Students at Lamar State Colleges in Orange, Port Arthur and Beaumont will pay substantially lower tuition and fees starting this fall.

State Rep. Dade Phelan, who led the fight to increase funding for the two-year colleges, was joined by LSC Orange President Thomas Johnson and the other schools’ leaders to announce the tuition cut Wednesday morning in Beaumont.

”Cutting tuition by 25 percent, that’s unheard of,” Johnson said. “this is huge.”

The recently approved state budget provides an additional $17.3 million to narrow the funding gap between the Lamar State Colleges, which receive no local tax revenue, and community colleges.

Full-time students will pay standard tuition and fees of $1,995 at all three colleges — roughly the same price as 2009.

The fee for dual-credit courses is being reduced from $75-$110 per semester credit hour to $50 per credit hour.