SPARTANBURG (AP) — Converse College has announced that it is cutting tuition by 43 percent in a move officials hope will make the Spartanburg school more affordable.

The liberal arts college said on Tuesday the cuts would go into effect starting with the 2014-15 academic year.

Current tuition is just more than $29,000 per year. The reduction would reset that figure to $16,500 per year, the school’s lowest rate since 2000.

Room and board costs are going up, from about $9,100 to $9,500, putting the total yearly cost for full-time undergraduate students at $26,000.

Converse president Betsy Fleming said the move came after more than a year-and-a-half of consideration that began when officials projected costs and realized that tuition, if left unchecked, would likely break the $50,000 mark in 10 years.

The change, Fleming said, should be encouraging for families looking to spend wisely. This year, the total cost to attend Converse College was about $38,000.

“The increases in the cost of living and the price of college have dramatically exceeded increases in family household income,” she said.

The final decision to follow through on the plan was not made until this spring. The board of trustees gave its unanimous approval last month.

Converse College cuts tuition to $16,500