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Keeping college costs affordable

West Liberty University’s Board of Governors is seeking a new president for the institution. Incumbent President Stephen Greiner has announced he plans to retire, though he has given the board plenty of time to find a successor. Greiner intends to leave June 30.

During his nearly four years at the helm, WLU has grown steadily in both quality of programs and facilities and enrollment. The university had enrollment of 2,310 students during his first academic year as president. That has grown to 2,495 for this fall.

WLU appeals to many students and their parents for several reasons. Cost is one. Bachelors’ degrees still can be obtained there without sinking oneself in student loan debt.

Still, getting a degree is expensive. The base cost for in-state students to attend WLU includes nearly $8,000 a year for tuition, plus more than $10,000 for those living and eating on campus. In a state where the median household income is $44,061, that is a lot of money.

WLU’s board will be looking for several qualities in a new president. A penny-pinching attitude — holding the cost of college down as far as humanly possible — ought to be high on the list. So should marketable degrees helping graduates to get good jobs. These days, neither attribute should be considered optional at an institution of higher learning.

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