As enrollment falls and public skepticism grows, some colleges are cutting their prices

NEW LONDON, N.H. — Bright fall hues and neatly manicured lawns frame redbrick buildings and a white wooden church steeple on a peaceful New England main street with a view of the White Mountains in the distance.

It’s an unlikely setting for a high-stakes gamble that could help drive dramatic change to a contentious issue: how, and how much, Americans pay to get a higher education.

Colby-Sawyer College, a nearly 200-year-old institution that inhabits a campus in the heart of this bucolic scene, has announced that it will lower its tuition next year for undergraduates by 62 percent, from $46,364 to $17,500.

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