Accredited Schools & Colleges in Montana

Montana College Guide – What You Need to Know

Best Colleges & Universities in Montana

Montana is a state of great big skies and great colleges and universities. Despite a sparse population, there are colleges and universities to suit any academic need. You can study at a major research university or a smaller liberal arts college, and anything in-between. Since Montana is part of the Western Undergraduate Exchange (WUE), you can even attend public colleges and universities in other cooperating states without incurring out-of-state tuition. If you only consider the addition of Washington State and California, you're already including a huge number of extra opportunities. Even if Montana does not currently support your academic goals, being a Montanan allows you access to absolutely any major or concentration you can think of.

What are the most popular bachelor's degrees offered in Montana?

Montana's most popular bachelor's degrees track pretty well with what students are demanding elsewhere in the United States' economy. You can see a definite Montanan flavor, though, when you consider that Land Use Planning is an area of intense study for the state's students. The state's students are also interested in Health Sciences, communication, and business, all of which are ably covered by universities in the state.

Not only are the most popular majors available, however. Montana colleges and universities offer a broad spectrum for eager minds. Seek out the field of study that speaks to you the strongest. Even if you don't see a clear career path stemming from a degree, remember that people rarely end up with careers that directly reflect their majors. Here are Montana's top five majors:

The top degrees in Montana include:

How Much Can You Make by Having a Degree in Montana

$27,040* $37,024* $43,472* $60,996* $72,852* $90,636*

Cost of Montana College Education & Salaries

Education is expensive, so it's important to do a cost analysis prior to enrolling in a school. In order to gain a full grasp of the issue, you first need to determine what career path you wish to pursue, and its starting, or average salary. Once you have that information, you can begin to look at the financial reality of the situation.

With a firm grasp on your career intentions, you can assess the colleges that will help you build a foundation to support those dreams. You might find several schools that offer the degree you need, and you'll see that their fees have a range. Assess the top schools' tuition rates versus how much their alumni have been earning.

You should also consider restraining your first-choice schools to those where you can pay in-state tuition. Since you are in Montana, you can choose public universities in Washington, the Dakotas, Oregon, California, Arizona, Colorado, and any state that is part of the WICHE region. Though other states may charge more, or less, for their in-state students, you will avoid the exorbitant out-of-state fees you'd find in another state. In a non-WICHE state, you might pay three times the in-state tuition.

It's also beneficial to look at how a community college can play a role in your education. You can complete most of your core curriculum for a reduced price and receive equal instruction. Review the requirements for your major and for your intended alma mater's core curriculum to determine what classes you should take at a community college. Be certain that your courses will transfer to the four-year institution of your choice so that you don't have to pay for the same course again.

Finally, consider adding scholarships and grants to your payment scheme. There are many scholarships that go unclaimed every year. They might not offer more than, say, $500, but every little bit helps. Also consider whether or not you could participate in federal loan forgiveness programs. To qualify, you will likely need to work in the non-profit or public sector until you have worked off your debt. However, you'll gain valuable experience while never paying a cent of interest on your loans.

College Cost Analysis - Montana vs National

Average Montana Tuition & Fees at 4 Year Public Schools

In-State Tuition - $5,400

National – $10,000

Out-of-State – $17,257

National out-of-state – $25,600

Percentage of Students Receiving Financial Aid

Financial Aid Montana Nationally
Received Federal Grants 39% 37.7%
Average $ per Recipient $9,700 $10,927

* Institutional aid represents grant and scholarship funds directly awarded by a postsecondary institution.
* Financial aid data represents 4-year public and private nonprofit schools only.

Montana College Tuition Costs Vs Salary Potential

Helping You Maximize Your Education Earnings

Montana Colleges Tuition & Fees In-State Tuition & Fees Out-Of-State Books & Supplies Room & Board Campus Room & Board Off Campus Graduation Rate Undergrads Median Salary
Carroll College $34,500 $34,500 $1,300 $9,600 $9,600 65% $45,900
Montana State University $7,100 $24,100 $1,400 $9,300 $9,300 53% $43,200
Montana State University-Northern $5,800 $18,200 $1,200 $6,500 $7,500 46% $38,800
Helena College University of Montana $3,200 $8,800 $1,400 n/a $6,700 26% $38,900
The University of Montana $7,100 $24,900 $1,400 $9,200 $9,200 45% $35,500
Montana State University-Billings $5,800 $18,700 $1,570 $7,800 $7,800 25% $34,600
University of Providence $24,400 $24,400 $1,000 $8,500 $7,900 35% $32,500
The University of Montana-Western $5,500 $16,700 $900 $7,900 $7,800 42% $30,400
Great Falls College Montana State University $3,300 $9,800 $1,400 n/a $7,200 17% $31,100

**Salary after attending is a median salary, your degree and field can affect your median salary.

Best Scholarships for Montana

Scholarships and Grants can be a huge help when it comes time to pay tuition, course fees, and your book bill. There are even some scholarships that you can apply towards travel or room and board. Though many only pay a small fraction of a year's bill, you can always put the award on your resume.

  • MBAS
  • HTLS
  • HAMS


Montana Broadcasters Association Scholarships

Amount: varies
Deadline: February 28
If you have an interest in broadcasting, the MBA offers a wide range of scholarships. You must be majoring in journalism, broadcasting, media, advertising, engineering, or some related field, have exemplary academic qualifications, and perhaps experience in the field. Some of their scholarships are region-specific, while others focus on students from diverse backgrounds. Check their website for more.



Montana Society of Certified Public Accountants Helena Chapter - Scholarships

Amount: $1,000 (7 Awards)
Deadline: March 18
Though this scholarship is open to any accounting student, preference is given to members of the Montana Society of Certified Public Accountants Helena Chapter. You must be an accounting major, or graduate student, with a cumulative GPA of at least 3.0. Qualifying accounting programs can be found at: MSU Billings, Carroll College, MSU Bozeman, University of Montana, and Montana Tech.


Hungry to Lead Scholarship

Amount: $1,700 (Average)
Deadline: July 1
This scholarship is awarded to outstanding culinary students. You must be a full-time student in a culinary department, display leadership qualities, and have a minimum 2.5 cumulative GPA, and a 1050 SAT or 18 ACT score.



Horatio Alger Montana Scholarship

Amount: $10,000
Deadline: October 25
To qualify, you must have a cumulative GPA of 2.0 or greater, demonstrate financial need, and show interest and experience in community service. Students should also show how they have overcome obstacles and still have managed to thrive. The Horatio Alger Award seeks students of integrity, moral character, and determination.


Lawrence W. and Francis W. Cox Scholarship

Amount: Various
Deadline: February 10
This scholarship is awarded to an engineering student who is working on an ABET-accredited program. The funds, the amount of which is determined each year, will be credited to your student account to cover tuition or related expenses.