Even before President Barack Obama announced plans last month to push colleges to improve affordability, a number of schools beat him to the punch by lowering tuition and helping students graduate in fewer semesters, Reuters reports. These schools--typically small private colleges like University of Charleston, Cabrini College and Midland University that lack the cachet of top-tier colleges and compete with less expensive state schools--are bucking the widespread trend of increasing costs. In the last year, a few have cut tuition by as much as 20 percent. Others promise that students will earn their degree in four years or the college...

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