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South Carolina College Cuts Tuition By 43 Percent

Converse College

A women's college in South Carolina is reducing undergraduate tuition by 43 percent. That means tuition at Converse College in Spartanburg  will be $16,500 a year. It's currently about $29,000. College president Betsy Fleming says the move is in response to growing concern about rising tuition.

"I hope that this move will change the course and conversation in higher education, moving away from a high tuition, high discount model to a lower tuition that actually represents cost," Fleming says. 

Fleming says steady growth in enrollment is one reason Converse College is able to do this. She says this year's freshman class is 40 percent larger than just three years ago. But the key, she says, was reorganizing its operating budget – a process that took more than a year. The cost of room and board however is going up slightly to $9,500.

Tuition at another private school, Belmont Abbey College in Gaston County, dropped by $10,000 this year.