A plan for addressing the student debt crisis in psychological graduate training: Commentary on "graduate debt in psychology: A quantitative analysis" (Doran et al., 2016)

Kipp R. Pietrantonio, Patton O. Garriott

Research output: Contribution to journalComment/debate


This commentary focuses on the article "Graduate Debt in Psychology: A Quantitative Analysis" by Doran, Kraha, Marks, Ameen, and El-Ghoroury (2016), which was published in a previous issue of Teaching and Education in Professional Psychology. In this response, we discuss the importance of legitimizing the severity of the student debt problem within the field, current work from the APA/APAGS to reduce student debt, and propose a plan for addressing graduate student debt, which includes the 7 following areas: (a) transparency and guidance for undergraduate psychology students, (b) financial informed consent in graduate training, (c) ensuring financial literacy and creating a culture of safety around discussing student debt, (d) postgraduation financial resources, (e) Increasing Funding Opportunities For Clinical Training, (f) federal advocacy for student debt concerns, and (g) APA advocacy for higher wages for entry-level positions. Each area is described with examples of implementation. We conclude our commentary with a discussion of how graduate student debt may affect diversity, inclusivity, and social justice within professional psychology.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)94-99
Number of pages6
JournalTraining and Education in Professional Psychology
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - May 2017
Externally publishedYes



  • Graduate school
  • Plan
  • Psychological training
  • Social justice
  • Student debt

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Education
  • Psychology(all)

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