How Much Does a Doctorate Degree Cost?
There are many types of doctorate degrees, and students may seek a doctorate to enter or advance a professional career, begin residency in the medical field, continue with scientific research or enter academia. Enrolling in a doctorate program requires a significant investment, possibly in the neighborhood $300,000 for five years of study.
The Average Cost of a Doctorate Degree
According to the Department of Education's National Center for Education Statistics (NCES), the average cost of a doctorate degree at a public school in 2008 reached $48,400 each year. Private school tuition during the same year rose to $60,000 annually. A typical doctoral program takes five full-time years to complete, bringing the total cost to $242,000-$300,000 (nces.ed.gov).
How to Pay for a Doctorate Degree
NCES reports that over half of all doctoral students attend school full-time and 93% receive some form of financial assistance. Many lending companies, non-profit organizations and employers offer financial aid to help students pay for their education.
Fellowships, grants and scholarships do not need repayment, but often come with strict eligibility requirements. Many schools offer annual stipends, assistantships and on-campus teaching jobs to help a student's fund his or her education during enrollment in a program. Doctoral students should look into any type of free aid available before applying for loan assistance.
Student loans from public and private lending institutions offer additional means of financing graduate school. Underprivileged students may find federal interest-free loans that may offer deferment of payment for a period of time after graduation. The 2008 NCES study stipulated that money received from student loans covered approximately 35% of the tuition with the remainder covered by work programs, grants and other types of free aid.
Salaries of Doctorate Degree Graduates
In 2010, Payscale.com estimated the median salaries for Ph.D. degree holders based on type of employment. University professors earned a median salary of $87,169 per year. Outside of academia, corporate employees grossed a yearly median income of $94,528, followed closely by self-employed entrepreneurs who earned approximately $92,000 annually. In addition to the education and training a doctoral degree provides, salaries are also contingent on the number of years of experience an employee brings to the position, with entry-level doctoral graduates starting out at less than $60,000 per year.
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