T6-EX1-1 - In Depth Exploration of Added Course Expenses on Students of Various Socioeconomic Status

3. Research Full Paper
Andrew Danowitz1 , Bridget Benson1, Paul Hummel1, Joseph Callenes1, K. Clay McKell1
1 California Polytechnic State University, USA

This abstract is for a Full Paper in the Research area. A previous work examined the effects of computing costs, course fees, and related component supply costs on students from various socioeconomic backgrounds. While that study found that students largely did not feel ``ostracized'' as a result of added course expenses, the study did not examine whether students felt other, less severe feelings of exclusion or loss of identity in relation to engineering costs. The study also failed to explore whether and to what extent financial aid and scholarships cover extra course expenses. This work attempts to fill these knowledge gaps.
This research full paper explores the magnitude of added course fees and miscellaneous costs in an engineering pro- gram and how these fees impact lower socio-economic students. Previous work has examined the effects of added course fees and development boards on students from various socioeconomic backgrounds. While the study found that students of varying socioeconomic status did not agree that they felt “ostracized” as a result of added course expenses, the study did not examine whether students felt other, less severe feelings of exclusion or loss of identity in relation to engineering costs.

This paper provides an in-depth exploration of the effects of added course expenses on students’ sense of inclusion in Elec- trical and Computer Engineering Programs. Specific emphasis is placed on how student experience varies by socio-economic status, and the experience of low-socio-economic status is treated with particular interest. “Added course expenses” includes any development boards, parts, and personal computing resources (laptops) necessary for student success but not directly charged by the school for enrollment in a course.

Index Terms—course expenses, socio-economic status, inclusion