The Iowa Dental Foundation was formed as a non-profit public foundation by members of the Iowa Dental Association to benefit the general public.

One of the specific purposes of the Foundation is the granting of scholarships to individuals seeking education or further education in the fields of dentistry, dental hygiene, dental assisting, or dental lab technician in an Iowa accredited program. Scholarships will be awarded on the basis of character and financial need of the applicant and will be awarded without regard to race, creed, color, sex, national origin, or physical handicap.

The total number of scholarships awarded and their amounts vary each year. Previous amount ranges are below:

  • D3 Dental Students: 1-2 scholarships annually, for $5,000
  • Dental Hygiene Students: 1-4 scholarships annually, for $500-$750 each
  • Dental Assistant Students: 1-4 scholarships annually, for $500-$750 each
  • Dental Lab Technician Students: 1-2 scholarships annually, for $500-$750 each

Completed applications are due by March 31 of each year, with notifications of application status no later than May 31 of each year.

Iowa Dental Association Past President Memorial Scholarship Fund

The Iowa Dental Association Past President Memorial Scholarship Fund awards a $1,000 scholarship to a University of Iowa College of Dentistry D2 or D3 student the year a past president passes away. The awardee must be from the honoring past president's district dental society. 

This year, we are honoring the memories of Dr. James Harris (Southeast District) and Dr. Tom Ludwig (Southwest District). Completed scholarship applications, including a brief personal statement and two letters of reference (one must be from a dentist), must be ​sent via email to or by mail to Iowa Dental Foundation, 666 Grand Ave., Ste. 901, Des Moines, IA 50309 no later than March 31, 2020

Past Recipients

Flora Yen - 2019 IDF $5,000 Tuition Grant Recipient

Flora Yen"I became interested in dentistry during my senior year of high school. A significant family member of mine was diagnosed with a mental illness that prevented the individual from seeking proper dental access. I knew then that I wanted to be a healthcare provider for my family member and similarly situated individuals. I was determined to become a dentist that can ease patient fear and provide low-anxiety dental care.

Dental school presents challenges that are often overcome in collaboration with others. My most valuable memories in dental school involve building relationships with my fellow classmates through leadership experiences. One particular experience that I cherished was my involvement in IASDA (American Student Dental Association-Iowa Chapter) as their Fundraising Chair. I hosted the past three annual Vendor Fairs that allow students to network with future employers and companies that provide products and services for dentists who are establishing a practice. The fundraiser then provides students travel funds to attend leadership conferences where students can access practice management seminars.

One of the most rewarding experiences in dental school is the opportunity to restore someone’s confidence in their smile. One of my career goals is to pursue advanced dental education in periodontics and implantology. Ultimately, I hope to build a practice that emphasizes patient-centered care with the mission of providing stress-free dentistry. The Iowa Dental Foundation tuition grant will generously support my education and allow me to maximize my time focusing on these career goals. With its support, I shall continue to dedicate myself to become a competent healthcare provider."

Colby Beck - 2018 IDF $5,000 Tuition Grant Recipient

Beck_Colby_050818 square (002)"I initially became interested in dentistry through shadowing a dental student at Creighton. I knew I wanted to be a healthcare professional, and after shadowing my friend in dental school, dentistry seemed like the right fit for me. I liked the idea of directly caring for people in an outcome-based profession and participating in people's lives in a positive way.

Dental school is nearly impossible to survive without a strong group of friends. My most memorable experiences in dental school involve building relationships with classmates and patients. One experience that was particularly meaningful with a patient was delivering an upper partial that replaced his top six. We exceeded his expectations on delivery day and restored a really great smile. He left the appointment in tears and said he'd never forget me. Experiences like that remind me why I got into the profession in the first place.

My time in dental school has taught me that some of the most rewarding experiences are calming a child's fear of the dentist and building trust and rapport in children. One of my career goals is to pursue a certificate in pediatric dentistry. Upon completion, I hope to build a start-up practice that emphasizes seeing special health care needs patients and Title XIX patients. The Iowa Dental Foundation tuition grant will help alleviate my student loan debt and help me focus on my career goals. My goal to become a pediatric dentist is not without a financial burden, and the generosity of the Iowa Dental Foundation will remind me to pay it forward to my community by treating those less fortunate than myself."