Meet the new generation of welfare queens: master's and doctorate degree holders who can't find work.

Writing for The Chronicle of Higher Education, Stacey Patton explores the stories of highly educated people who are jobless, broke, and on food stamps. In 2010, there were 22 million Americans with master's degrees or higher, and about 360,000 of them on public assistance, according to the U.S. Census Bureau.


In 2010, a total of 44 million people nationally received food stamps or some other form of public aid, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture. People who don't finish college are more likely to receive food stamps than are those who go to graduate school. The rolls of people on public assistance are dominated by people with less education. Nevertheless, the percentage of graduate-degree holders who receive food stamps or some other aid more than doubled between 2007 and 2010.

During that three-year period, the number of people with master's degrees who received food stamps and other aid climbed from 101,682 to 293,029, and the number of people with Ph.D.'s who received assistance rose from 9,776 to 33,655, according to tabulations of microdata done by Austin Nichols, a senior researcher with the Urban Institute. He drew on figures from the 2008 and 2011 Current Population Surveys done by the U.S. Census Bureau and the U.S. Bureau of Labor.

Read the full story: From Graduate School to Welfare – Graduate Students – The Chronicle of Higher Education. (Via Alex Leo)