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Research Briefs, v3 n1 1992

This research brief summarizes data available on master's degree students and recipients, including data on characteristics of master's degree students; financial support for master's students; growth in number of master's degrees awarded; number of master's degrees earned by gender and by race/ethnicity; the most popular fields, by gender, race/ethnicity, and citizenship; and economic value of a master's degree. The data indicate that, in 1989-90, more than half of master's degree students were women, most were white, more than half were age 30 or older, more than two-thirds were enrolled part time, and the majority was enrolled at public institutions. Only two-fifths of master's level students received some type of financial aid. In 1990, the number of master's degrees awarded surpassed the 1960 number by more than four times. A substantial portion of the tremendous growth is traced to increases in practice-oriented or career-oriented fields. Recent gains are primarily due to increases in the number of foreign students earning master's degrees. Earning a master's degree has a definite economic payoff. The paper concludes with 8 end notes, descriptions of several data resources, and a bibliography of 16 items. (JDD)

Descriptors: Economic Impact, Employment, Ethnic Groups, Full Time Students, Graduate Students, Graduate Study, Higher Education, Masters Degrees, Masters Programs, Part Time Students, Private Colleges, Public Colleges, Student Characteristics, Student Financial Aid, Tables (Data), Trend Analysis

Publications, American Council on Education, One Dupont Circle, N.W., Washington, DC 20036 (single copy, $10; annual subscription, $58; 10 percent member discount).

Autor: O-Brien, Eileen M.


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