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A study of the debt levels of graduate and professional students is reported in narrative, data tables, and graphs. Highlights include: total annual borrowing through federal loan programs has accelerated dramatically, with more than a million graduate and professional students now borrowing nearly $8 billion per year; graduate and professional student borrowing is increasing even faster than the record rate of increase in total student loan borrowing; average debt levels are high, especially for students attending professional schools in medicine, dentistry, and law; low-income and minority students are the groups most likely to borrow at the graduate and professional level; professional school graduates face repayment burdens that are prohibitively high in some cases, particularly for those choosing lower-paying, public service-oriented jobs; and doctoral recipients generally appear to have modest repayment burdens. An appendix contains descriptions of the major student loan programs. (MSE)

Descriptors: Career Choice, College Graduates, Comparative Analysis, Credit (Finance), Debt (Financial), Dental Schools, Economic Change, Educational Finance, Federal Aid, Federal Programs, Financial Problems, Graduate Students, Higher Education, Income, Legal Education (Professions), Loan Default, Loan Repayment, Low Income Groups, Medical Education, Minority Groups, Professional Education, Student Characteristics, Student Loan Programs, Trend Analysis

The Education Resources Institute, 330 Stuart Street, Suite 500, Boston, MA 02116-5237; phone: 800-255-TERI, ext. 4762; fax: 617-451-9425.

Autor: Education Resources Inst., Boston, MA.; Institute for Higher Education Policy, Washington, DC.


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