About 9 out of 10 full-time graduate students received financial aid in 2007–08. The average total price of attending was greater in 2007–08 than in 2003–04 for students in master's or first-professional degree programs at public universities, as well as for students in first-professional degree programs at private not-for-profit universities.
In 2007–08, the average total price (tuition and fees, books and materials, and living expenses) for 1 year of full-time graduate education was $34,600 for a master's degree program; $39,700 for a doctoral program; and $46,500 for a first-professional degree program. Prices are in constant 2009–10 dollars (see table A-48-1). The average total price differed depending on degree level and institution control, ranging from $29,000 for a master's degree program at a public institution to $53,700 for a first-professional degree program at a private not-for-profit institution.
About one-fourth (26 percent) of master's degree students were enrolled full time in 2007–08, compared to 53 percent of doctoral degree students and 78 percent of first-professional degree students. Among the full-time master's degree students, the adjusted average net price (total price minus grants) was $23,900 at public institutions and $35,000 at private not-for-profit institutions. Compared with their peers at private not-for profit institutions, on average, full-time master's students at public institutions received more in assistantships and borrowed less in student loans.
In 2007–08, some 85 percent of full-time students at the master's level, 88 percent at the first-professional level, and 93 percent at the doctoral level received some type of financial aid (see table A-48-2). Grants and assistantships are usually awarded on a discretionary basis and are not related to financial need. Financial need must be demonstrated by students in order to obtain Perkins or subsidized Stafford loans, but not to take out unsubsidized Stafford loans, or private loans. Graduate students may receive tuition assistance from their employers (also considered grant aid). For example, in 2007–08, some 48 percent of part-time students in master of business administration programs received this type of financial aid (see table A-48-3).
The average annual net price in 2007–08 for full-time doctoral students was $24,700 at public institutions and $36,300 at private not-for-profit institutions (see table A-49-1). Although full-time doctoral students faced higher average total prices compared with their counterparts at the master's level, they did receive larger average amounts in grants and assistantships and borrowed less in student loans.
In 2007–08, the annual net price paid by first-professional students was higher than that paid by doctoral students in both public and private not-for-profit institutions. Also, first-professional students relied more heavily on loans to pay for their education: in 2007–08 their per annum loan amounts averaged $23,400 at public institutions and $30,500 at private not-for-profit institutions, while doctoral students' per annum loans averaged $4,700 and $9,800, respectively.
The average total price of attending a graduate program was greater in 2007–08 than in 2003–04 (after adjusting for inflation) for master's degree students at public institutions and for first-professional students at both public and private not-for-profit institutions. Tuition and fees were greater in 2007–08 than in 2003–04 for master's degree students at public institutions and for first-professional students at public and private not-for profit institutions. The 2007–08 tuition and fees associated with obtaining a doctoral degree at both public and private not-for-profit institutions were not measurably different from the 2003–04 tuition and fees; the same was true for net price. For students enrolled in first-professional degree programs at private not-for-profit institutions, the total annual price of attendance (in constant 2009–10 dollars) rose from approximately $47,600 in 2003–04 to $53,700 in 2007–08.
First-professional programs include chiropractic, osteopathic medicine, dentistry, pharmacy, law, podiatry, medicine, theology, optometry, and veterinary medicine. The category labeled "Assistantships and other aid" consists primarily of assistantships but also includes a small amount of other types of aid such as work study, state vocational, rehabilitation and job training grants, federal veterans benefits, and military tuition aid. Analysis is limited to students who attended for the full year at only one institution in 2003–04 and 2007–08 to keep financial aid and prices comparable. Totals include data for private for-profit institutions, which are not shown separately. Full time means enrolled full time (according to the institution's definition) for at least 9 months during the academic year; full-time enrollment does not preclude working. For more information on the National Postsecondary Student Aid Study (NPSAS), see supplemental note 3. Data were adjusted to constant 2009–10 dollars using the Consumer Price Index for All Urban Consumers (CPI-U). For more information on the CPI-U, see supplemental note 10. Detail may not sum to totals because of rounding.
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