Deciding to go to college is one of the most exciting and life-changing decisions you’ll make in your lifetime. It can also be nerve-racking—the hefty price of higher education is too high and many students need help paying for a college education.  

But the state of Ohio’s only public historically black college or university (HBCU) is turning to affordability to meet those challenges head on.  

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Central State University, founded in 1887 and originally located with nearby Wilberforce University, recently announced that new and incoming students will pay a dramatically lower price to attend the black college starting this fall. Central State will lower the out-of-state surcharge by as much as 76 percent, according to the school website. This is incredible.

“For a subset of new and returning students from counties outside of Ohio (Wayne, MI, Cook, IL and Marion, IN), the new rate will go into effect Fall 2017, when the surcharge waiver agreements expire June 2017,” the statement read. “All other full-time, out-of-state continuing students returning Fall 2016 will see the greatest change in the cost-of-attendance as a result of the new surcharge structure.  The surcharge cost will be reduced to $100 annually through graduation.”

“Many out-of-state students become residents of Ohio because of internships and employment opportunities,” said Dr. Stephanie Krah, Vice President for Student Affairs and Enrollment Management. “The goal of the surcharge reduction is to make college more affordable for students who attend Central State.”

In 2015, Cleveland.com had rank Central State the least expensive public college in the state of Ohio. “This is the latest of several ongoing initiatives that the University is implementing to address affordability and reduce time to degree,” according to the school website.

That year the school also launched a campaign called “15 x 8 = Graduation” to try to boost its completion rate. The campaign encourages CSU students to take at least 15 credit hours per semester. The school says that this will help its students to complete college within four years.