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 $200,000 for five years of study.

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The Average Cost of a Doctorate Degree

According to the U.S. Department of Education's National Center for Education Statistics (NCES), the average cost of a doctorate degree at a public school in the 2007-2008 school year reached $23,200 each year. Private school tuition during the same year rose to $35,800 annually. A typical doctoral program takes five full-time years to complete, bringing the total cost to $123,500-$181,500, depending on whether attendance is at a public or private school (

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 in 2007-2008. 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 March 2014, estimated the median salaries for Ph.D. degree holders based on the type of employment. University professors earned a median salary of $68,334 per year. Outside of academia, corporate employees grossed a yearly median income of $101,441, followed closely by self-employed entrepreneurs who earned approximately $89,498 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.

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