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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.

General Information

School Type primarily associate's, Public
Campus Setting Town: Remote
Campus Housing Yes
Student Faculty Ratio 17:1
Graduation Rate 45%
Year Founded 1893

Student Enrollment

Total Students1,508


Undergraduate Student

Male 543
Female 965

Graduate Student

Male NA
Female NA

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Male 312
Female 481


Male 178
Female 269

Acceptance Rate56%

Male 57%
Female 56%

Enrollment 266

Male 103
Female 163
Application Fee NA
High School Rank REQUIRED
High School Transcripts --
College Prep Courses RECOMMENDED
Recommendations --
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
Net Price $11,999
Average Total Aid $7,696
Students Receiving Financial Aid 89%
Room & Board $8,184

Sticker Price

  • 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

Student Population 1,508

Evening Classes : Yes
Online Learning : Yes

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
Ecology 7 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 $38,792 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 $775,840.

Graduates Salary
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 College Education Salary Comparison
National Average Salary $38,792
10 Year Projected Income $387,920
20 Year Projected Income $775,840

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