College students with tight budgets have long been pushing for access to cheaper fares on Boston's transit system and it appears the MBTA might be ready to give it a try.

The T said Thursday it would test a new discounted fare system beginning next summer.

Middle and high school students currently can buy monthly passes for $26, less than half the actual cost. College students are also eligible for discounted semester passes.

Under the new Youth Pass program - which will initially be offered to about 1,500 riders - most young people between the ages of 12 and 21 would be eligible for the cheaper monthly passes as well as $7 weekly passes. College age students would have to show they are enrolled in classes or job training programs.