Paying for college wherever you go to school can be a challenge. For students who are willing to take the time to do the research and seek the advantages that financial aid can provide them, Montana is a viable option for obtaining an affordable college education.
The “Big Sky” state, Montana, has numerous scholarships available for Montana residents and non-residents alike. In general, Montana’s greatest endowment support comes from businesses and foundations that are related to agriculture, mining and Native American cultural support.
MUS, the Montana University System works hard to provide as much financial support throughout its state institutions as possible and participates in WUE Western University Exchange programs whenever possible to provide the best financial aid opportunities to their non-resident students.
Montana’s two major universities, the University of Montana and Montana State University, have satellite schools that take advantage of some of the general scholarships of both schools, yet also enjoy endowments that are local to their region and individual campuses.
The following list of 35 scholarship opportunities represent the diversity of the endowments available in Montana from a larger, general scale to a small, localized scale. Though these are only a sampling of some of the total money that is available to students who are either residents of Montana or attending a Montana college or university within the “Big Sky” state, it will help you recognize or even lead you toward other opportunities that are available for someone who is truly conscientious about paying for college in the most affordable way.
Related Resource: Colleges With Full Ride Scholarships
1. 2+2 Honor Scholarship
The 2+2 Honor Scholarship was designed to encourage students to expand their 2-year degree into a 4-year degree in an affordable way. The $4000 annual 2+2 Honor Scholarship is open to graduates with an associate degree from a campus of the Montana University System or a Montana Community College and consists of a waiver of tuition at any 4-year Montana University System school
a 3.4+ GPA, accepted or enrolled at an eligible institution. 2+2 renews annually if criteria are met. Deadline: June 30, 2016.
You can learn more about the 2+2 Honor Scholarship here.
Related Resource: Highest Paying College Majors
2. Advantage Scholarship of Montana Tech
$8800 and more is awarded to Montana Tech students who demonstrate high academic achievement for students in selected technical, scientific and engineering degree programs. This scholarship is available to resident and non-resident students alike, providing a significant incentive for the targeted degree programs.
MT students with 3.0+ GPA, ACT Math > 24 or SAT Math > 560, enrolled in one of 20+ qualifying degree programs will be 150% of in-state tuition for the student’s entire undergraduate term if they retain their academic standing and are enrolled in an Advantage degree. Deadline: March 1, 2017.
You can learn more about the Advantage Scholarship of Montana Tech here.
3. The AIEF Undergraduate Scholarship Program
Montana has always been interested in advancing the future of its large population of Native Americans. This scholarship is a $2000 annual scholarship given by The American Indian Education Foundation was established to support educational opportunities for American Indian and Alaska Native students with a vision toward strong, self-sufficient American Indian communities.
You can learn more about the The AIEF Undergraduate Scholarship Program here.
4. AIST Northwestern Member Chapter Scholarships
Since Montana plays a significant role in the mining of raw materials and coal, which contribute heavily to the steel industry, the American Institute of Steel Technology sponsors a $3000 scholarship for Montana high school seniors and undergraduate students with a major in engineering, who are pursuing a career in iron and steel technology.
Applicants must be AIST members, HS grad or undergrad seeking a degree in iron and steel tech engineering and meet the application deadline of April 30, 2017.
You can learn more about the AIST Northwestern Member Chapter Scholarships here.
5. Bechtel Foundation Scholarship Program for Safety and Health
This prestigious award, presented at the annual American Society of Safety Engineers convention, is a major stepping stone to later employment in the engineering field.The Bechtel Foundation awards $5000 annually to college juniors who are pursuing a degree in occupational safety and health with an emphasis on construction safety.
You can learn more about the Bechtel Foundation Scholarship Program for Safety and Health here.
6. Bud Daniels Memorial Scholarship
Named after one of the most influential leaders of Montana Farmers Union history, Bud Daniels, the Montana Farmers Union will present a $500 scholarship in memory of Bud Daniels (1928 – 2000), which was made available through the efforts of Montana Farmers Union and the MFU Education Committee, every year.
Applicants must be members of Montana Farmers Union, Montana resident, college sophomore or above, with a 2.8+ GPA. Applicants will be also evaluated on community involvement, Farmers Union involvement, and an essay. Deadline: March 1, 2017.
You can learn more about the Bud Daniels Memorial Scholarship here.
7. Governor’s “Best and Brightest
Montana’s governor even gets in on the scholarship action when it comes to supporting the cause of higher education. This annually renewable $2000 reward is to provide Montana residents with better access to Montana’s post-secondary institutions and Montana’s tribal colleges, through scholarship grants based on both academic achievement and financial need.
Applicants must be a Montana resident, high school graduate accepted into an eligible college, and seeking first degree or certificate. 3.0 GPA or 20 ACT or 1440 SAT. Deadline: March 15, 2017
You can learn more about the Governor’s “Best and Brightest here.
8. The Jane Buttrey Memorial Scholarship
The most prestigious honor of a University of Montana – Missoula student is to be added to the list of members of the Davidson Honors College. Among other activities, The Davidson Honors College, University of Montana – Missoula, awards up to ten $1500 Jane Buttrey Memorial Scholarships each year to outstanding Juniors who demonstrate both academic excellence and financial need.
To apply, you must hold Junior level status at U of M – Missoula, 3.4+ GPA, major in humanities or social sciences and show financial need. Deadline: April 15, 2017
You can learn more about the The Jane Buttrey Memorial Scholarship here.
9. Kathy Spadoni Memorial Scholarship
Among other national and regional scholarship opportunities available through the Pride Foundation, the LGBT organization sponsors the Kathy Spadoni Memorial Scholarship. Montana high school seniors who are residents of Montana and show a history of leadership and working toward positive social change are eligible for this annual $3300 scholarship.
Applicants must reside in Alaska, Oregon, Idaho, Washington or Montana, show leadership toward social change in the community. Preference is given to students who self-identify as lesbian, gay, bi or transgender. Deadline: January 11, 2017
You can learn more about the Kathy Spadoni Memorial Scholarship here.
10. Lewis-Clark State College Presidential Out-of-State Scholarship
For some students living in Western Montana, crossing over Idaho’s narrow panhandle to attend college makes sense, especially when given a significant financial incentive. Montana residents who wish to cross the border and attend Lewis-Clark State College in Idaho can receive up to$7745 to cover the cost of out-of-state tuition.
Applicants must reside in Montana and be accepted to or enrolled at Lewis-Clark College, demonstrate a 3.0+ GPA, ACT 20 or SAT 950, and submit their application for consideration before December 15, 2016.
You can learn more about the Lewis-Clark State College Presidential Out-of-State Scholarship here.
11. Marie Moebus Presidential Scholarship
The stress of obtaining a degree in technology and engineering is high enough without adding a financial burden to the picture. To help kick off their journey toward a tech or engineering degree, first-time freshmen students to Montana Tech, who demonstrate the highest academic and extracurricular achievement, could receive a combination of a fee waiver, and a cash supplement of up to $3,000 annually.
To apply, you must be an incoming freshman at Montana Tech, with a 3.75+ GPA, ACT 30+, SAT 2010+, and be active in the community. You must submit the 500 words essay along with your application before March 1, 2017.
You can learn more about the Marie Moebus Presidential Scholarship here.
12. Maureen and Mike Mansfield Native American Scholarship
Programs that focused on cultural aspects of both Native Americans and Asian Americans were a major part of the career of Senator Mike Mansfield and his wife. The Maureen and Mike Mansfield Foundation provides varying amounts of aid to at least two deserving female Native American Reservation students, at the undergraduate level each year.
To apply, you must be a resident of one of the 7 Montana Native American reservations, demonstrate 2.5+ GPA, and be accepted or attending UM – Missoula, UM – Helana, UM – Western or Montana Tech. Deadline: April 4, 2017.
You can learn more about the Maureen and Mike Mansfield Native American Scholarship here.
13. MGMA Western Section Scholarships
Current Medical Group Management Association has established this scholarship to help support and promote the personal and professional advancement of its members. MGMA members who are enrolled in an undergraduate or graduate degree program relevant to medical practice management at a Montana University could receive an annual reward of $2500.
To apply, you must be a MGMA member, reside in one of the 13 qualifying, western states, and submit your application before May 1, 2017.
You can learn more about the MGMA Western Section Scholarships here.
14. Montana Life Members Scholarship
Students who have a green thumb or love keeping our world growing will be especially encouraged by this scholarship from Montana’s Federation of Garden Clubs. The MFGC awards a $1000 annual scholarship to a student who is a Montana resident and citizen of the United States of America. Eligible applicants must major in Horticulture, Conservation, Floriculture, Parks or Forestry, Land Management, Greenhouse Management, or subjects that relate.
In addition to the above-noted programs of study, you must be a college Sophomore with a minimum of 2.7 GPA. Deadline: May 1, 2017.
You can learn more about the Montana Life Members Scholarship here.
15. Montana’s STEM Scholarship
Supported by major contributors in science, technology, and engineering, STEM scholarships were designed as a means to encourage higher level thinking in the tech industry. Montana’s STEM Scholarship Program is designed to provide a renewable $1000 (2nd year $2000) and is an excellent incentive for Montana high school students who enter into, and complete degrees in postsecondary fields related to science, technology, engineering, mathematics, and health care.
An applicant must be an HS graduate accepted to an eligible college, have 3.25+ GPA, four years of college prep math, and three years of college prep science. Deadline: March 15, 2017.
You can learn more about the Montana’s STEM Scholarship here.
16. MSU- Northern Chancellor’s Scholarship
Being on the president’s list at any institution is always a great honor, regardless of the size of the university. Montana State University – Northern, Chancellor’s Scholarship is the most prestigious honor bestowed on an incoming resident freshman at MSU. It is a $2000 annual award in recognition of outstanding academic achievement.
You must be a resident of Montana, accepted to MSU-Northern, a beginning freshman, have a 3.2+ GPA. This award has an annual renewal if criteria are met. Deadline: January 1, 2017.
You can learn more about the MSU- Northern Chancellor’s Scholarship here.
17. Murphy Memorial Scholarship
Proud of its tradition of providing financial aid toward higher education degrees in agriculture, horticulture, environmental concerns and other areas related to the botanical sciences, the Montana Federation of Garden Clubs has yet another award to Montana students. The Murphy Memorial Scholarship provides an annual scholarship of $500 to qualifying college students in a horticulture-related major.
To be eligible for this award, you must major in a horticulture-related field, be a resident of Montana, have reached college sophomore level or higher, demonstrate a minimum 3.0 GPA and submit relevant application and materials before February 1, 2017.
You can learn more about the Murphy Memorial Scholarship here.
18. MUS Honor Scholarship
As a means of rewarding high academic achievers for the outstanding effort that they invested in their secondary education, MUS designed the Honor Scholarship. The Honor Scholarship of Montana University System is a $4000, annually renewable scholarship, which waives the student’s tuition when applied to fees at an eligible Montana campus.
Graduates of Montana high schools, who have a minimum 3.4 GPA and must have taken ACT or SAT before December 31, 2016, will be ranked for the fall 2017 award. The 30 individuals with the most points by adding their GPA to a factored ACT or SAT exam score are automatically eligible.
You can learn more about the MUS Honor Scholarship here.
19. National Merit Semi-Finalist Scholarship
Since the National Merit Scholarship is one of the most prestigious academic achievement awards that can be given, being a semi-finalist is a pretty high honor. Montana awards that achievement by waiving the tuition for Montana students who receive a National Merit Semi-Finalist Scholarship. This scholarship will be valid through the first consecutive two semesters of enrollment.
You must have received a National Merit Semi-Finalist Scholarship, and must enroll within nine months after HS graduation. The second semester awarded if certain conditions are met. Deadline: January 1, 2017.
You can learn more about the National Merit Semi-Finalist Scholarship here.
20. NIADA Foundation Region IV Scholarship
The National Independent Automobile Dealers Association Foundation recognize the importance of obtaining a higher education in order to be successful in today’s world. To encourage academic achievement NIADA sponsors this $3,500 annual scholarship award to young men or women who have displayed outstanding abilities in education.
In order to apply, you must be HS student residing in Montana or surrounding state. Demonstrate an outstanding GPA and show high aptitude on ACT and SAT exams. Deadline: March 18, 2017.
You can learn more about the NIADA Foundation Region IV Scholarship here.
21. Non-Resident Freshmen Scholarships
Attracting non-resident students to the beautiful “Big Sky” state is always on the minds of those who have made Montana their home. To help draw in those students, Montana State University offers millions of dollars in scholarships and awards to non-resident freshmen who apply for admission each year. Each award could be up to $15,000.
You must be a non-resident, incoming freshman, accepted to Montana State University, with your ACT or SAT scores sent to MSU. The scholarship amount is based on your ACT or SAT score level. Must take SAT or ACT before January 1, 2017.
You can learn more about the Non-Resident Freshmen Scholarships here.
22. Northwest Osteopathic Medical Foundation Scholarship Program
To encourage overall wellness through osteopathic medicine, it is necessary to continue to develop those who will lead the practice toward a brighter future. The Foundation’s Scholarship Program encourages that development through a scholarship that helps defray some of the cost of osteopathic medical school, which in some cases can be sizable.
Eligible for the award are residents of Montana entering their 2nd, 3rd, or 4th years of a school of osteopathic medicine that is AOA approved. This is a one-year scholarship. Renewals will be considered along with all applicants. Deadlines are throughout the year: July 1, 2016, February 28, 2017, May 31, 2017.
You can learn more about the Northwest Osteopathic Medical Foundation Scholarship Program here.
23. NSHSS Tesoro Youth Leadership Awards
Community involvement is a major priority and an essential part of being a well-rounded student and member of society. Tesoro Industries, in association with the National Society of High School Scholars, is providing $2500 college scholarships for outstanding young leaders. The scholarship was designed to encourage young scholars who are leading by example in their schools and communities.
To be eligible, you must be a resident of Montana, 3.0 minimum GPA, show financial need and answer 500-word essay question before February 26, 2017.
You can learn more about the NSHSS Tesoro Youth Leadership Awards here.
24. Rocky Mountain Coal Mining Technical School Scholarship
As a leading provider of the nation’s supply of coal, Rocky Mountain Coal Mining takes a leadership role in advancing the engineering technology that will have the greatest positive impact on both the industry and the environment. This Technical Scholarship is a one-time gift to students in technical programs who desire to use their education in the coal industry, where there is high demand for technical applications.
To be eligible for this $1000 reward, you must be a first-year student at a trade or tech school, resident of Montana and completed a face to face interview during this process. Deadline: February 1, 2017.
You can learn more about the Rocky Mountain Coal Mining Technical School Scholarship here.
25. Schoepp Memorial Scholarship
An influential leader in the American Board of Funeral Service Education, Dennis Schoepp’s dedication to providing the very best in the greatest time of need is honored by this scholarship. This annual $1000 award, sponsored by the Schoepp Memorial Foundation, is awarded to a full- or part-time student of funeral service who is enrolled in ABFSE-accredited programs.
You must be a resident of Montana, enrolled in an eligible ABFSE program and submit your application before August 15, 2016, to be considered for this year’s award.
You can learn more about the Schoepp Memorial Scholarship here.
26. Stephen T. Marchello Scholarship Foundation
This honorarium to a young man, born in Montana, whose life was cut short by cancer is one way to keep his precious memory alive while providing future memories for others stricken by the deadly disease. This $10,000 annual scholarship is available to high school graduates, graduating in the same year of enrollment, who have had childhood cancer and are residents of either Colorado or Montana.
You must present GPA, ACT or SAT scores, doctor’s diagnosis of childhood cancer, proof of acceptance into a post-secondary school in Montana or Colorado. A panel of finalists will be selected for a personal interview before the award is given. Deadline: March 16, 2017.
You can learn more about the Stephen T. Marchello Scholarship Foundation here.
27. MSU Presidential Scholarship
To be honored by the president of the university where you’ve chosen to obtain your degree is a special honor. The Presidential Scholarships are Montana State University’s most distinguished academic awards, recognizing scholastic achievement, demonstrated leadership and unique personal qualities.
To be eligible, you must demonstrate leadership, public service, and academic merit. This is a renewable scholarship that could value as much as $37,000 for a Montana resident and $92,000 non-resident over four years. Deadline: December 1, 2016.
You can learn more about the MSU Presidential Scholarship here.
28. Tribal Homelands Scholarship
Montana has a rich Native American history that continues to thrive today, home to more than two dozen tribes; Montana takes pride in honoring those who wish to return to their native land. The Tribal Homelands Scholarship significantly reduces the amount of out‐of‐state tuition (up to $10,000) and is available to eligible Native American students who are not Montana residents.
You must be a non‐resident Native American student whose tribal ancestors called the area, which is now Montana, their “home” and enter a Montana university as a new freshman, transfer, or graduate student. Deadline: January 1, 2017.
You can learn more about the Tribal Homelands Scholarship here.
29. UGF Competitive Academic Awards
Academic achievement does not tell the entire story when it comes to measuring the ongoing success of students and graduates as they make their impact on the world. University of Great Falls students who excel both inside and outside the classroom are eligible for a $4000 (renewable) annual award. Students must demonstrate scholarship, leadership, and community involvement.
Students with GPA of 3.5 or better, or an ACT composite score of 25 or better or SAT combined Critical Reading, Math, and Writing score of 1680 or better may apply. Deadline: January 1, 2017.
You can learn more about the UGF Competitive Academic Awards here.
30. UM Segal AmeriCorps Education Award
AmeriCorps sends thousands of young adults to various locations throughout the U.S.A. to serve, learn valuable work skills, earn money for education, and develop an appreciation for citizenship. The University of Montana honors that commitment by matching up to $1,000 of the Segal AmeriCorps Education Award (Ed Award) voucher that is awarded to AmeriCorps members upon completion of their national term of service.
A University of Montana student who has received Segal AmeriCorp Award completed a year of service and submitted his or her application prior to either September 19, 2016, or February 10, 2017, will be eligible for this award.
You can learn more about the UM Segal AmeriCorps Education Award here.
31. UMW Arnold and Cora Benson Scholarship
Cora Benson and her husband Arnold were an essential part of the growth and development of this beautiful university in western Montana. The University of Montana Western awards $500 to a UMW students who demonstrate the educational values, leadership and community involvement in honor of Arnold and Cora Benson.
You must be a Montana resident, show financial need, maintain a GPA above 2.5 and submit your application before January 1, 2017, to be considered.
You can learn more about the UMW Arnold and Cora Benson Scholarship here.
32. UMW Morningstar Traditional & Non-Traditional Scholarship
The Morningstar Mine was a major part of the development of western Montana as a whole and specifically Madison County, Montana and a major cultural feature. To continue contributing to the growth of the area’s students, this $1000 annual award is for Montana residents, who are both traditional, and non-traditional students with given preference to Madison County area high school graduates.
You must be a Madison County, Montana area graduate with a minimum GPA 3.0 and submit your application before January 1, 2017, to be eligible.
You can learn more about the UMW Morningstar Traditional & Non-Traditional Scholarship here.
33. Undergraduate Student/Faculty Research Awards
Nothing can replace practical experience gained while working alongside an expert in your field of study. This program at UM-Missoula is intended to provide up to $1500 to select students (sophomores through seniors) the opportunity to spend the academic year as an apprentice with a faculty mentor; learning from and assisting with faculty research activity.
You must be an undergraduate at the University of Montana-Missoula and involved in planning, developing and carrying out a faculty-supported research activity to be considered. Deadline: March 31, 2017
You can learn more about the Undergraduate Student/Faculty Research Awards here.
34. University of Montana Presidential Leadership Scholarships
To be recognized for your academic achievement by one of the leaders of the academic community is a prestigious honor at any university. The Presidential Leadership Scholarship is the University of Montana’s premier freshman achievement award. Presidential Scholars are chosen solely on academic merit with up to $12,000 being available for renewal over four years.
To be eligible, you must be an incoming freshman with a 3.5+ GPA, ACT 27+ or SAT 1800+ score and submit your application before December 4, 2016.
You can learn more about the University of Montana Presidential Leadership Scholarships here.
35. The Watkins Scholarship
Named in honor of John G. Watkins, a renowned researcher in the field of psychology and professor emeritus at the University of Montana, this scholarship is intended to foster leadership in the field of research. The Watkins Scholarship Program awards ten $2,000 scholarships to ten University of Montana – Missoula seniors each year.
It is open to all UM-Missoula students who have achieved senior academic level status at UM, maintain a 3.4+ GPA, and are engaged in a research project approved by a faculty member. Deadline: March 31, 2017.
You can learn more about the The Watkins Scholarship here.
We’ve worked hard to include a variety of scholarship opportunities within our list. If you have any suggestions on additional scholarships, please feel free to leave them in the comments section.