Best Value Colleges in Montana

Montana is not only one of the most beautiful states in the country, it’s home to some surprisingly good college values. The College ROI Report for Montana helps students and their parents determine which Montana colleges and universities offer the highest return on investment for their educational dollars.

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Rank 
School Name 
Annual ROI
 
20 Year ROI annualized to represent the % of expected ROI received each year after graduation.
Annual ROI
 
20 Year ROI annualized to represent the % of expected ROI received each year after graduation.
Annual ROI
 
20 Year ROI annualized to represent the % of expected ROI received each year after graduation.
Annual ROI
 
20 Year ROI annualized to represent the % of expected ROI received each year after graduation.
20 Year Net ROI
 
Difference between 20 Year Median Pay for a bachelor’s grad and 24 Year Median Pay for a high school grad minus Total 4 Year Cost.
20 Year Net ROI
 
Difference between 20 Year Median Pay for a bachelor’s grad and 24 Year Median Pay for a high school grad minus Total 4 Year Cost.
20 Year Net ROI
 
Difference between 20 Year Median Pay for a bachelor’s grad and 24 Year Median Pay for a high school grad minus Total 4 Year Cost.
20 Year Net ROI
 
Difference between 20 Year Median Pay for a bachelor’s grad and 24 Year Median Pay for a high school grad minus Total 4 Year Cost.
Total 4 Year Cost
 
Full cost, including tuition & fees, room & board, and books & supplies. Actual net cost may vary based on a student’s academic success and family income. Source: IPEDS
Total 4 Year Cost
 
Full cost, including tuition & fees, room & board, and books & supplies. Actual net cost may vary based on a student’s academic success and family income. Source: IPEDS
Graduation Rate
 
% of full-time, first-time degree seeking undergrad students who began their studies at the given school and graduate within 6 years. Source: IPEDS
Typical Years to Graduate
 
# of years it takes for at least 65 percent of graduates from a given school to receive their diplomas. Source: IPEDS
Average Loan Amount
 
Received by full-time, first-time degree seeking undergrad students, multiplied to represent amount over four years. Includes all Title IV loans and all institutionally- and privately-sponsored student loans. Source: IPEDS
% Grant Money Received
 
% of full-time, first-time undergrads who received local, state, federal, or institutional grant aid in the 2012-2013 academic year. Source: IPEDS
111.7%11.7%13.8%13.8%$634,000$634,000$658,000$658,000$77,400$77,40046%5$21,20022%
1Montana Tech of the University of Montana(In-State)
Annual ROI11.7%
Annual ROI11.7%
Annual ROI13.8%
Annual ROI13.8%
20 Year Net ROI$634,000
20 Year Net ROI$634,000
20 Year Net ROI$658,000
20 Year Net ROI$658,000
Total 4 Year Cost$77,400
Total 4 Year Cost$77,400
Grad Rate46%
Time to Graduate5
Loan Amt$21,200
Grant Money Received22%
28.9%8.9%10.0%10.0%$583,000$583,000$606,000$606,000$129,000$129,00046%5$21,20022%
2Montana Tech of the University of Montana(Out-of-State)
Annual ROI8.9%
Annual ROI8.9%
Annual ROI10.0%
Annual ROI10.0%
20 Year Net ROI$583,000
20 Year Net ROI$583,000
20 Year Net ROI$606,000
20 Year Net ROI$606,000
Total 4 Year Cost$129,000
Total 4 Year Cost$129,000
Grad Rate46%
Time to Graduate5
Loan Amt$21,200
Grant Money Received22%
39.0%9.0%10.9%10.9%$369,000$369,000$393,000$393,000$79,800$79,80053%5$26,90022%
3Montana State University(In-State)
Annual ROI9.0%
Annual ROI9.0%
Annual ROI10.9%
Annual ROI10.9%
20 Year Net ROI$369,000
20 Year Net ROI$369,000
20 Year Net ROI$393,000
20 Year Net ROI$393,000
Total 4 Year Cost$79,800
Total 4 Year Cost$79,800
Grad Rate53%
Time to Graduate5
Loan Amt$26,900
Grant Money Received22%
46.0%6.0%7.0%7.0%$309,000$309,000$333,000$333,000$140,000$140,00053%5$26,90022%
4Montana State University(Out-of-State)
Annual ROI6.0%
Annual ROI6.0%
Annual ROI7.0%
Annual ROI7.0%
20 Year Net ROI$309,000
20 Year Net ROI$309,000
20 Year Net ROI$333,000
20 Year Net ROI$333,000
Total 4 Year Cost$140,000
Total 4 Year Cost$140,000
Grad Rate53%
Time to Graduate5
Loan Amt$26,900
Grant Money Received22%
54.8%4.7%7.7%7.6%$214,000$212,000$273,000$271,000$138,000$140,00031%5$35,10034%
5University of Great Falls(Private)
Annual ROI4.8%
Annual ROI4.7%
Annual ROI7.7%
Annual ROI7.6%
20 Year Net ROI$214,000
20 Year Net ROI$212,000
20 Year Net ROI$273,000
20 Year Net ROI$271,000
Total 4 Year Cost$138,000
Total 4 Year Cost$140,000
Grad Rate31%
Time to Graduate5
Loan Amt$35,100
Grant Money Received34%
66.5%6.4%8.0%7.9%$189,000$188,000$209,000$207,000$75,700$76,80045%5$24,40039%
6The University of Montana(In-State)
Annual ROI6.5%
Annual ROI6.4%
Annual ROI8.0%
Annual ROI7.9%
20 Year Net ROI$189,000
20 Year Net ROI$188,000
20 Year Net ROI$209,000
20 Year Net ROI$207,000
Total 4 Year Cost$75,700
Total 4 Year Cost$76,800
Grad Rate45%
Time to Graduate5
Loan Amt$24,400
Grant Money Received39%
76.7%6.4%8.6%8.2%$175,000$171,000$194,000$190,000$65,600$69,30026%5$20,50051%
7Montana State University-Northern(In-State)
Annual ROI6.7%
Annual ROI6.4%
Annual ROI8.6%
Annual ROI8.2%
20 Year Net ROI$175,000
20 Year Net ROI$171,000
20 Year Net ROI$194,000
20 Year Net ROI$190,000
Total 4 Year Cost$65,600
Total 4 Year Cost$69,300
Grad Rate26%
Time to Graduate5
Loan Amt$20,500
Grant Money Received51%
86.0%6.0%7.8%7.7%$163,000$162,000$183,000$183,000$73,200$73,60024%5$21,10038%
8Montana State University-Billings(In-State)
Annual ROI6.0%
Annual ROI6.0%
Annual ROI7.8%
Annual ROI7.7%
20 Year Net ROI$163,000
20 Year Net ROI$162,000
20 Year Net ROI$183,000
20 Year Net ROI$183,000
Total 4 Year Cost$73,200
Total 4 Year Cost$73,600
Grad Rate24%
Time to Graduate5
Loan Amt$21,100
Grant Money Received38%
92.9%2.9%5.9%5.9%$135,000$135,000$212,000$212,000$175,000$175,00066%4$29,90024%
9Carroll College(Private)
Annual ROI2.9%
Annual ROI2.9%
Annual ROI5.9%
Annual ROI5.9%
20 Year Net ROI$135,000
20 Year Net ROI$135,000
20 Year Net ROI$212,000
20 Year Net ROI$212,000
Total 4 Year Cost$175,000
Total 4 Year Cost$175,000
Grad Rate66%
Time to Graduate4
Loan Amt$29,900
Grant Money Received24%
103.8%3.7%4.8%4.6%$127,000$123,000$146,000$142,000$114,000$117,00026%5$20,50051%
10Montana State University-Northern(Out-of-State)
Annual ROI3.8%
Annual ROI3.7%
Annual ROI4.8%
Annual ROI4.6%
20 Year Net ROI$127,000
20 Year Net ROI$123,000
20 Year Net ROI$146,000
20 Year Net ROI$142,000
Total 4 Year Cost$114,000
Total 4 Year Cost$117,000
Grad Rate26%
Time to Graduate5
Loan Amt$20,500
Grant Money Received51%
113.2%3.1%3.9%3.9%$123,000$122,000$142,000$141,000$142,000$143,00045%5$24,40039%
11The University of Montana(Out-of-State)
Annual ROI3.2%
Annual ROI3.1%
Annual ROI3.9%
Annual ROI3.9%
20 Year Net ROI$123,000
20 Year Net ROI$122,000
20 Year Net ROI$142,000
20 Year Net ROI$141,000
Total 4 Year Cost$142,000
Total 4 Year Cost$143,000
Grad Rate45%
Time to Graduate5
Loan Amt$24,400
Grant Money Received39%
123.4%3.4%4.4%4.3%$115,000$115,000$136,000$135,000$121,000$121,00024%5$21,10038%
12Montana State University-Billings(Out-of-State)
Annual ROI3.4%
Annual ROI3.4%
Annual ROI4.4%
Annual ROI4.3%
20 Year Net ROI$115,000
20 Year Net ROI$115,000
20 Year Net ROI$136,000
20 Year Net ROI$135,000
Total 4 Year Cost$121,000
Total 4 Year Cost$121,000
Grad Rate24%
Time to Graduate5
Loan Amt$21,100
Grant Money Received38%
132.3%2.3%5.7%5.7%$88,100$88,100$160,000$160,000$150,000$149,00048%4$25,10033%
13Rocky Mountain College(Private)
Annual ROI2.3%
Annual ROI2.3%
Annual ROI5.7%
Annual ROI5.7%
20 Year Net ROI$88,100
20 Year Net ROI$88,100
20 Year Net ROI$160,000
20 Year Net ROI$160,000
Total 4 Year Cost$150,000
Total 4 Year Cost$149,000
Grad Rate48%
Time to Graduate4
Loan Amt$25,100
Grant Money Received33%
14-2.7%-2.7%0.4%0.4%-$27,200-$27,000$2,700$2,900$64,800$64,60046%5$27,60044%
14The University of Montana-Western(In-State)
Annual ROI-2.7%
Annual ROI-2.7%
Annual ROI0.4%
Annual ROI0.4%
20 Year Net ROI-$27,200
20 Year Net ROI-$27,000
20 Year Net ROI$2,700
20 Year Net ROI$2,900
Total 4 Year Cost$64,800
Total 4 Year Cost$64,600
Grad Rate46%
Time to Graduate5
Loan Amt$27,600
Grant Money Received44%
15-5.2%-5.2%-3.7%-3.6%-$71,400-$71,200-$41,600-$41,300$109,000$109,00046%5$27,60044%
15The University of Montana-Western(Out-of-State)
Annual ROI-5.2%
Annual ROI-5.2%
Annual ROI-3.7%
Annual ROI-3.6%
20 Year Net ROI-$71,400
20 Year Net ROI-$71,200
20 Year Net ROI-$41,600
20 Year Net ROI-$41,300
Total 4 Year Cost$109,000
Total 4 Year Cost$109,000
Grad Rate46%
Time to Graduate5
Loan Amt$27,600
Grant Money Received44%

* N/A indicates school does not have an on campus living option.

Students in Big Sky Country, as the state is affectionately nicknamed, enjoy some of the most amazing outdoor adventure opportunities in the country, including access to Yellowstone National Park in the southern part of the state. More importantly, they can take their pick from several schools that appear in the upper rankings in terms of 20 Year Net ROI. Whatever attracts you to the Treasure State, consider using PayScale’s data to investigate the best value colleges in Montana before you apply.

Montana Tech of the University of Montana is a great option for students who want to get the most out of their educational investments. Located in Butte, Montana Tech is comprised of four colleges and schools. The School of Mines and Engineering’s most popular programs are in industrial hygiene and engineering. As evidenced by its high job placement rating, Montana Tech offers a college return on investment Montana students use to build strong, successful careers. Enrollment hovers around 2,700 students, making it a small yet effective place to earn a degree.

Located in Bozeman, which is widely considered to be the most unique and eclectic city in Big Sky Country, Montana State University offers baccalaureate degrees in 51 fields, master’s degrees in 41 and doctoral degrees in 18. MSU is easily one of the best value colleges Montana students graduate from, and notable alumni include numerous Rhodes scholars, several U.S. reps and a few governors.

If you’re interested in pursuing a career in medicine, you’d be well-advised to consider Carroll College in Helena, Montana. This private Catholic liberal arts school is known for affording alumni with a great rate of acceptance to medical school. As a student, you can take your pick from majors in engineering, education, nursing, theology, computer science and many others, and a variety of pre-professional programs are available as well.


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