Thanks to the very generous scholarship donations from the DTA Foundation donors and Dental Trade Alliance company members, the DTA Foundation is able to once again provide scholarships to dental students halfway through their dental education who demonstrate a commitment to community service.

Program History

The Robert J. Sullivan Family Foundation created a restricted fund with the DTA Foundation with an initial donation of $125,000 to support its efforts to improve dental education in the United States. The donation was made to honor the late Robert Sullivan and his love for the dental industry coupled with his strong connection to dental education. Two $5,000 scholarships were given out in 2012.

Thanks to additional contributions from the Dr. Edward B. Shils Entrepreneurial Fund and Crown Seating, the DTA Foundation was able to provide a total of four $5,000 scholarships in 2013.As a result of a renewed commitment from the Robert J. Sullivan Family Foundation in 2013, a total of nine $5,000 scholarships were given out in 2014. The DTA Foundation scholarship program experienced growth once again in 2015 with a generous gift from an anonymous donor, allowing ten $5,000 scholarships to be funded. Thanks to ongoing support from the Robert J. Sullivan Family Foundation, the Dr. Edward B. Shils Entrepreneurial Fund, Crown Seating, and an anonymous donor, ten $5,000 scholarships were awarded in 2016.

In 2016 a new scholarship fundraising initiative was started – The Fund-A-Future Paddle Raiser. This paddle raiser and the ongoing support of key donors continues the growth of the DTA Foundation Fund-A-Future scholarship program.

In 2019, the Robert J. Sullivan Family Foundation gifted the DTA Foundation with a Legacy Endowment gift, with earnings to support a new top $25,000 scholarship each year. The first of its kind was awarded in 2020.

In 2023, the Lawrence & Sally Cohen Endowed Scholarship Fund for Dental Hygiene was formed thanks to a generous $1 million Legacy Gift from the Benco Family Foundation. The first scholarship from this fund will be awarded in 2024.

Scholarship Winner Highlight

Scholarship FAQ

How will an applicant know that their application has been fully submitted?

Applicants will receive an email notification of a successful submission. Sometimes applicants might miss the final submit button after completing all the tasks, so that email is the best way to know that the application has been fully submitted. It is also a good idea to check the spam or junk folder if the applicant does not see the email in their regular inbox at first.

How does the Dean’s Nomination work?

The DTA Foundation will provide schools with their applicants and a nomination form. Schools will use that to pick one as their nominee.

Is the Dean’s Nomination a recommendation letter?

No. The Dean’s Nomination is submitted via digital form sent by the student to the Dean or their Designee’s email. Recommendation letters are not necessary and are not accepted.

How can an applicant prove they are in good academic standing and have financial need?

The Dean’s office digitally signs the nomination form attesting to the student’s academic standing and financial need.

Can the community service projects be school required projects?

Yes. However applications are stronger if they can list non-required community service work to demonstrate the applicant’s dedication to community service.

What are the video requirements for finalists?

Just around 2 minutes for time. The video is really meant to be a personal way for the applicant to highlight one of their charitable work. It does not have to be a costly, professional video. Several past scholarship winners used a cell phone selfie to speak about a project they were most proud and passionate about.

Can the scholarship recipient receive monies directly instead of having it sent to the school?

Yes, however the student may be responsible for paying taxes on any funds they receive directly that they do not spend on direct school costs. Each student is responsible for determining their own tax liability and will be required to submit a W9 form if they wish to receive the funds directly.

What other assistance programs are out there for dental students?

There are a few different programs out there to assist aspiring dentists. See below for a very small list of them.

  • The ADEA offers testing, application, and admission cost assistance.
  • This website lists a whole range of public and private scholarship opportunities.