More People With PhDs Going on Food Stamps
Number of advanced degree holders on public assistance doubles
By Kevin Spak, Newser User
Posted May 13, 2012 6:21 AM CDT
In this photo taken Saturday, Feb. 6, 2010, a sign announcing the acceptance of electronic Benefit Transfer cards is seen at a farmers market in Roseville, Calif.   (AP Photo/Rich Pedroncelli)

(Newser) – Melissa Bruninga Matteau has a PhD in medieval history, and a job as an adjunct professor, but she's still relying on food stamps and Medicaid to get by. "I am not a welfare queen," she tells the Chronicle of Higher Education. But with take home pay of only $900 a month—of which $750 goes to rent—she's only scraping by. And she's not alone. The number of people with graduate degrees who receive federal aid more than doubled between 2007 and 2010.

To be sure, the lion's share of the 44 million people receiving public aid in 2010 was less educated. But the number of advanced degree holders on the rolls has been skyrocketing, from 101,682 to 293,029 for people with their master degree, and from 9,776 to 33,655 for those with PhDs—and groups representing adjunct faculty suspect those numbers are underreported. "It's gone beyond the joke of impoverished grad students to becoming something really dire and urgent," says one academic career counselor.

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Showing 3 of 81 comments
Antone123
May 14, 2012 6:34 AM CDT
If our Republican congressional members had not blocked and stopped every Jobs Bill President Obama and the Democrats pushed forward to improve the economy and create jobs. WE WOULD NOT HAVE THIS PROBLEM. Let's all thank Mitch O, who has done nothing in this Congress but work to make President Obama a one term President. Smile you A. Whole!
Scaramouche
May 14, 2012 6:11 AM CDT
It disgusts me how many of you disrespect the field of history. Do you not realize the value in understanding the behavior of our species over time? Do you think we emerged from a vacuum? No! We exist in a continuum defined by our ancestors. To know them is to know ourselves. To know the past is to plot the course of the future. Only a foolish species would blot out its own collective memory. It's good to know science, but without the wisdom learned from a study of our history, we aren't mature enough to use that science responsibly.
XYandZ
May 14, 2012 12:30 AM CDT
"Melissa Bruninga Matteau has a PhD in medieval history," .. that's all i need to know..next story please