PROJECTGraduate and Professional Education


About 40 percent of four-year college graduates in the US go on to earn advanced degrees. These degrees often generate high returns, but they can sometimes come at a cost. Graduate degree holders have higher employment rates and earn significantly more, on average, than bachelor’s degree holders. They also borrow more than three times as much, on average. Additionally, not all advanced degrees pay off equally well; many students invest considerable time and money in master’s degrees that do not carry large earnings premiums.

In this series of papers and blog posts, we delve into the details on graduate student enrollment, financing, outcomes, and debt to understand the distinct issues advanced degree seekers face. Examining students, institutions, and outcomes across degree, occupational, and demographic categories paints a nuanced picture of the payoffs of graduate and professional education.


Who Goes to Graduate School and Who Succeeds?

The Price of Graduate and Professional School: How Much Students Pay

Financing Graduate and Professional Education

Graduate and Professional School Debt: How Much Students Borrow

After Graduate and Professional School: How Students Fare in the Labor Market

Urban Wire:

Changes to graduate lending policy are long overdue

How well does graduate school pay off?

Black doctoral students face financing problems even without a tax on tuition benefits

Graduate students are taking on less debt, but some groups still borrow disproportionately

Research Areas Education
Policy Centers Center on Education Data and Policy