Debt: Master’s Degree Recipients

Differences in annual borrowing patterns of graduate degree students across racial and ethnic groups are reflected in differences in the total debt levels accumulated by those who complete their degrees. Approximately 56.4 percent of all master’s degree recipients borrowed to fund their graduate education, compared with 81.3 percent of Black or African American graduates. Across all student groups, the average amount of debt accumulated for graduate study was $43,354. By race and ethnicity, Asian master’s degree recipients who borrowed accumulated larger average debts than other groups.

Borrowing Rates Among Master's Degree Recipients, by Race and Ethnicity: 2015-16
Cumulative Debt for Graduate Study: Master's Degree Recipients, by Race and Ethnicity: 2015-16


U.S. Department of Education, National Postsecondary Student Aid Study, 2016

Estimate suppressed for American Indian or Alaska Native and Native Hawaiian or other Pacific Islander students. Reporting standards not met.

Cumulative debt of master’s degree recipients shows the average amount borrowed per borrower.