How Students Pay for Graduate Study

January 12, 2018

Students who were enrolled in graduate programs last year reported that they paid for 77 percent of their education with money they earned, saved or borrowed, according to a new study from Sallie Mae, the student loan company. In contrast, undergraduates pay for 30 percent of their educations with those sources.

The study, which was based on survey results from roughly 1,600 graduate students, also found that 15 percent of respondents' costs were covered by grants, fellowships, scholarships or tuition waivers. Contributions from friends, relatives or other sources comprised the remaining 8 percent of graduate school expenses.

Pie chart: How the typical student pays for graduate school, average funding source share: 53 percent from student borrowing, 24 percent from student earnings, 15 percent from grants and scholarships, 7 percent from external contributions and 1 percent from someone else borrowing.

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