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BELMONT, N.C. (AP) -- Belmont Abbey College says it's dropping its tuition beginning in fall 2013, a move school officials say is designed to increase accessibility to the school.

The school announced Wednesday that tuition will drop tuition from $27,622 a year to $18,500 a year.

School officials said that with 1,700 students, Belmont Abbey is at record enrollment. President William Thierfelder said in a news release that the decision to reduce tuition is a strategic move toward providing an outstanding private college education at an affordable price.

The college cited a College Board poll of college-bound seniors this year that found more than half had ruled out colleges on sticker price alone without considering potential financial aid.

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