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Webber and Burns Break Down Graduate Student Debt Numbers

Burns and Webber

Rachel Burns (PhD 2018) & Karen Webber are published in the Journal of Student Financial Aid (vol. 48, issue 3).

While the overall story is that education-related debt is on the rise, Webber and Burns seek to add greater detail to the trend by comparing disciplinary groups. They used NPSAS 2012 data to examine graduate student debt for STEM versus non-STEM students who were enrolled in a master’s or doctoral degree program in 2012.

They observed that students in non-STEM programs carried significantly higher debt. Other major debt factors in their results include the amount of undergraduate debt, race, and full- or part-time enrollment status.

These differences may encourage more STEM participation, but their research indicates pressure points that may restrict some students from enrolling in graduate-level programs in non-STEM fields.

Read the full article at:

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Professor Emerita of Higher Education
PhD, 2018

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