BELMONT, N.C. -- Belmont Abbey College announced today it will drop its tuition from $27,622 a year to $18,500 beginning in fall 2013.

College officials said Belmont Abbey s reduction in tuition sticker price comes at a time of growth for the College that celebrated its highest traditional undergraduate enrollment ever in 2012.

Over the past 25 years, average college tuition and fees in the United States has increased more than 440 percent, said Belmont Abbey College President, Dr. William K. Thierfelder. At more than four times the rate of inflation, that s not sustainable for the average American family so it s time to reverse the trend.

Officials stated 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 awards.

While we may not be the first private institution to scale back tuition to close the gap between published tuition price and actual cost, our goal is increasing accessibility, not boosting enrollment, said Thierfelder. Belmont Abbey College s tuition reset is a strategic move toward providing an outstanding private college education at an affordable price.

Belmont Abbey was founded in 1876 and has a current enrollemnt of 1,700 students.

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