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Report: Students from Wealthy Backgrounds More Likely to Attend Grad School

Report: Students from Wealthy Backgrounds More Likely to Attend Grad School

“Those with doctorates make almost $144,000 a year, on average.”

The report also suggests that wealthier students are more likely to end up in lucrative careers.

From The Atlantic:

Rich Students Go to Graduate School to Get Richer

More Americans are pursuing graduate degrees, but students from wealthier backgrounds are most likely to earn the degrees that pay the most, a new report published by the Urban Institute shows.

“I think that the idea that people from low-income backgrounds are so unlikely ever to get to medical school or law school is definitely a problem,” said Sandy Baum, a scholar on the economics of higher education and a co-writer of the report.

Between 1993 and 2008 the overall number of bachelor’s degree holders who enrolled in a graduate program within four years of completing their undergraduate studies ticked up from 34 percent to 39 percent.

Despite making up just 14 percent of the current higher-education population, graduate students represented 40 percent of the $1.3 trillion dollars-worth of student-loan debt in 2014.

The realm of graduate education is wide-ranging, and some graduate degrees yield far higher wages than others, the report shows. Based on 2015 figures, workers with professional graduate degrees, such as doctors and lawyers, earn an average of $163,000 a year between the ages of 45 and 54—typically the apex of a person’s earnings arc. By contrast, those with master’s degrees, in subjects like education or history, earn about $92,800 annually in that age range, out-earning bachelor’s degree holders by about $15,000 a year. Those with doctorates make almost $144,000 a year, on average. Nearly three-quarters of graduate students are at the master’s level.


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