Graduate Students Receiving Loans

About 40 percent of all graduate students in 2019–20 borrowed federal loans, while only about 5 percent borrowed private loans. Borrowing patterns also differed across racial and ethnic groups. Overall, the majority of Black or African American (64.5 percent) and Hispanic or Latino (55.9 percent) graduate students borrowed some type of loan in 2019–20, while fewer than half of all other racial and ethnic groups borrowed funds. Particularly, Black or African American students had the highest borrowing rate among all master’s and research doctoral students (69.2 percent and 51.6 percent, respectively), and Hispanic or Latino students had the highest borrowing rate among all professional and other doctoral students (78.2 percent).

Share of Graduate Students Who Received Loans, by Race and Ethnicity: 2019-20


U.S. Department of Education, National Postsecondary Student Aid Study, 2020

Detail may not sum to totals because of rounding.

Data for for the following should be interpreted with caution. Estimate is unstable because the standard error represents more than 30 percent of the estimate.

  • American Indian or Alaska Native, percent receiving loans, 2019-2020