The University of New Orleans will begin offering in-state tuition to first-year, out-of-state students starting in the fall, provided those students meet certain academic performance standards.

UNO President Peter J. Fos, in a prepared statement, said the “Privateer First Year Scholarship” program will help the school “cast a wider net in attracting more high ability students from across the country and around the world.”

First-year, out-of-state students with a 2.5 grade-point average on a 4.0 scale, and who score at least a 23 out of 36 on the ACT or 1060 out of a possible 1600 on the math and verbal portions of the SAT standardized test, are eligible for the scholarship, he said.

The national average for the ACT is between 20 and 21, according to the testing service. The national average on the SAT is 1500.

Students have to earn a minimum cumulative grade-point average of 2.75 at the end of the academic year, and carry a full-time course load of at least 12 credit-hours per semester to remain eligible for the scholarship, Fos said.

While the program is an enrollment booster for UNO, students who meet the eligibility requirements will see significant savings from the scholarship program.

Full-time undergraduate students from Louisiana are paying $5,164 for the entire 2012-13 academic year, while full-year tuition for out-of-state students comes to $17,176.

Enrollment at UNO has dipped significantly from around 17,000 students before Hurricane Katrina in 2005, to 10,071 students registering in the fall of 2012.

The school also lost more than 800 students between 2011 and 2012 as state-mandated stricter admissions standards took effect.

UNO joined LSU, the University of Louisiana at Lafayette and Louisiana Tech University in 2012 as the first four schools prohibited from offering remedial courses to freshmen who weren’t quite ready for college-level coursework.

State higher education leaders said the tougher admissions standards are necessary as Louisiana transitions to a new model where college completion trumps college access.

UNO spokesman Adam Norris said the new tuition scholarship program is about “removing any barriers” possible when attracting talented students.

Brett Kemker, UNO’s vice president for student affairs and enrollment management, said the university is optimistic the program will lead to a significant jump in out-of-state students applying to the school.

“We anticipate that out-of-state students will see this as another reason to consider UNO and, after learning more about our academic programs, they will be more inclined to submit an application.”