This report appeared on the Urban Institute.
There is wide variation in the way graduate and professional degree students finance their education. Research doctoral students outside of the for-profit sector get considerable aid from their institutions; many master’s degree students are employed while they are in school; and professional degree student are most reliant on student debt.
Borrowing for graduate and professional school has contributed significantly to the more than $1 trillion in outstanding education debt. On average, graduate and professional degree students borrow over three times as much as undergraduate students each year. The federal government does not pay the interest on loans while students pursue advanced degrees, as they do for some loans for undergraduate students with financial need. Through the Grad PLUS program, the federal government provides loans that can cover the entire budgets of advanced degree students as long as they are in school, without specified dollar limits.
About one-third of 2011–12 advanced degree recipients graduated without debt, and only 10 percent borrowed $100,000 or more. But debt levels have increased rapidly, and perhaps most important, there is considerable variation across borrowers. Professional degree students accrue much more debt than those pursuing master’s and research doctoral degrees. And students enrolling in for-profit institutions, black students, and those from low-income backgrounds are more likely than others pursuing similar degrees to graduate with high levels of debt…
Read the full report HERE.