Low-Income Engineering Students: Considering Financial Aid and Differential Tuition

    Vol 42, No. 2, 2012, p. 4 

    By Casey E. George-Jackson, Blanca Rincon, and Mariana G. Martinez

    This paper explores the relationship between tuition differentials and low-income students in Engineering fields at two public, research intensive universities. Although current reports indicate the need for increased participation within the Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) fields, rising tuition prices at the university and program levels may deter low-income students to enroll and persist within STEM, specifically Engineering. The findings reveal that increased costs due to tuition differentials policies are initially offset by financial aid, but over time costs increase, particularly for low-income students. The results highlight the need for comprehensive, time-sensitive financial aid packages that provide students opportunities to complete their postsecondary degrees, particularly in fields with higher tuition rates.