Vast Racial Differences in the Financing of Doctoral Education

Data for the annual Survey of Earned Doctorates from the National Science Foundation shows racial differences in financial support for students who earn doctoral degrees. For instance, 27.9 percent of Whites who earned doctorates in 2020 had served as research assistants. Only 14.7 percent of African American doctoral recipients served as research assistants. Some 22.1 percent of Whites had teaching assistantships while pursuing doctoral studies compared to 12.5 percent of Blacks.

About one out of every five Whites who earned a doctorate paid for their degrees primarily from their own funds or savings. For African Americans who earned doctorates in 2020, 40.8 percent used their own funds or savings as the primary source for paying for their education.

Only 19.4 percent of all African Americans who earned doctorates in 2020 had no education-related debt when they earned their terminal degree. For Whites, 50.2 percent had no education-related debt. The average graduate education debt for Whites was $20,451. African Americans who earned doctorates in 2020, had an average graduate student debt of $63,087.

A total of 331 of the 2,295, African Americans who earned doctorates in 2019, or 14.4 percent, had graduate student debt of more than $160,000. For Whites, only 2.8 percent of all doctoral recipients had graduate student debt exceeding $160,000.


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  1. HBCU Watch says:

    The White American higher education system and White society is doing exactly what it was designed as it centers around native born Black Americans receiving PhDs, EdDs, MDs, etc. This can clearly be easily shown via K-12 and undergraduate school because entirely too many insecure White, Asian, and Latino teachers and professors do not view native born Black Americans as being scholars under the guise of low expectations.

    Unfortunately, this Whitetocracy only see native born Black Americans are mere entertainers, professional football or basketball players just “steppin and fetchin” day in and day out because result in less true intellectual competition for their White sons and daughters.

    • Ronald B. Saunders says:

      Very well said HBCU Watch. The truth hurts.

      • HBCU Watch says:

        Thanks. In my humble opinion, the collective so-called Black American community needs to seriously recognize that “we’re at war” (e.g., educationally, financially, physically, spiritually, psychologically, etc..) with the “dominant White American power structure on all fronts (e.g., “full spectrum warfare). Until the so-called Black American community realizes this manifest truth we will continue to be on the receiving end of an incremental American nightmare.

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