Ellen Bryer

I am a PhD student in the Department of Sociology and an IES predoctoral fellow in the Graduate School of Education at the University of Pennsylvania.

My research draws on qualitative and quantitative methods to investigate the relationship between economic inequality and young adults’ educational experiences. My work has been published in Sociological Forum and Socius. 

My dissertation is a mixed methods study of student pathways through graduate education and their implications for social stratification. The quantitative chapters employ the NCES Baccalaureate and Beyond survey and the College Scorecard and I am conducting interviews with master's degree students on their decisions around graduate school attendance. 

For my MA thesis, I interviewed master’s degree recipients about their experiences with student debt and found that advantaged young adults often receive significant and unplanned financial gifts from their families for education, minimizing their debt. 

I have additional ongoing collaborative projects on the emergence of racial wealth gaps in young adulthood and on political polarization in independent schools. 

I am a former research assistant at a research and evaluation firm and an Americorps alum. I hold a BA in Sociology from Smith College.