In 2020 There Were Large Gender Disparities in the Funding of Doctoral Education

The National Science Foundation recently released its annual data on doctoral degree recipients in the United States. Data for the annual Survey of Earned Doctorates shows gender differences in financial support for students who earn doctoral degrees. For instance, 38.6 percent of men who earned doctorates in 2020 had served as research assistants. Only 27.9 percent of women doctoral recipients served as research assistants.

About one out of every five women who earned a doctorate paid for their degrees primarily from their own funds or savings. For men who earned doctorates in 2020, only 11.3 percent used their own funds or savings as the primary source for paying for their education.

Nearly 30 percent of all women who earned doctorates in 2020 took out loans to finance their doctoral studies. For men, 19.8 percent took out loans. The average graduate education debt for women was $30,966. Men who earned doctorates in 2020 had an average graduate student debt of $21,608.

A total of 818 of the 23,089 women who earned doctorates in 2020, or 3.5 percent, had graduate student debt of more than $160,000. For men, only 1.9 percent of all doctoral recipients in 2020 had graduate student debt exceeding $160,000.

Filed Under: Degree AttainmentsResearch/Study

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