Located in Dillon, the University of Montana–Western’s campus is somewhat remote. It’s surrounded by huge tracts of public land and is a recreational paradise. The area features top-flight skiing, fishing, horseback riding, hunting, and hiking opportunities. This small school has an all-undergraduate student population of just under 1,400. About 63% of students are female and 37% are male. Full-time students make up 83% of the population, while 17% attend only part-time.
Overview of University of Montana – Western
The school is the only public US university offering the Experience One (X1) block scheduling system. As per UMW’s website, “Students take one course at a time, three hours a day for 18 days, then move on to the next course. By concentrating on one course at a time, students can maximize their potential for success through Experience One.” Students still take the traditional four courses per semester, but learning is more concentrated.
All courses are also taught by professors, not graduate students. This allows students to receive a great deal of personal attention.
|School Type||primarily associate's, Public|
|Campus Setting||Town: Remote|
|Student Faculty Ratio||17:1|
Top Rankings For University of Montana – Western
#48 in Cheapest Colleges
#1 Most Affordable in Montana
University of Montana – Western Reviews
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|High School GPA||REQUIRED|
|High School Rank||REQUIRED|
|High School Transcripts||--|
|College Prep Courses||RECOMMENDED|
|TOEFL (Test of English as a Foreign Language)||--|
|Application Deadline||December 1|
|Common Application Accepted||No|
Tuition Cost & Financial Aid
For a recent academic year, in-state student tuition was just over $5,700, while out-of-state students paid closer to $17,200. This does not include room and board, which is available on campus for another $8,200. Roughly ¾ of students are in-state, Montana residents.
Approximately 85% of students received some form of financial aid in a recent year. About 73% received grants or scholarships and 58% of students took out student loans. With financial aid applied, what is left for the student to pay is called the net price. The average net price for a recent academic year was $13,519, though a student can expect to pay more or less depending on how much financial aid they apply and are eligible for.
|Average net price||2017-2018|
|Average Total Aid||$7,696|
|Students Receiving Financial Aid||89%|
|Room & Board||$8,184|
- Tuition In-State - $5,725
- Tuition Out-of-State - $17,187
- Books and Supplies - $700
- Room & Board - $8,184
- Other - $3,090
The UMW student-to-faculty ratio is solid at 15 to 1. The retention rate is 76% for full-time students and 14% for part-time students. The graduation rate is a bit low at 49%.
When doing your research about colleges and universities, you’ll want to check on certain metrics, as they can tell you how well the school supports their students. The retention rate refers to the number of first-time students who return to the same school the next year. Low retention rates can be a red flag, or may indicate that the school doesn’t offer much variety in their degree options. If transfer rates are high, students may be completing their general education courses and then transferring to finish a degree. Graduation rates refer to the percentage of first-time students gaining their degrees within 150% of the standard four years it takes to earn a bachelor’s degree.
Student Population Total
Most Popular Programs & Majors
(# of Diplomas Awarded by Subject)
|All Business Majors||43 Total Graduates / 16%|
|Business Administration and Management, General||43 Graduates|
|All Education Majors||122 Total Graduates / 46%|
|Elementary Education and Teaching||60 Graduates|
|Early Childhood Education and Teaching||30 Graduates|
|Physical Education Teaching and Coaching||14 Graduates|
|History Teacher Education||5 Graduates|
|English/Language Arts Teacher Education||4 Graduates|
|Agriculture, Agriculture Operations, and Related Sciences||16 Total Graduates / 6%|
|Equestrian/Equine Studies||16 Graduates|
|Biological And Biomedical Sciences||22 Total Graduates / 8%|
|Biology/Biological Sciences, General||15 Graduates|
|Parks, Recreation, Leisure, and Fitness Studies||15 Total Graduates / 6%|
|Health and Physical Education/Fitness, General||15 Graduates|
|All Other Diplomas||17%|
Outcome & Salary
The average early-career salary for University of Montana-Western graduates is $35,000 and by their mid-career the average salary is around $63,700. This is in comparison to the salaries of those who did not go to college and earn a degree, who earn a national average income of $37,960 annually.
Based on this average income, the return on investment (ROI) for UMW graduates is $440,000 in 10-year salary earnings potential. After 20 years, this ROI increases to around $1.077 million. For those who did not attend college, their 10-year projected income is 379,600 and their 20-year projected income is $759,200.
|College Grads Early Career Salary||$35,400|
|College Grads Average Salary||$44,000|
|College Grads Mid Career Salary||$63,700|
|Return on Investment (ROI)|
|10 Year Salary Earnings Potential||$440,000|
|20 Year Salary Earnings Potential||$1,077,000|
|Cost of Education (Net Price) 4 Year||$47,996|
|10 Year Projected ROI||$392,004|
|20 Year Projected ROI||$1,029,004|
|No Colleage Education Salary Comparison|
|National Average Salary||$37,960|
|10 Year Projected Income||$379,600|
|20 Year Projected Income||$759,200|
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