Last Updated: October 06, 2021
Montana - The Treasure State
The state of Montana is located in the western part of the United States. It is a landlocked region bordered by the states of Wyoming, Idaho, North Dakota, and South Dakota. Montana is a name derived from the Spanish word "montana" which means "Mountain". The population of the state is just over a million (1.09 million), which makes it one of the least densely populated states in the US. Helena is the state capital whereas Billings is the largest city in Montana. The overall climate in Montana is popular for being pleasant as this state generally never experiences any extreme temperature. It is mostly dry throughout the year and experiences warm, sunny summers and very cold and snowy winters. It is said that Montana's nights during summers are truly stunning with lovely clear skies, which is also one of the reasons why the state is also known as the "Big Sky Country".
Major Cities in Montana
With a population of about 110,000, Billings is the largest city in the state of Montana. It was founded in 1877 and is situated in Yellowstone County. Montana State University-Billings and Rocky Mountain College are major education centers located in this city. Finance and healthcare services are the major economic sectors in this city. Billings is also a major tourist destination. Popular attractions include Zimmerman Park, Moss Mansion, ZooMontana, Yellowstone Art Museum, DanWalt Gardens, Riverfront Park, Western Heritage Center, Yellowstone National Park, and a lot more.
Missoula has a population of around 74,000 which makes it the second-biggest city in Montana. Originally inhabited by the Salish Tribe, the city was founded in 1860. Missoula got its name from the Salish word "Nemissoolatakoo''. It is popularly known as the "Garden City'' because of several gardens, parks, and orchards seen here. One of the best institutions of higher education in the state, The University of Montana, is situated in this city. Popular sightseeing spots in Missoula are the Clark Fork Riverfront Trail, Smokejumper Visitor Center, Rattlesnake National Recreation Area, Caras Park, Historical Museum at Fort Missoula, etc.
Situated in Cascade County, Great Falls is the third-largest city in Montana. The city has an estimated population of around 59,000. The city is named so because of the presence of several waterfalls which are also a major source of hydroelectricity. This is why the city is also popularly called the "Electric City". The city is also home to the University of Great Falls. The River's Edge Trail, Giant Spring State Park, C.M. Russell Museum, Lewis and Clark Interpretive Center, First Peoples Buffalo Jump State Park, Crooked Falls, Rainbow Falls, and Black Eagle Falls, are some of the best sites to be explored in this city.
With a population of approximately 47,000, Bozeman is the fourth-largest city in the state of Montana. It was founded in the 1860s by John M. Bozeman, who discovered the Bozeman Trail. The presence of Montana State University makes Bozeman a major educational center. Popular tourist attractions in the city include Museum of the Rockies, Big Sky Resort & Bridger Bowl Ski Area, Custer Gallatin National Forest, American Computer & Robotics Museum, Gallatin History Museum, Montana Grizzly Encounter, Glen Lake Rotary Park, and so on.
- Some of the top fields in Montana are Health, Education, Insurance, and Energy. However, Montana's economy today still heavily relies on coal and oil mining.
- The state's major employers are Glacier Bancorp, Talen Montana, Fringe Benefit Resources, Billings Clinic, Benefis Hospitals, Iinnii Initiative, and so on.
- A huge chunk of the state's economy is also derived from Montana's abundance of grains, everything from rye and wheat, to barley, oats, sugar beets, and flaxseeds. There are also many microbreweries across the state.
- Being known for its diverse landscapes, Tourism is also a major sector in Montana. The Glacier National Park and Yellowstone National Park are popular destinations.
- The state's economy is gradually recovering from the major losses created by the COVID 19 pandemic, after the relaxation of the lockdown protocols. The unemployment rate of the state is 3.5% which is lesser than the nation's overall unemployment rate.
Tuition Fee and Living Cost in Montana
The cost of living in Montana is lower than the national average. The costs for housing and healthcare are slightly higher than the nation's average, whereas transportation costs are the cheapest. Whitefish, Bozeman, Manhattan, and Missoula are the most expensive cities to live in. The most affordable cities in Montana are Colstrip, Scobey, Chester, Harlowton, and Wolf Point.
Education costs are considerably cheap for in-state students in public institutions, especially with the help of several available scholarships. However, the cost of education for out-of-state students is higher than the national average. For instance, the tuition fee in Montana's top university, the Montana State University (Bozeman), the in-state fee is around $9,000 whereas the out-of-state fee is around $28,000.
List of Few Major Universities/Colleges
The top educational institutes in the Treasure State are:
- Montana State University This is the most prestigious institute of higher learning in Montana which is situated in the city of Bozeman. Founded in 1893, this public institution was originally called the Agricultural College of the State of Montana. The institution is well-known for its academic excellence, world-class faculty members, high research activity, and many scholarships. With around 19,000 students and more than 1,000 faculty members, the student-to-faculty ratio is 17:1. The tuition fee for in-state undergraduate students is about $9,000 and roughly $28,000 for out-of-state students.
- The University of Montana Situated in the city of Missoula, this is another renowned public institution of the state. It was founded in 1893 and is known for the best learning experience and scholarships. With nearly 14,000 students and more than 700 teachers, the student-to-faculty ratio is 18:1. Popular majors offered here are Liberal Arts and Humanities, Psychology, Business, and Marketing. The tuition fee for in-state undergraduate students is about $9,000 and roughly $29,000 for out-of-state students.
- Montana Tech of the University of Montana Founded in 1889, this public university is located in Butte. It was originally known as the Montana State School of Mines. In 1994, the university got affiliated with The University of Montana. The university is popular for its high research activity, student diversity, and excellent academic quality. The university has over 2,000 students, and the student-to-faculty ratio is 13:1. Some of the most sought-after majors in this institute are mostly related to engineering. The tuition fee for in-state undergraduate students is about $9,000 and around $25,000 for out-of-state students.
- Montana State University-Billings This is another renowned public university situated in the largest city in Montana, Billings. The university was founded in 1927 and was originally called the Eastern Montana Normal School, and Eastern Montana College of Education. It is popular for providing its students with the best learning environment, excellent faculty, and some of the best work-study opportunities. The university offers more than 100 academic degrees out of which Business, Nursing, and Education are the most popular majors. With about 6,000 students, the student-to-faculty ratio is 14:1. The tuition fee for in-state undergraduate students is about $7,000 and approximately $21,000 for out-of-state students.
Scholarships/Financial Aid for Students
- Montana University System (MUS) Honor Scholarship: This is a merit-based scholarship program initiated by the Montana University System. To be eligible for the program, the student must be a citizen of the United States, a permanent resident of Montana, and a high school graduate. Furthermore, the student must plan to pursue a degree from a 4-year accredited institution in Montana, secure a minimum score of 3.4 GPA, and secure the highest score in ACT or SAT. Along with the application form, the student is required to submit official transcripts, ACT/SAT scores and the college acceptance letter. The award amount is $5,000 per academic year.
- Montana's STEM/Healthcare Scholarship:This is a scholarship program that assists high school graduates who are planning to pursue a degree in fields related to science, technology, engineering, mathematics, and healthcare. To be qualified for the program, the student must be a permanent resident of Montana, a high school graduate with a minimum score of 3.25 GPA, complete the required duration of college prep for math and science in high school, and submit an attested Math and Science Certification page. The student must also plan to pursue the degree from an accredited four-year institution on a full-time basis, and maintain a minimum score of 3.0 GPA. The award amount will be up to $2,000 and may vary based on the academic year.
- 2 Plus 2 Honor Scholarship: This is another popular scholarship program offered by the Montana University System to assist students with an associate degree to transfer to a four-year institution. To be eligible for the program, the student must have an associate degree from an accredited institute, secured a minimum score of 3.4 GPA, enrolled at an accredited four-year institute, and is a permanent resident of Montana. Along with the application form, the student must submit the FAFSA, official transcripts, and the college acceptance letter. The award amount will vary based on the tuition amount of the institution the student has enrolled at.
- Horatio Alger Montana Scholarship: This is a scholarship program for students who need financial assistance, and have faced adversities in life. To be qualified for this scholarship, the student must be a US citizen, a legal resident of Montana, pursue an undergraduate degree from an accredited institution on a full-time basis, and secure a minimum score of 2.0 GPA. The institution must either be The University of Montana, Montana State University, or institutions affiliated with these two universities. Additionally, the student must also display qualities of leadership, perseverance, demonstrate the required level of economic need, and be actively involved in extracurricular activities. The award amount is $10,000 per academic year.
Montana is a veritable treasure trove of not just gold and silver deposits, but also a rich history as well as nature's bounty. It is a place that offers a variety of landscapes (mountains, plains, rivers, and more), flora, and fauna. Being a state with the most favorable climate, it is an ideal place to engage in many outdoor activities such as hiking, biking, skiing, boat-riding, climbing, camping, and of course, stargazing.
The most fascinating destinations in the "Treasure State" are the Glacier National Park, Lolo National Forest, Custer-Gallatin National Forest, Montana State Capitol, Yellowstone National Park, Lewis & Clark Trail, Museum of the Rockies, Lake McDonald, Blackfoot River, Gallatin River, Big Sky Resort, and several others.
Universities & Colleges in Montana
*UG - Undergraduate
*G - Graduate
*in - In-state Fees
*out - Out-of-State Fees
- Recommended program (Top 250)