This college has a creative plan to make tuition cheaper, and it could be a model for other struggling schools

A small Christian college in Indiana has a new tuition model that it claims can save students nearly $US45,000.

Grace College and Seminary first started making changes to its school in 2009 after seeing falling enrollment numbers, according to Chronicle of Higher Education reporter Beckie Supiano.

The main change was a three-year bachelor’s degree program. While the accelerated degree attracted more students, Grace still faced challenges and in 2013 began to consider more changes to keep the school afloat.

For the upcoming academic year, Supiano reports, Grace is debuting a new plan that includes “a modest tuition cut, free textbook rentals, and a price that drops for returning students each year as they progress through college.”

Explaining Grace’s unusual new pricing model, the college’s president told The Chronicle that the school thought, “if we’re doing something, let’s do it different.”

So far, it seems to be working. While the full program officially goes into effect this fall, The Chronicle reports that Grace’s enrollment stayed up after implementing the accelerated degree program, and student see excited by the new changes.

Here’s how Grace College’s new plan works, according to a video from the school:

A 9% tuition price cut will save more than $2,000 a year, the college estimates.

Grace also offers students free textbook rentals -- the part of the plan that current students liked the most, Katip told The Chronicle.

Grace deducts $500 from tuition each year, setting itself apart from other schools that raise tuition each year.

As increasing numbers of students transfer schools, Grace's policy might help convince them to stick around campus and finish their degree.

These three changes follow Grace's previous shift in 2009 towards accelerated bachelor's degrees.

Students save a significant chunk of money by not paying for a fourth year.

According to The Chronicle, Grace's accelerated degree program is set up to push students towards one of the college's master's degrees. This way, Grace still sees money from a fourth year of tuition.

In total, Grace estimates that students can save nearly $45,000 -- including $8,800 from reduced tuition, $4,800 from free textbooks, $3,000 from yearly decreases, and $22,450 from an accelerated degree.

You can watch the full Grace College 'Game Changer' video below:

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