BUFFALO, N.Y. — Canisius College is dropping its tuition by 23 percent as the school tries to battle declining enrollment, officials announced on Tuesday. Tuition will decrease by $8000/year from about $35,000 to $27,000 for the 2018-19 academic year. That matches the cost of tuition ten years ago. The college is also reducing room and board by $2,000 annually.

Canisius President John Hurley says the school has about 500 fewer undergraduate students than it did in 2011, and he believes the high sticker price of their private education is a big reason why.

"It holds the prospect of increased enrollment,” Hurley said. “That there will be more families and students who will take a look at Canisius and see how this education might be affordable for them."

Hurley also says competition from New York State's Excelsior Scholarship program has affected enrollment this year. The program offers free tuition to SUNY schools for those families with an annual income of less than $100,000 this year. The cap will jump to $125,000 in 2019. Canisius had 50 fewer freshmen than projected in this year’s class after the plan began this year.