Nothing like a good cross-state university rivalry to get the juices — or the resources — flowing. With the annual Apple Cup...

Nothing like a good cross-state university rivalry to get the juices — or the resources — flowing.

With the annual Apple Cup game against University of Washington still two weeks off, Washington State University is matching a pledge to cover the tuition and fees of lower-income students.

This “Cougar Commitment” follows the UW’s Husky Promise pledge last month.

The requirements are similar for both programs. The universities will cover tuition and fees for students who are state residents and who qualify for federal Pell or state need grants. Those would be students whose family incomes are less than 65 percent of the state’s median income — or $46,500 for a family of four.

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At Washington State, the benefit is worth about $6,448.

This expansion was part of a re-evaluation WSU did of its programs. The university already was providing this to many of the students who now qualify, so it adjusted some of its formulas and invested more in financial aid.

Both schools are to be commended for taking this step as tuition continues to go up and state investment in higher education lags behind many other states.

These overtures will help ensure that lower-income students, often the first in their families to go to college, will be able to get some assistance as they embark on a college career.