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2021 Best Colleges for the Money (With Aid) in Montana

10 Colleges
$18,016 Avg Cost (With Aid)*
4.5 Years Avg Time to Graduate*

With all of the options you have for higher education today, it can be tough to choose which direction to take. Our mission at College Factual is to arm you with as much information as we can to help you make that decision. Our Best Montana Schools For The Money For Those Getting Aid ranking is one tool we have developed to help in this regard.

Our analysis looked at 10 schools to determine which ones were the best for overall value for the money with aid in Montana. This ranking doesn't just identify the colleges with the lowest costs. Rather, it highlights those institutions that offer excellent educational experiences for a lower cost than other schools of roughly the same caliber. Because of this, it is possible for one college to rank better than another, even if the latter college has a lower average cost.

Learn more about our ranking methodology.

When determining average cost, we look at total expenses, such as tuition, fees, books and supplies, room and board, and other living expenses, and then deduct the average amount of financial aid awarded to a student. This estimate is meant to give you a better picture of how much money you'll have to pay each year, either through self-pay, loans, or external scholarships.

One Size Does Not Fit All

We know that one set of rankings doesn't always help you determine the best school for you, so we've created the ability to narrow your list by location and field of study as well as alternative rankings that prioritize different factors, such as those of importance to veterans and returning adults or those seeking diversity and overall quality.

One of our other unique offerings is College Combat. This tool lets you build your own customized comparisons utilizing the factors that are most important to you. If you're torn between two schools, you can use it to help you see how they stack up against one another!

Top Colleges for the Money (With Aid) in Montana

Learn more about these excellent schools below:

#1

Salish Kootenai College

Pablo, Montana

Our 2021 rankings named Salish Kootenai College the best school for overall value for the money with aid in Montana for students working on their bachelor’s degree. Located in Pablo, Montana, the small public school awarded 49 diplomas to qualifed bachelor’s degree students in 2018-2019.

It takes the average student at SKC about 4.2 years to graduate, and the average full-time cost to attend the school for students who receive aid is around $11,244. When we combine these numbers, we estimate that the cost to get a bachelor’s degree from SKC is $47,000. Graduating sooner can prevent you from having to pay more money out of pocket.

The impressive student-to-faculty rate of 9 to 1 means that students may have more opportunities to work more closely with their professors than they would at other schools. In addition to its best value ranking, and one of the reasons why the school is on the list, SKC is ranked #4 for overall quality in Montana.

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You’ll be in good company if you decide to attend Montana Tech of the University of Montana. It ranked #2 on our 2021 Best Value Colleges in Montana list. Montana Tech is a small public school situated in Butte, Montana. It awarded 453 bachelor’s degrees in 2018-2019.

It takes about 4.8 years for the average student at Montana Tech to complete their degree, and on average, the annual cost to attend the school is $16,354 for students who receive aid. This means that the average student pays around $77,682 to get a bachelor’s degree from Montana Tech. Graduating sooner can prevent you from having to pay more money out of pocket.

Montana Tech did well in our quality rankings, too. It placed #3 on our Best Colleges in Montana list.

Full Montana Tech of the University of Montana Report

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#3

Montana State University

Bozeman, Montana

Out of the 10 schools in Montana that were part of this year’s ranking, Montana State University landed the #3 spot on the list. MSU Bozeman is a public institution located in Bozeman, Montana. The school has a fairly large population, and it awarded 2,551 bachelor’s degrees in 2018-2019.

It takes about 4.7 years for the average student at MSU Bozeman to complete their degree, and the estimated yearly cost for the school is $18,204 for students who receive aid. This makes the estimated cost of a bachelor’s degree from MSU Bozeman be around $84,649. When you graduate sooner, you can save a lot of money.

MSU Bozeman also made our Best Colleges in Montana list, coming in at #2.

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You’ll be in good company if you decide to attend The University of Montana - Western. It ranked #4 on our 2021 Best Value Colleges in Montana list. Located in Dillon, Montana, the small public school handed out 264 bachelor’s degrees in 2018-2019.

It takes about 4.6 years for the average student at The University of Montana - Western to complete their degree, and on average, the annual cost to attend the school is $12,050 for students who receive aid. This makes the estimated cost of a bachelor’s degree from The University of Montana - Western be around $55,068. The sooner a student graduates, the more money they can save.

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#5

The University of Montana

Missoula, Montana

You’ll be in good company if you decide to attend The University of Montana. It ranked #5 on our 2021 Best Value Colleges in Montana list. This fairly large public school is located in Missoula, Montana, and it awarded 1,614 bachelor’s degrees in 2018-2019.

It takes the average student at University of Montana about 4.5 years to graduate, and the average full-time cost to attend the school for students who receive aid is around $16,071. This means that the average student pays around $72,962 to get a bachelor’s degree from University of Montana. When students graduate in a lesser amount of time, they can save thousands of dollars.

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Montana State University - Northern came in at #6 in this year’s edition of the Best Colleges for the Money in Montana ranking. Located in Havre, Montana, the small public school awarded 141 diplomas to qualifed bachelor’s degree students in 2018-2019.

It takes the average student at Montana State University - Northern about 4.5 years to graduate, and it costs students who receive aid about $12,795 per year to attend the school. Thus, the average cost to get a bachelor’s degree from the Montana State University - Northern is $57,578. The sooner a student graduates, the more money they can save.

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#7

Carroll College

Helena, Montana

Carroll College ranked #7 on this year’s Best Colleges for the Money in Montana list. Carroll Montana is located in Helena, Montana and has a small student population. In 2018-2019, this school awarded 363 bachelor’s degrees to qualified undergradutates.

At Carroll Montana, the average time it takes a student to graduate is 4.3 years, and the estimated yearly cost for the school is $28,238 for students who receive aid. Putting this cost and the average time to graduate together, we find that the average amount you’ll pay to get a bachelor’s degree from Carroll Montana is $121,423. Graduating sooner can prevent you from having to pay more money out of pocket.

The low student loan default rate of 2.3% is a good sign that students have an easier time paying off their loans than they might at other schools. For comparison, the national default rate is 10.1%. Carroll Montana did well in our quality rankings, too. It placed #1 on our Best Colleges in Montana list.

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With a ranking of #8, Montana State University - Billings did quite well on the 2021 Best Colleges for the Money in Montana list. Montana State University - Billings is a small public school situated in Billings, Montana. It awarded 439 bachelor’s degrees in 2018-2019.

The average amount of time it takes for a student to receive their degree at Montana State University - Billings is 4.7 years, and it costs students who receive aid about $15,046 per year to attend the school. When we combine these numbers, we estimate that the cost to get a bachelor’s degree from Montana State University - Billings is $71,168. The sooner a student graduates, the more money they can save.

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#9

Rocky Mountain College

Billings, Montana

Rocky Mountain College did quite well in the 2021 Best Value Colleges in Montana ranking, coming in at #9. Billings, Montana is the setting for this small institution of higher learning. The private not-for-profit school handed out bachelor’s degrees to 245 students in 2018-2019.

It takes the average student at Rocky about 4.4 years to graduate, and it costs students who receive aid about $22,748 per year to attend the school. This makes the estimated cost of a bachelor’s degree from Rocky be around $100,774. The sooner a student graduates, the more money they can save.

The student loan default rate at the school is 4.8%, which is quite low when compared to the national default rate of 10.1%. Rocky also made our Best Colleges in Montana list, coming in at #5.

Full Rocky Mountain College Report

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#10

University of Providence

Great Falls, Montana

University of Providence came in at #10 in this year’s edition of the Best Colleges for the Money in Montana ranking. University of Providence is a small private not-for-profit school situated in Great Falls, Montana. It awarded 286 bachelor’s degrees in 2018-2019.

It takes about 4.4 years for the average student at University of Providence to complete their degree, and the yearly average cost to attend the school is $27,411 for students who receive aid. Looking at these numbers together, we estimate that the average cost of a bachelor’s degree from University of Providence is about $120,883. The sooner a student graduates, the more money they can save.

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Best Colleges in the Rocky Mountains Region

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Notes and References

Footnotes

*These averages are for the top 10 schools only.

  • For our state-specific rankings, we use in-state tuition to calculate average cost. For our national and regional rankings, we use a weighted average of in-state and non-resident tuition.

References

  • The Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System (IPEDS) from the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES), a branch of the U.S. Department of Education (DOE) serves as the core of our data about colleges.
  • Some other college data, including much of the graduate earnings data, comes from the U.S. Department of Education’s (College Scorecard).
  • Information about the national average student loan default rate is from the U.S. Department of Education and refers to data about the 2016 borrower cohort tracking period for which the cohort default rate (CDR) was 10.1%.

More about our data sources and methodologies.

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