Friday, January 17, 2014

Ph.D. debt

“A new crowdsourcing project provides an eye-opening glimpse into the hefty amounts of debt some graduate students take on to pay for their education and how hopeless many of them feel about their prospects for repaying it”: The Cost of a Ph.D. (The Chronicle of Higher Education). The project, in the form of a Google spreadsheet, is here: Ph.D. Debt Survey. It’s a sorrowful thing to read.

Something I said in a post last October: “Borrowing any amount of money to finance graduate work in the humanities is folly.” William Pannapacker’s advice about graduate work in the humanities is simpler: “Just don’t go” — unless you are well-heeled or well-connected or supported by a partner or are earning a credential and your employer is paying. Hard times here and everywhere you go. Times is harder than ever been before.

comments: 5

mwschmeer said...

Where did you run across the link to the Google spreadsheet. The original articles were written back in 2009, so I was wondering if there was an article accompanying the data.

mwschmeer said...

The articles you linked to are from 2009. Is there another article that discusses the data collected and presented in the Google spreadsheet?

Thanks!

Michael Leddy said...

Matthew, I put in the wrong URL. It’s the first link, now corrected: The Cost of a Ph.D.

Anonymous said...

I enjoy your blog, and I just want to say that my position is not "just don't go." That's just a click-bait title for one essay. My position was and has always been that we need to struggle against a system of academic employment that excludes and harms all but the highly privileged. We need to ask our students to research their decisions, and provide better information to allow them to do so. All best, William Pannapacker

Michael Leddy said...

For any interested reader, here’s a link to Prof. Pannapacker’s follow-up essay: Just Don’t Go, Part 2.