How Much Does Dental Hygienist School Cost?

Costs main cover image
$ $ Associate Degrees Average $4,600 In-State; $10,000-$21,000 Out-of-State $ $ $ Bachelor's Degrees Average $20,000-$27,000 In-State, $36,000-$99,200 Otherwise

Dental hygienists are scraping away plaque buildup and tracking gum health, while at the same time educate patients on oral health.

Students specializing in preventative dental care need to get a two-year associate or a four-year bachelor degree.

The two programs cost the same as any other program at a community college or university.

However, the holder of a bachelor’s degree will earn more money over the course of a career.

Typical Costs

  • Getting an associate degree through a community college is possible through one year of classroom study and one year of clinical.
  • The two-year program costs $4,600 on the averagefor in-state students according to the American Association of Community Colleges.
  • The tuition for students from out of the area estimates to $10,000-$21,600 for two years.
  • To earn a bachelor’s degree in dental hygiene means two years of undergraduate studies followed by two years of clinical work.
  • The cost for the four-year program at a public college or university was approx. $20,000-$27,200 during 2006-2007 for in-state residents, while out-of-state students paid around $36,000-$99,200.
  • Four years of tuition at private college is approx. $80,000.

Additional Costs

  • The additional cost for books and supplies depends on which degree program is selected.
  • Bachelor students need an average of $1,200-$1,500 annually on the first two years of undergraduate work.
  • At the same time, the first year of clinical work requires $700 in books and another $275 the second year.
  • Instruments, uniforms and equipment for the clinical portion of the education costs approx. $1,400 the first year and $1,700 the second.
  • The graduation from each program equals eligibility to sit for the Clinical Board Exam and passing test priced $950 means a license to practice.


  • The student should complete the FAFSA form (Free Application for Federal Student Aid).
  • Eligibility for federal grants or student loans is determined after that.
  • The form has to be completed by hand or online and should be submitted for each school year.
  • Each year the American Dental Hygienists Association awards scholarships to qualified students.

Shopping For Dental Hygienist Schools

The American Dental Hygienist Association mprovides a list of dental hygienist programs by state.

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