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.

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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.

Past Recipients

Kayla Erps - 2020 IDF $5,000 Tuition Grant Recipient

Kayla Erps Headshot"The day I got my braces off was when I initially decided I wanted to pursue dentistry. I wished to transform smiles as my dentist and orthodontist had done for me. But since that first “Ah ha!” moment I have realized that dentistry is much more than that! I have witnessed many life-changing transformations while volunteering at IMOM, dental public health outreach events, and the free dental clinics in town. Through these opportunities I came to realize that the true reason I wanted to work in the health field was to serve others and improve their quality of life!

During my time at the University of Iowa College of Dentistry I have enjoyed facilitating philanthropic events while serving as the Philanthropy Chair for Iowa ASDA and as the Outreach Coordinator for the Iowa Hispanic Dental Association. One of the most gratifying things is encouraging others to step outside of their comfort zone and try something new in hopes that they gain meaningful experiences in return!

After dental school, I wish to pursue a residency that focuses on serving patients with special health care needs. In the future I would love to create a dental program in partnership with the Special Olympics of Iowa. This organization has formed and fostered many friendships for me over the past nineteen years as a volunteer and I hope to pay it forward! The Iowa Dental Foundation tuition grant generously lessens my financial concern. I will be able to dive into my career goals and serve children and adults with disabilities immediately after graduation!"

Lex Cashmore - 2020 IDF $5,000 Tuition Grant Recipient

lex cashmoreMs. Lex Cashmore is grateful to receive the Iowa Dental Foundation Tuition Grant and honored to join the company of those who have received it before her. She is a senior dental student at the University of Iowa College of Dentistry and Dental Clinics.

Ms. Cashmore is an advocate for providing oral health care to underrepresented people with geriatric and special needs. As a hard of hearing woman, she understands first-hand the barriers to care and looks forward to eliminating those barriers in her own future office, particularly to geriatric individuals with cognitive impairments.

Ms. Cashmore is the wife of Pittsburg State University football coach Pat Cashmore and the daughter of Bruce Cochrane, DDDS, and Mrs. Dianne Cochrane.

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."