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RALEIGH, NC (AP) – A small private college in Raleigh is lowering student tuition next year to attract students from middle-class families.

The News & Observer of Raleigh reported Wednesday that trustees at William Peace University voted to cut tuition by nearly 8 percent to almost $24,000 a year beginning next year. Room charges will stay the same and food charges will rise slightly.

Students were notified by email this week.

University president Debra Townsley says colleges have to become more cost effective to attract families hurt by the economy. Townsley says years of tuition increases at the country’s private colleges have priced out many middle-income students.

The 725-student university this year changed its name from Peace College and has decided to start admitting men next fall.

(Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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