4 minute read

American Dental Hygienists' Association

Grants, Student Loans, & Fellowships

Established in 1923, the American Dental Hygienists’ Association (ADHA) is the largest professional organization committed to the interests of dental hygienists. Its mission is to promote the highest quality education and training in this profession. ADHA does this by offering student members personal development programs, leadership opportunities, and recognition for their accomplishments.

Student members also receive discounts on online courses and continuing education classes, as well as a number of other benefits from the organization’s affiliates. Each year the ADHA Institute for Oral Health Scholarship Program provides financial assistance to dental hygiene students as well as dental hygienists who possess a commitment to the field of dental hygiene. This article expands on the scholarship opportunities as well as the fellowships and research grants offered by ADHA.

Financial Aid Options from the ADHA Institute Include Scholarships, Research Grants, and Fellowships

The scholarship program offered through ADHA Institute is specially designed to provide financial support to dental hygiene students. General requirements for any of these scholarships include the following: applicants must be enrolled in an accredited dental hygiene program at a U.S. institution; be a full-time student with one completed year of dental hygiene curriculum; possess a minimum GPA of 3.0 and be an active member of SADHA or ADHA; and demonstrate financial aid through information on file via the FAFSA. Graduate students applying for these awards must have a bachelor’s degree and an active license in dental hygiene. Award amounts for these scholarships are dependent solely upon the availability of funds and typically range anywhere from $1,000 to $2,000.

Here are all the ADHA Institute Scholarships:

  • ADHA Institute General Scholarships: Administered by the ADHA Institute, these scholarships award $1,500 to dental hygiene students who fulfill all award requirements.
  • ADHA Institute Merit Scholarships: This is a merit-based scholarship awarded to dental hygiene students with an outstanding academic record. Candidates must fulfill all scholarship requirements to be considered, except for financial need.
  • ADHA Institute Part-Time Scholarship: This award is given to a part-time dental hygiene student who meets all other scholarship requirements. Award amount is $1,500.

ADHA promotes other scholarships made possible by the many organizations that endorse the education of dental hygiene students. Here are two examples:

  • Sigma Phi Alpha Undergraduate Scholarship: Awards $1,000 to a student member of Sigma Phi Alpha pursuing a certificate, or degree in dental hygiene. Applicants must have a minimum grade point average of 3.5 to be considered for this scholarship.
  • Johnson & Johnson Scholarships: Funded by Johnson & Johnson Healthcare Products, these scholarships award $1,000 each to qualifying dental hygiene students pursuing a certificate or degree who possess a minimum grade point average of 3.5.

Research grants

The ADHA Institute for Oral Health Research Grant Program offers research grants for the funding of dental hygiene research projects. Its purpose is to promote oral health to the public, to advance dental hygiene knowledge through research, and expand the dental hygiene knowledge to ensure better oral health care. Award amounts generally range anywhere from $1,000 up to $10,000. Individual student projects are limited to receiving no more than $5,000 per project. To be considered, the main investigator must be an ADHA or SADHA member, a student pursuing a dental hygiene degree, or a licensed dental hygienist. Current members of the ADHA Board of Trustees, the Research Grant Review Committee, and ADHA Institute Board of Directors are not eligible for research grants. Proposal deadline is in February.


ADHA Institute for Oral Health offers The John C. Thiel Faculty Research Fellowship program. ADHA Institute awards two fellowships of up to $5,000 each to faculty members seeking a post-graduate degree in dental hygiene or a related field. To be considered, applicants must be employed as a faculty member of an accredited dental hygiene program; hold a dental hygienist license; be an active ADHA member; be employed full-time or part-time; and graduated from an accredited dental hygiene school in the United States. Current members of the ADHA Board of Trustees, the Research Grant Review Committee, and ADHA Institute Board of Directors are not eligible. Application deadline for fellowships is in February.

ADHA Institute Scholarship Program: Things to Keep in Mind

ADHA Institute provides very few scholarships. Therefore, it is imperative to begin your application process early and submit all materials on time ensuring better chances for consideration.

ADHA Institute includes a complete listing of specific named scholarships and general named scholarships designed for dental hygiene students that are funded by a variety of organizations. The above article only touched upon some of those scholarship opportunities. For a complete listing, go to the ADHA website.

How to Reach the American Dental Hygienists’ Association

American Dental Hygienists’ Association
444 North Michigan Ave., Ste. 3400
Chicago, IL 60611
PH: (312) 440-8900

Additional topics

Financial-Aid Articles