Many students from low- and moderate-income families start college with an interest in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) fields; however only a small fraction of those students complete a STEM degree. This project investigates whether, how, and why need-based financial aid affects the behavior of students in key science, technology, engineering, and/or mathematics (STEM) programs by contributing to their chances of success. The study’s findings will provide critical information to practitioners who must help undergraduates balance their finances with their need to focus on their studies. The results from this project ultimately will help the nation meet demands for a growing STEM workforce.
We are grateful to funding from the National Science Foundation for making this work possible.