Defying trends, Utica College in upstate New York decides to slash tuition 42 percent

A small upstate New York private school says it is slashing its undergraduate tuition.

Utica College announced that tuition and fees will drop 42 percent next academic year to $19,996. Room and board will be reduced by 13 percent. With corresponding adjustments in financial aid levels, a student on average could save about $6,900 over four years.

Administrators at the central New York school say the "reset" of their published prices will provide a more sustainable long-run economic model for the college, but they stress their overall goal is to keep a college education within reach.

College affordability has emerged as high-profile issue as families and students face higher debt burdens. Utica College joins the ranks of small private colleges that have dramatically cut tuition in recent years.