Graduate-School Debt Is Raising Questions About Degrees’ Worth

Graduate-School Debt Is Raising Questions About Degrees’ Worth 1

Joshua Lott for The Chronicle

Abigail Williams, a Ph.D. student at the U. of Michigan, wonders if she 
may have to put off life plans, like buying a home, because of her debt.

When Abigail B. Williams first started graduate school, debt wasn’t on her mind.

Like growing numbers of students beginning graduate programs, she arrived with student-loan debt already, having borrowed thousands of dollars to pay for her undergraduate education. But that didn’t deter her from taking out more loans. At the time, in her early 20s, the loans had the feeling of free money, she says. So as she embarked on a master’s program in social work, she borrowed