UW Political Science Graduate Students Mathieu Dubeau and Riddhi Mehta-Neugebauer penned an article for the American Association of University Professors, "Data Snapshot: Graduate Students, Social Class, and Academia’s Promise."
They ask: "Quantitative academic scholarship typically understands class in terms of a person’s socioeconomic status. But what does this really mean to social science graduate students, many of whom study social and economic stratification?", and, "What effect does this range of class backgrounds have on the graduate school experience?"
From a small survery of their owen they suggest that not just financial pressure but psychological pressure may put less advantaged graduate students in a tougher position during school and after. "Students who identified as members of the upper class in our survey consistently report that their class status makes it possible for them to stay enrolled and complete their degrees; they feel a level of security that they understand is not shared by their middle-, working-, or lower-class peers."
"So do graduate degrees, particularly in social sciences, truly advance social mobility for lower- and working-class students?"