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Published: Friday, 4/26/2013

Higher education

Ohio University is looking at a sensible reform that would help financially struggling Ohio students and their parents.

OU trustees are considering offering incoming students a guaranteed price to attend the university for the full four years of matriculation.

The trustees are said to be leaning toward the proposal, but they need to clear it with the state’s higher-education chancellor and win the support of the legislature.

At a time when access to a higer education is evaporating, the legislature should support this sensible idea.

State universities, especially in Ohio, are far from the worst offenders. But college tuition costs, and increases, have been through the roof every year for the last decade, far exceeding the rate of inflation. Middle-class and poor families have been hit hard. Many students, already strapped, have had to drop in and out of school for financial reasons.

That can make college a six-year — instead of a four-year — project, delaying entry into the job market.

College costs have become a huge issue for the American working class. In hard times, the people who pay for college — and that includes parents — should have some predictability and be assured of some modest cost containment.

Public higher education must be affordable to be truly public. At a time when few institutions of higher education are doing anything about cost control, OU is setting an example worthy of the state’s support.

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