2022 best colleges in Montana

Students with a love for the outdoors and environmental conservation will find likeminded individuals at the flagship university of the University of Montana system, which offers programs like Wilderness Studies and Sustainable Livelihoods & Communities. The state’s largest university, Montana State University, earns just as much recognition for its leading research efforts as it does for its thriving party scene. Among the state’s two-year colleges is Stone Child College, a tribal institution committed to preserving Chippewa Cree language and culture.

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Net cost: The median annual cost of all students that receive any aid. This does not refer to the “sticker price”, the price listed by the college.

Earnings: The median earnings of all bachelor-level students 10 years after enrollment. This includes both students that do and do not graduate, across all majors.

Payback: The amount of time in years it takes to pay off the median net cost by the median earnings. For this calculation, the median earning of high school graduates (in the school’s home state) are deducted from the median earnings.

Earningsplus: The difference between the school’s median earnings and the median earnings for all schools in the same state.

Rankings: The ranking order is based on the economic score. The economic score is calculated using a school’s payback and earningsplus performance.

Net cost
Payback
Earnings
EarningsPlus
Rankings
Ranking methodology
#1 in Montana

Montana Technological University

Butte, Montana

Economic score: 2.61

The economic score is calculated using two factors: 1) how fast students are able to payback their educational investment with new earnings and 2) how much alumni earn compared to all alumni in the same state, 10 years after enrollment. These two factors are referred to as payback and earningsplus.

These scorings are based on the most recent data released by the U.S. Department of Education’s College Scorecard and the Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System (IPEDS).

View school
Net cost: $15,023

The median net cost of students who receive federal financial aid. This is lower than the price advertised by the school.

Payback: 2.9 years

Average time in years to pay back educational costs.

Earnings: $49,032

Median earnings of all students 10 years after enrollment. Includes students that did not graduate.

EarningsPlus: + $4,230

How much more/less money the median student earns against all bachelor students in the same state, same enrollment year.

Admission rate: 98%
Graduation rate: 57%

Schools with a graduation rate in the bottom 50% in their state are shown in red. Schools in the bottom 25% nationally are put to the end of the ranking list.

#2 in Montana

Carroll College

Helena, Montana

Economic score: 2.86

The economic score is calculated using two factors: 1) how fast students are able to payback their educational investment with new earnings and 2) how much alumni earn compared to all alumni in the same state, 10 years after enrollment. These two factors are referred to as payback and earningsplus.

These scorings are based on the most recent data released by the U.S. Department of Education’s College Scorecard and the Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System (IPEDS).

View school
Net cost: $23,726

The median net cost of students who receive federal financial aid. This is lower than the price advertised by the school.

Payback: 3.6 years

Average time in years to pay back educational costs.

Earnings: $57,154

Median earnings of all students 10 years after enrollment. Includes students that did not graduate.

EarningsPlus: + $12,352

How much more/less money the median student earns against all bachelor students in the same state, same enrollment year.

Admission rate: 74%
Graduation rate: 69%

Schools with a graduation rate in the bottom 50% in their state are shown in red. Schools in the bottom 25% nationally are put to the end of the ranking list.

#3 in Montana | #281 in National Universities

Montana State University

Bozeman, Montana

Economic score: 3.45

The economic score is calculated using two factors: 1) how fast students are able to payback their educational investment with new earnings and 2) how much alumni earn compared to all alumni in the same state, 10 years after enrollment. These two factors are referred to as payback and earningsplus.

These scorings are based on the most recent data released by the U.S. Department of Education’s College Scorecard and the Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System (IPEDS).

View school
Net cost: $19,202

The median net cost of students who receive federal financial aid. This is lower than the price advertised by the school.

Payback: 3.8 years

Average time in years to pay back educational costs.

Earnings: $49,066

Median earnings of all students 10 years after enrollment. Includes students that did not graduate.

EarningsPlus: + $4,264

How much more/less money the median student earns against all bachelor students in the same state, same enrollment year.

Admission rate: 81%
Graduation rate: 56%

Schools with a graduation rate in the bottom 50% in their state are shown in red. Schools in the bottom 25% nationally are put to the end of the ranking list.

#4 in Montana

Rocky Mountain College

Billings, Montana

Economic score: 4.12

The economic score is calculated using two factors: 1) how fast students are able to payback their educational investment with new earnings and 2) how much alumni earn compared to all alumni in the same state, 10 years after enrollment. These two factors are referred to as payback and earningsplus.

These scorings are based on the most recent data released by the U.S. Department of Education’s College Scorecard and the Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System (IPEDS).

View school
Net cost: $18,747

The median net cost of students who receive federal financial aid. This is lower than the price advertised by the school.

Payback: 4.3 years

Average time in years to pay back educational costs.

Earnings: $46,400

Median earnings of all students 10 years after enrollment. Includes students that did not graduate.

EarningsPlus: + $1,598

How much more/less money the median student earns against all bachelor students in the same state, same enrollment year.

Admission rate: 72%
Graduation rate: 48%

Schools with a graduation rate in the bottom 50% in their state are shown in red. Schools in the bottom 25% nationally are put to the end of the ranking list.

#5 in Montana | #336 in National Universities

The University of Montana

Missoula, Montana

Economic score: 4.59

The economic score is calculated using two factors: 1) how fast students are able to payback their educational investment with new earnings and 2) how much alumni earn compared to all alumni in the same state, 10 years after enrollment. These two factors are referred to as payback and earningsplus.

These scorings are based on the most recent data released by the U.S. Department of Education’s College Scorecard and the Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System (IPEDS).

View school
Net cost: $15,246

The median net cost of students who receive federal financial aid. This is lower than the price advertised by the school.

Payback: 4.2 years

Average time in years to pay back educational costs.

Earnings: $41,194

Median earnings of all students 10 years after enrollment. Includes students that did not graduate.

EarningsPlus: - $3,608

How much more/less money the median student earns against all bachelor students in the same state, same enrollment year.

Admission rate: 96%
Graduation rate: 45%

Schools with a graduation rate in the bottom 50% in their state are shown in red. Schools in the bottom 25% nationally are put to the end of the ranking list.

#6 in Montana

The University of Montana-Western

Dillon, Montana

Economic score: 5.08

The economic score is calculated using two factors: 1) how fast students are able to payback their educational investment with new earnings and 2) how much alumni earn compared to all alumni in the same state, 10 years after enrollment. These two factors are referred to as payback and earningsplus.

These scorings are based on the most recent data released by the U.S. Department of Education’s College Scorecard and the Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System (IPEDS).

View school
Net cost: $13,929

The median net cost of students who receive federal financial aid. This is lower than the price advertised by the school.

Payback: 4.5 years

Average time in years to pay back educational costs.

Earnings: $39,755

Median earnings of all students 10 years after enrollment. Includes students that did not graduate.

EarningsPlus: - $5,047

How much more/less money the median student earns against all bachelor students in the same state, same enrollment year.

Admission rate: 52%
Graduation rate: 48%

Schools with a graduation rate in the bottom 50% in their state are shown in red. Schools in the bottom 25% nationally are put to the end of the ranking list.

#7 in Montana

University of Providence

Great Falls, Montana

Economic score: 8.31

The economic score is calculated using two factors: 1) how fast students are able to payback their educational investment with new earnings and 2) how much alumni earn compared to all alumni in the same state, 10 years after enrollment. These two factors are referred to as payback and earningsplus.

These scorings are based on the most recent data released by the U.S. Department of Education’s College Scorecard and the Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System (IPEDS).

View school
Net cost: $22,096

The median net cost of students who receive federal financial aid. This is lower than the price advertised by the school.

Payback: 7.3 years

Average time in years to pay back educational costs.

Earnings: $39,417

Median earnings of all students 10 years after enrollment. Includes students that did not graduate.

EarningsPlus: - $5,385

How much more/less money the median student earns against all bachelor students in the same state, same enrollment year.

Admission rate: 99%
Graduation rate: 55%

Schools with a graduation rate in the bottom 50% in their state are shown in red. Schools in the bottom 25% nationally are put to the end of the ranking list.

Highlands College of Montana Tech

Butte, Montana

Economic score: 1.02

The economic score is calculated using two factors: 1) how fast students are able to payback their educational investment with new earnings and 2) how much alumni earn compared to all alumni in the same state, 10 years after enrollment. These two factors are referred to as payback and earningsplus.

These scorings are based on the most recent data released by the U.S. Department of Education’s College Scorecard and the Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System (IPEDS).

View school
Net cost: $10,284

The median net cost of students who receive federal financial aid. This is lower than the price advertised by the school.

Payback: 1.1 years

Average time in years to pay back educational costs.

Earnings: $49,032

Median earnings of all students 10 years after enrollment. Includes students that did not graduate.

EarningsPlus: + $4,230

How much more/less money the median student earns against all bachelor students in the same state, same enrollment year.

Admission rate: N/A
Graduation rate: 28%

Schools with a graduation rate in the bottom 50% in their state are shown in red. Schools in the bottom 25% nationally are put to the end of the ranking list.

Montana State University-Northern

Havre, Montana

Economic score: 3.46

The economic score is calculated using two factors: 1) how fast students are able to payback their educational investment with new earnings and 2) how much alumni earn compared to all alumni in the same state, 10 years after enrollment. These two factors are referred to as payback and earningsplus.

These scorings are based on the most recent data released by the U.S. Department of Education’s College Scorecard and the Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System (IPEDS).

View school
Net cost: $13,174

The median net cost of students who receive federal financial aid. This is lower than the price advertised by the school.

Payback: 3.3 years

Average time in years to pay back educational costs.

Earnings: $42,403

Median earnings of all students 10 years after enrollment. Includes students that did not graduate.

EarningsPlus: - $2,399

How much more/less money the median student earns against all bachelor students in the same state, same enrollment year.

Admission rate: N/A
Graduation rate: 42%

Schools with a graduation rate in the bottom 50% in their state are shown in red. Schools in the bottom 25% nationally are put to the end of the ranking list.

Montana State University Billings

Billings, Montana

Economic score: 5.01

The economic score is calculated using two factors: 1) how fast students are able to payback their educational investment with new earnings and 2) how much alumni earn compared to all alumni in the same state, 10 years after enrollment. These two factors are referred to as payback and earningsplus.

These scorings are based on the most recent data released by the U.S. Department of Education’s College Scorecard and the Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System (IPEDS).

View school
Net cost: $13,844

The median net cost of students who receive federal financial aid. This is lower than the price advertised by the school.

Payback: 4.5 years

Average time in years to pay back educational costs.

Earnings: $40,043

Median earnings of all students 10 years after enrollment. Includes students that did not graduate.

EarningsPlus: - $4,759

How much more/less money the median student earns against all bachelor students in the same state, same enrollment year.

Admission rate: N/A
Graduation rate: 35%

Schools with a graduation rate in the bottom 50% in their state are shown in red. Schools in the bottom 25% nationally are put to the end of the ranking list.