10. University of Toledo


About Student Loan Hero

Student Loan Hero combines easy-to-use tools with financial education to help the millions of Americans living with student loan debt manage and pay off their loans. Student Loan Hero has helped more than 150,000 borrowers manage and eliminate over $3 billion in student loan debt since 2012 and assists over 3.5 million people in becoming more financially healthy every year.

Student Loan Hero offers both current and former students free loan calculators as well as unbiased, personalized advice and repayment plans through an easy-to-use online dashboard.

Founded in 2012 by CEO Andrew Josuweit, who himself had over $100,000 in student loans, Student Loan Hero operates on the belief that all loan help and recommendations should come with honesty and no hidden agenda.

For more information, visit

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