Interesting, Florida is considering “a proposal to lower tuition for STEM majors”:http://marginalrevolution.com/marginalrevolution/2012/10/tuition-by-major.html.
It is surprising and interesting that the issues are so different between Florida and Washington.
STEM programs in key fields at UW are oversubscribed and are turning way students every year. Stimulating demand would be pointless as the programs are capacity limited. The University and the legislature are trying to address capacity limits — the legislature this year has “redirected funds from liberal arts programs to engineering”:http://seattletimes.com/html/localnews/2018251983_admissions21m.html permitting growth in enrollments.
The Washington tuition discussion has been completely opposite the Florida discussion. A differential tuition proposal, charging higher fees for STEM degrees, has been approved. The justification is the unfilled demand, and the higher cost of STEM programs (labs, etc). As I understand it, the differential tuition proposal is on hold, due to legal challenges. I am not sure of the exact claims of the opposition, but I know those parents who purchased prepaid GET tuition vouchers have some legitimate concerns — which programs do these vouchers cover?
Again, interesting that the states see the issue so differently. The intent in Florida is good, encourage more STEM majors. I wonder if they are pulling on the right lever though.