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The purpose of this phenomenological inquiry was to examine persistence factors associated with the successful completion of a doctoral degree in the field of education. Standardized open-ended interviews with a purposeful sample of 76 participants (42 females, 34 males) generated data leading to themes describing what doctoral students experience (personal sacrifice, delayed expectations, dissertation challenges) and the personal factors (motivations for pursuing the degree, reasons fordoi:10.28945/1589 fatcat:7miqdqxmdzcghiq7hrmwwtvp3a