Distribution of 2015-16 Advanced Degree Recipients by Cumulative Amount Borrowed for Graduate Study

In 2015-16, 5% of master’s degree recipients, 20% of doctoral degree recipients, and 50% of professional degree recipients borrowed $100,000 or more to fund their graduate school study.

Figure 17: Distribution of 2015-16 Advanced Degree Recipients by Cumulative Amount Borrowed for Graduate Study

Notes & Sources 

NOTES: Includes all loans borrowed for graduate study. Percentages on the vertical axis represent shares of graduates from each sector. Percentages may not sum to 100 because of rounding.

SOURCES: NCES, National Postsecondary Student Aid Study (NPSAS), 2016; calculations by the authors.
 

  • The share of master’s degree recipients who did not borrow for graduate school ranged from a low of 21% at for-profit institutions to a high of 42% at public universities.
  • More than half of public university doctoral degree recipients avoided borrowing for graduate school, while 12% borrowed $100,000 or more.
  • Sixteen percent of 2015-16 doctoral degree recipients earned their degrees at for-profit institutions; 51% of these students borrowed $100,000 or more for graduate school.
  • More than one-quarter of students who earned professional degrees at private nonprofit universities in 2015-16 borrowed $200,000 or more for graduate study, as did 9% of those who graduated with professional degrees from public universities.