Date Awarded


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Education (Ed.D.)




Roger Baldwin


The purpose of this research was to assess the short-term debt burden of graduate education for those students needing to acquire loans. Building on and refining the work of Leslie and Brinkman, and Keynes (but narrowing the analysis to post-baccalaureates) an analysis of amount of student debt and debt burden (the proportion of debt payments to income) was conducted. Using institutional and NPSAS data, debt was analyzed by student level (i.e. masters, doctoral, first-professional) and program of study (business, education, law, physical sciences, social sciences, and other). Student loan debt was combined with average consumer debt to assess total debt payments. The research concluded that student debt burden alone was over the threshold of 10 percent of income for two groups: law students, and doctoral students in the social sciences. When using total debt, all categories of students had debt burden that exceeded 10 percent of income. In addition, there were marked differences in amount of debt and the proportion of students acquiring debt by level and program.



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