Making brighter futures

Ohio’s House of Representatives has advanced an important bill for students and parents struggling to make good decisions about what to do after high school graduation. House Bill 27, “to require state institutions of higher education to provide financial cost and aid disclosure forms,” will make it easier for families to understand how much a student’s education will cost and even potential incomes right out of college for those with degrees in a chosen major.

How many of us would have benefited from such information as we were choosing the first step in the rest of our lives?

Rep. Adam Mathews, R-Lebanon, sponsored the financial transparency bill.

“This was an original bill that came out of my door-knocking and speaking to people around Warren County, and we’re excited to bring it over to the Senate,” Mathews told the Dayton Daily News.

If it remains intact, the bill will required colleges and universities to total the sums of fees, room and board, and tuition, as well as estimating a student’s expected monthly loan payment after graduation, the Daily News reported. It would also use income data from recent graduates to give incoming students an idea of what they might earn in their chosen fields.

University of Cincinnati professor Stephen Mockabee, on behalf of Ohio’s chapter of the American Association of University Professors, had asked lawmakers to require inclusion of a breakdown showing students how their money is spent by the schools.

“Often students and their families are not aware that tuition and fees are spent on endeavors far removed from the student’s education, such as subsidizing athletics,” Mockabee said, according to the Daily News.

“Making explicit where their money is going would be a positive step.”

It’s a fair point, and one the state Senate might want to consider.

Still, the bill will provide information to students and parents that could make an enormous difference for their futures. And when lawmakers are working to support a brighter future for our young people, the future is looking bright for all of us.


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