Belmont Abbey College will drop its tuition from $27,622 a year to $18,500, beginning in fall 2013, the school announced Wednesday.
College officials said “tuition resets” are a national trend. But while many private schools are dropping costs to cope with slumping enrollment, they said, Belmont Abbey is at record enrollment with about 1,700 students. Two new dorms are opening in 2013 to accommodate growth.
“Our goal is increasing accessibility, not boosting enrollment,” college President William Thierfelder said in a news release. “Belmont Abbey College’s tuition reset 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.
“Over the past 25 years, average college tuition and fees in the United States has increased more than 440 percent,” Thierfelder said. “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.”
Belmont Abbey, a private Catholic college about 10 miles west of Charlotte in Gaston County, was founded by Benedictine monks in 1876.