PRESS-NEWS.org - Press Release Distribution
PRESS RELEASES DISTRIBUTION

Research reveals tools to make STEM degrees more affordable

The cost of attending a public four-year college in the United States has more than doubled since the early 1990s.

2024-04-23
(Press-News.org) In a new study in Issues, Dominique J. Baker, an associate professor in the College of Education and Human Development and the Joseph R. Biden, Jr. School of Public Policy & Administration at the University of Delaware, explored the role of student loans on hopeful students striving for college degrees, particularly in STEM. 

The cost of attending a public four-year college in the United States has more than doubled since the early 1990s, when inflation is factored in. 

Undergraduate student loan debt has become unmanageable for a wide swath of borrowers in the United States. Bachelor’s degree recipients borrow on average $41,300, with a median of $30,000. The median borrower still owes 92% of their loan four years after earning a bachelor’s degree, and nearly one-third of people who took out a student loan between 1998 and 2018 fell into default. As part of its emergency response to the pandemic, the US Department of Education suspended action on federal student loans that were in default as of March 13, 2020, until at least September 2024.

Student loan debt is uneven across racial groups.

Recent data has also shown variation in loan repayment patterns by major, challenging the popular assumption that all STEM graduates have similar prospects after college. Though the median amount owed on student loans for STEM majors four years after earning their degree is 80%, this varies—from 59% for engineering to 94% for biological and physical sciences and agricultural sciences. These figures do not include the amount of additional debt students may incur in pursuit of further graduate education. Due to interest accrual, delayed repayment of undergraduate student loans can also result in greater debt burdens.

The fact that differential tuition may make a STEM major more expensive than a non-STEM major at some universities deserves more attention when considering how to make STEM degrees more affordable. For example, advanced, in-state students at the University of Maryland pursuing engineering and computer science degrees pay $1,500 more per semester than their peers enrolled in other disciplines (nearly 27% higher).

The United States currently relies on a rough patchwork of policies and mechanisms to project the image of college affordability while actually depending on students to navigate huge variances in higher education costs. Inevitably, they’re often left to shoulder a debt burden that might follow them around for decades. Lessons from other countries on how to assemble the policy patchwork more deliberately—to actually lower student costs and subsidize tuition in targeted disciplines—may help.

Experts on college affordability, tuition setting, and other related topics in higher education should convene to examine the value of tuition caps as a policy, particularly within the context of bringing the missing millions into STEM disciplines. Since most public university subsidies come from state coffers, federal efforts alone are unlikely to solve college affordability. And yet there are no clear policy tools available to ensure that states contribute their due for higher education. The decentralized nature of US higher education conceals useful information from researchers, decisionmakers, and policymakers—like the national average tuition increase for STEM degrees under differential tuition. Higher education leaders, especially in STEM fields, should be invested in creating spaces for ongoing conversations about real changes in college affordability as another avenue for removing barriers to STEM education and careers.

END


ELSE PRESS RELEASES FROM THIS DATE:

Q&A: UW research shows neural connection between learning a second language and learning to code

2024-04-23
As computer programming becomes an increasingly valued skill in the workforce, there is a greater need to understand how people learn to code most effectively. Statistics show that up to 50% of students who enroll in introductory programming courses in the United States eventually drop out, suggesting a mismatch between how coding is learned and the way it’s taught. A new study from the University of Washington, published March 5 in Scientific Reports, examines that issue. The researchers recorded electrophysiological brain responses of varyingly skilled programmers as they read ...

Keane wins 2024 Gopal K. Shenoy Excellence in Beamline Science Award

2024-04-23
Physicist Denis T. Keane is the 2024 recipient of the Gopal K. Shenoy Excellence in Beamline Science Award. He is a beamline scientist and director of the Dupont-Northwestern-Dow Collaborative Access Team (DND-CAT) at the U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE) Advanced Photon Source (APS) at DOE’s Argonne National Laboratory. He is also a research professor in the Materials Science and Engineering Department at Northwestern University. The annual award recognizes active beamline scientists at the APS, ...

Livestock abortion surveillance could protect livelihoods and detect emerging global pathogens

2024-04-23
A small-scale surveillance system in Tanzania for reporting livestock abortions could help protect livelihoods and provide insights on potential livestock-to-human infections. The research, published April 16 as a Reviewed Preprint in eLife, is described by editors as an important study with convincing findings of potential interest to the fields of veterinary medicine, public health and epidemiology. Loss of livestock through abortion is a major concern for the worldwide livestock industry, resulting in significant ...

Optimal timing maximises Paxlovid benefits for treating COVID-19

2024-04-23
Researchers have described the optimal timing for COVID-19 patients to take the antiviral, Paxlovid, to get the most benefit from the treatment, according to a study published April 16 in eLife. The findings suggest that taking Paxlovid three to five days after COVID-19 symptoms emerge may maximise the drug’s ability to reduce viral loads, minimise viral spread and reduce viral rebound. They also indicate that broader use of Paxlovid during this window might be a powerful tool to help curb the spread of the SARS-CoV-2 ...

IU researchers receive $4.8 million grant to study the role of misfolded protein TDP-43 in neurodegenerative diseases

2024-04-23
INDIANAPOLIS—A new $4.8 million grant will support researchers from Indiana University School of Medicine and the Medical Research Council Laboratory of Molecular Biology to study how human neurodegenerative diseases are affected by the misfolding of the protein TDP-43. Misfolding occurs when a protein adopts a conformation which differs from the native one. The researchers, funded by the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke, have developed an innovative approach to deciphering the role of TDP-43 misfolding in the pathology ...

DOE’s Office of Science Graduate Student Research Program selects 86 outstanding US graduate students

2024-04-23
WASHINGTON, D.C. – The Department of Energy’s (DOE’s) Office of Science has selected 86 graduate students representing 31 states and Puerto Rico for the Office of Science Graduate Student Research (SCGSR) program’s 2023 Solicitation 2 cycle. Through world-class training and access to state-of-the-art facilities and resources at DOE national laboratories, SCGSR prepares graduate students to enter jobs of critical importance to the DOE mission and secures our national position at the forefront of discovery and innovation. “The Graduate Student Research program is a unique opportunity ...

This tiny chip can safeguard user data while enabling efficient computing on a smartphone

2024-04-23
Health-monitoring apps can help people manage chronic diseases or stay on track with fitness goals, using nothing more than a smartphone. However, these apps can be slow and energy-inefficient because the vast machine-learning models that power them must be shuttled between a smartphone and a central memory server. Engineers often speed things up using hardware that reduces the need to move so much data back and forth. While these machine-learning accelerators can streamline computation, they are susceptible to attackers who can steal secret ...

World’s chocolate supply threatened by devastating virus

World’s chocolate supply threatened by devastating virus
2024-04-23
A rapidly spreading virus threatens the health of the cacao tree and the dried seeds from which chocolate is made, jeopardizing the global supply of the world’s most popular treat. About 50% of the world’s chocolate originates from cacao trees in the West Africa countries of Ivory Coast and Ghana. The damaging virus is attacking cacao trees in Ghana, resulting in harvest losses of between 15 and 50%. Spread by small insects called mealybugs that eat the leaves, buds and flowers of trees, the cacao swollen shoot virus disease (CSSVD) is among the most damaging threats to the root ingredient of chocolate. “This ...

Wake up and die: Human brain neurons re-entering the cell cycle age quickly shift to senescence

Wake up and die: Human brain neurons re-entering the cell cycle age quickly shift to senescence
2024-04-23
Post-mitotic neurons in the brain that re-enter the cell cycle quickly succumb to senescence, and this re-entry is more common in Alzheimer’s disease, according to a new study published April 9th in the open-access journal PLOS Biology by Kim Hai-Man Chow and colleagues at the Chinese University of Hong Kong. The phenomenon may provide an opportunity to learn more about the neurodegeneration process, and the technique used to make this discovery is readily applicable to other inquiries about unique populations of cells in the brain. Most neurons in the ...

Phage therapy is being explored to treat multidrug-resistant bacterial infections, but what are the direct effects of phages on the human host?

Phage therapy is being explored to treat multidrug-resistant bacterial infections, but what are the direct effects of phages on the human host?
2024-04-23
Phage therapy is being explored to treat multidrug-resistant bacterial infections, but what are the direct effects of phages on the human host? This study shows that therapeutic phages can be detected by epithelial cells of the human respiratory tract, eliciting proinflammatory responses that depend on specific phage properties and the airway microenvironment.   ##### In your coverage, please use this URL to provide access to the freely available paper in PLOS Biology:   http://journals.plos.org/plosbiology/article?id=10.1371/journal.pbio.3002566 Article ...

LAST 30 PRESS RELEASES:

Altering cancer treatment dosing could reduce climate impact, study finds

The secret sex life of coral revealed

New deep learning model is ‘game changer’ for measuring embryo development

Smarter foragers do not forage smarter

A unified account of Darwinism’s varieties

Marketers can manage 'feature creep'

Intermittent fasting shows promise in improving gut health, weight management

Scientists identify gene that could lead to resilient ‘pixie’ corn

Utilizing medical assistants to manage patient portal messages shown to support practice and physician efficiency

Study shows clinic continuity associated with reduced hospital and emergency visits

Recognizing the range of experiences among individuals of Latino, Hispanic, and/or Spanish origin is an essential step toward health equity

study reveals decline in reported medicare outpatient procedures by family physicians amid an aging population

COVID-19 pandemic leads to drop in breast cancer screenings, especially among older and racial minority women

Translating the Surgeon General’s framework on social isolation and loneliness to actionable steps in primary care

Point/counterpoint: Is prediabetes overdiagnosed?

Primary care clinics can help low-income families receive nutritional support benefits

The wall of evidence for continuity of care

Parents of children with serious illness from Somali, Hmong, and Latin American communities desire better communication and support in pediatric health care

Primary care can improve hygienic practices while reducing waste

HKUST researchers enhance performance of eco-friendly cooling applications by developing sustainable strategy to manipulate interfacial heat transfer

Variations in medical assistant to primary care clinician staffing ratios may reflect differences in practice ownership and organizational culture

Better disciplinary structures in schools can help reduce hate speech directed against Asian American students

Bringing back an ancient bird

Wistar research identifies mechanisms for selective multiple sclerosis treatment strategy

Fatherhood’s hidden heart health toll

The importance of integrated therapies on cancer: Silibinin, an old and new molecule

Texas A&M-led team creates first global map of seafloor biodiversity activity

Light therapy increases brain connectivity following injury

Power imbalance in health care reveals impact of race and role on team dynamics and DEI efforts

NRG Oncology appoints new vice-chairs for their patient advocate committee

[Press-News.org] Research reveals tools to make STEM degrees more affordable
The cost of attending a public four-year college in the United States has more than doubled since the early 1990s.