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ERIC Number: ED526947
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2008-Sep
Pages: 412
Abstractor: ERIC
A Study of Four Federal Graduate Fellowship Programs: Education and Employment Outcomes
Kraus, Lewis E.; Henke, Robin R.; Nevill, Stephanie; Linnard, David; Pflueger, Jeff; Mattox, Tiffany
Office of Planning, Evaluation and Policy Development, US Department of Education
The Office of Postsecondary Education (OPE) in the U.S. Department of Education (ED) sponsors four graduate fellowship programs: the Fulbright-Hays Doctoral Dissertation Research Abroad (DDRA) fellowship program, the Foreign Language and Area Studies (FLAS) fellowship program, the Graduate Assistance in Areas of National Need (GAANN) fellowship program, and the Jacob K. Javits fellowship program. This report describes the academic and employment outcomes as of 2006 of graduate students who received financial support through one of these four federal fellowship programs between 1997 and 1999. The programs vary significantly with respect to their goals, the number of fellowships supported, and the amount of funding dispersed. Despite their differences, however, all of these programs are intended to encourage academically talented students to become experts in fields important to the national interest. The study was conducted in two parts: an institution-level survey and a fellowship-level survey. Using contact information obtained through the institution survey or available from ED records, survey researchers located and invited 72 percent of the sample of 5,525 fellowships to participate in a Web-based survey. Despite differences among these four fellowship programs in purpose and implementation, there are noteworthy similarities in their outcomes (Table A). With respect to education outcomes, the majority of fellows in each of the four programs completed their degrees, with the percentage of degree completions ranging among programs from about two-thirds to nine-tenths of fellowships. Fellows who completed their degrees tended to do so in less time than graduate students overall. National surveys indicate that doctoral students who complete their degrees do so in seven to twelve years, depending on their field of study, with students in the humanities and social sciences taking more time than students in the natural sciences. With respect to employment outcomes, large proportions of students who received fellowships participated in the labor force after completing their fellowships, most commonly in work that was related to their fellowship-gained expertise and was part of a career they were pursuing. Although this report provides some national comparison data on graduate students' demographic and academic characteristics, degree completion, and time taken to complete a degree, it is important to realize that the students who receive these fellowships are highly qualified, high-achieving students, i.e., students who are probably more likely than the average graduate student to complete a degree or gain employment in their fields without the financial assistance and prestige effects of these fellowships. Students compete among their classmates, within institutions or across the nation, for these fellowships: students who win these competitions are superior students by definition. Without a true comparison group--i.e., students of similar qualifications who did not receive these fellowships--it is not possible to attribute these fellows' success to their receipt of the fellowships. Appended are: (1) Technical Notes and Methodology; (2) Survey Data Elements; and (3) Survey Instruments. (Contains 25 figures, 162 tables and 17 footnotes.)
Office of Planning, Evaluation and Policy Development, US Department of Education. Available from: ED Pubs. Education Publications Center, US Department of Education, NTIS, P.O. Box 22207, Alexandria, VA 22304. Tel: 877-433-7827; Fax: 703-605-6794; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Numerical/Quantitative Data; Reports - Research; Tests/Questionnaires
Education Level: Higher Education; Postsecondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: Office of Planning, Evaluation and Policy Development (ED), Policy and Program Studies Service; InfoUse