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Montana Scholarships and Financial Aid

Grants, Student Loans, & Fellowships

Montana is called The Treasure State for its vast amount of treasures. Glacier and Yellowstone National Parks provide just some of the many natural treasures in Montana. Ranches, cowboys, horses, buffalos, bears, and antelope-filled prairies are some of the other wonders of Montana. Students attending any one of the 21 post-secondary institutions in Montana will be able to enjoy these natural jewels and more. If you are attending or planning to attend a university or college in Montana, you may be eligible to receive financial assistance from the U.S. Government, the State of Montana, individual universities and colleges, and in-state professional groups and foundations.

Narrowing Down Montana Scholarships and Financial Aid Programs

You can pretty much narrow Montana scholarships and financial aid down to four groups:

  • Federal financial aid—grants and loans
  • Montana state financial aid—grants, scholarships, loans, and waivers
  • Montana university- and college-supported financial aid—scholarships
  • Other financial aid—scholarships

Federal Financial Aid for Montana Students

The U.S. Government assists students with financial need by providing grants and low-interest loans. If you think you may qualify, file a Free Application for Federal Student Aid. The FAFSA opens on January 1 the year before the year you are planning to use the aid. The national deadline for the FAFSA is usually June 30 the year you use the aid. The Montana state deadline for the FAFSA is March 1, by midnight, Central Standard Time. Your individual university or college may also have its own FAFSA deadline. Check with your financial aid/scholarship office to make sure you don’t miss it.

Federal financial aid programs are offered through your school’s financial aid/scholarship office. Financial aid officers decide how much money you need depending on the information you report in your FAFSA. You can choose to accept as much as you want or need.

Montana State Financial Aid

Montana provides state-supported programs to assist their students. Only institutions in the Montana University System, public community colleges, and tribal colleges are eligible for Montana state grants.

Here is a list of available Montana scholarship and grant programs:

Montana University System Honor Scholarship

This 4-year program waives tuition for students at one of the Montana University System institutions or at Flathead Valley Community College in Kalispell, Miles Community College in Miles City or Dawson Community College in Glendive. To be eligible students must have a 3.4 GPA by the fall term of their senior year and must have an ACT or SAT score on file by February 15. Applications are available from your high school.

Governor’s “Best and Brightest” Scholarship
This Montana financial aid program was designed to support students who have high academic achievement and/or financial need. Only residents of Montana are eligible to receive awards. For merit-based scholarships, students must have a minimum 3.0 GPA and a minimum ACT score of 20 or SAT score of 1440. Applicants need to file a FAFSA to qualify. Applications are available in January and are due March 1.

The Community College Honor Scholarship
Students from Dawson, Flathead Valley and Miles Community Colleges are eligible to apply for this scholarship to help finance their continued education at a Montana University System campus. The president and faculty of each community college will nominate recipients.

Montana Higher Education Grant
Montana students with financial need are eligible for this grant. File a FAFSA to qualify.

Montana Tuition Assistance Program
The MTAP program matches the Federal Special Leveraging Educational Assistance Program (SLEAP) for students who have financial need. Qualified students can have a maximum Expected Family Contribution (EFC) of $7,231.

Tuition & Fee Waivers for Montana Students
Montana financial aid also comes in the form of fee waivers for students. Waivers waive fees so students pay no fees while going to school. For application procedures, please contact the Montana Guaranteed Loan Program. Here is a list of them:

American Indian Fee Waiver
Students who are three quarters (3/4) American Indian and have financial need are eligible to receive this waiver.

Honorably Discharged Veteran Fee Waiver
Residents of Montana who have been honorably discharged from any American War are eligible to receive this waiver.

War Orphans Fee Waiver
Students 25 years old and under whose parents died in action or from injury or disability during World War II, the Korean War, Vietnam War, or the Iraq or Afghanistan conflicts are eligible for this waiver.

Senior Citizen Fee Waiver
This waiver is offered to Montana residents who are 65 years or older.

Faculty and Staff Tuition Waiver
Permanent staff who are employed at least three fourths (3/4) time are eligible for this waiver.

Montana University and College Scholarships

Individual universities and colleges in Montana provide scholarships for their students. Scholarships may be based on merit, need, leadership/community service, special talent, major, ethnic background, or any combination of these things. Merit-based scholarships are usually offered through a school’s admissions office, so all you have to do is submit your application for admission. Scholarships that are based on any other criteria usually require a separate application. Check with your financial aid/scholarships office for specific application procedures.

Other Scholarships in Montana

If you still have unmet need, there are many scholarships offered by professional groups and foundations in Montana.

Montana Community Foundation
The Foundation offers about 50 scholarships to Montana students. Scholarships are based on need and merit. Please see the foundation website for current information.

Montana Cattlewomen, Inc. Scholarship
Montana students who are from a Montana home and are at least a sophomore may qualify for this scholarship. Students who are majoring in a program related to the livestock industry will have preference. Please refer to website or call (406)442-3420 for more information.

Montana Cattlemen’s Association
The Swede Schlesinger awards $2,500 (renewable up to 3 years with a 3.0 GPA) to a student who has high academic achievement and is involved in the cattle industry. Swede Schlesinger was a former president of the association and a rancher. Click here or call the association at (406) 259-5433 for an application.

Montana Roofing Contractors Association Scholarship
Members of the association or their immediate family are eligible to receive $400 scholarships. Applicants must be attending an accredited post-secondary institution full-time. Please refer to the association website for current applications.

Montana Broadcasters Association Scholarship
The association offers three scholarships to students attending the UM College of Technology-Helena, the University of Montana-Missoula and Montana State University-Bozeman. Please refer to the association website for further information on individual scholarships and applications.

Association of Montana Troopers (AMT) Scholarships
The association offers a $1,000 scholarship to children of Montana highway patrol officers and police officers and one scholarship for AMT members who are on active duty or who are retired. Students may apply up to four times. A $1,000 scholarship is available to students seeking a degree in criminal justice at a Montana post-secondary institution. Please refer to the association website for applications.

A Few Things to Remember About Montana Scholarships and Financial Aid

  • The Montana FAFSA deadline is March 1, by midnight Central Daylight Time. Most students file online now, but if you are filing by paper application, make sure you postmark your application that day.
  • Besides scholarships and grants, Montana offers five types of waivers. Check to see if you qualify for any of them.
  • Montana in-state organizations or chapters of organizations offer many scholarships to students. Your local community foundation may also offer scholarship funds provided by individuals in your community. Check locally first before seeking nation-wide or state-wide scholarships.

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