STATE OF MONTANA FINANCIAL AID PROGRAMS
The following are financial aid programs available to students who are residents of the state of Montana. For more detailed information on state financial aid programs contact:
Montana University System
Office of Commissioner of Higher Education
46 N. Last Chance Gulch
Helena, MT 59620-3201
Governor’s Postsecondary ScholarshipThe purpose of the Governor’s Postsecondary "Best and Brightest" Scholarship is to provide Montana residents with greater access to Montana’s postsecondary institutions and Montana’s tribal colleges, through scholarship grants based on academic achievement and financial need. The goal of these scholarships is to relieve student debt burdens, allowing more Montanans to stay in the state upon graduation.
The Governor’s Best and Brightest Scholarship Program is divided into 3 areas: merit scholarships, at-large scholarships and need-based scholarships. Each scholarship is administered in a different way.
A student is eligible to receive a scholarship providing the student:
- Is a resident of the State of Montana;
- Has been accepted by or is enrolled at an eligible Montana postsecondary institution;
- For scholarships based on financial need, has completed the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA), and does not have an expected family contribution (EFC) exceeding the cost of attendance at the postsecondary institution the student will attend.
- For scholarships based upon merit, has obtained a high school GPA of at least 3.0 or a score of at least 20 on the ACT or 1440 on the SAT college admission test; and be enrolled full-time at an eligible postsecondary institution;
- Has not been awarded a Montana University System Honor Scholarship.
- If a male, has met the Title IV selective service requirements.
- Is not in default on a Title IV or state of Montana education loan.
- Does not owe a refund to a federal Title IV or state of Montana student financial aid program.
- Is not incarcerated.
- Seeking a first certificate, associate, or baccalaureate degree.
- Enrolled for the next chronological semester or term.
Merit At-Large ScholarshipStudents must apply online for the merit-at-large scholarship and submit a completed application to MGSLP no later than March 31, 2008. Late and incomplete application will not be accepted.
Applications will be available January 2, 2008.
Non-traditional and home school students are encouraged to apply.
The merit-at-large scholarship can be awarded to students who plan to attend either a 2 or 4 year institution. A student attending a 4 year campus will receive $1,000/semester ($2,000/year) for 8 semesters. Students who attend a 2 year campus will receive $1,000/semester ($2,000/year) for 4 semesters*.
*If a student receiving a merit-at-large scholarship transfers to a 4 year school before completing their first certificate or associate degree, they may petition MGSLP to extend their scholarship to the full 8 semesters.
Merit-at-large scholarships will be scored by MGSLP and once enrollment has been verified, recipient infromation will be forwarded to the postsecondary institution.
Merit ScholarshipsMerit scholarship can be awarded to students who plan to attend either a 2 or 4 year institution. A student attending a 4 year campus will receive $1,000/semester ($2,000/year) for 8 semesters. Students who attend a 2 year campus will receive $1,000/semester ($2,000/year) for 4 semesters*.
*If a student receiving a merit scholarship transfers to a 4 year school before completing their first certificate or associate degree, they may petition MGSLP to extend their scholarship to the full 8 semesters.
Students must demonstrate academic excellence, by having either a 3.0 GPA, or scoring at least 20 on the ACT or 1440 on the SAT.
Recipients are chosen by their designated high school official, utilizing the same methodology as the Montana University System Honor Scholarship
Colleges will be allocated need-based awards each year by MGSLP based upon the most recent full time equivalent enrollment (FTE) information provided by financial aid offices to MGSLP for students enrolled in a 2-yr certificate or associate programs. MGSLP will then advise each college of the specific number of general, health science, technology, and trade scholarships it must award. Each institution will receive a minimum of 5 need-based scholarships, regardless of the actual FTE calculation and the financial aid office will be responsible for identifying and awarding scholarships to need-based recipients. Need-based scholarships in the amount of $1,000 will be awarded annually for a maximum of 2 consecutive years. Financial need is the only criteria the scholarship will be based on.
Renewing the Scholarship
- Maintain Satisfactory Academic Progress
- Continue Full Time Enrollment (Merit, Merit-at-Large)
- Continue to have Financial Need (Need Based)
MUS Honor ScholarshipThe Montana University System Honor Scholarship (MUSHS) is a 4-year (8 semester maximum) renewable scholarship that waives tuition at one of the Montana University System (MUS) campuses or one of the three community colleges (Flathead Valley in Kalispell, Miles in Miles City or Dawson in Glendive). The scholarship must be used within 9 months after high school graduation.
A new policy for the MUSHS was implemented on March 1, 2007, which provides for an improved application and award process. The changes will be in effect beginning with students graduating in the 2007-2008 academic year.
In years past, each accredited Montana high school was awarded at least one Honor Scholarship. With the new policy, as opposed to each Montana high school being awarded a certain number of scholarships based on senior class enrollment, students who are eligible for the scholarship will be competing on a statewide basis, therefore a high school might not recieve an Honor Scholarship at all. There will be up to 200 awardable scholarships per academic year.
To be eligible to receive the scholarship, students must meet the following criteria:
- Have a cumulative 3.4 GPA at the end of their 7th semester in high school.
- Meet the college preparatory requirements.
- Have been enrolled at a Montana Board of Public Education accredited high school for at least three years prior to graduation. During their senior year, the student must be enrolled in a Montana high school accredited by the Montana Board of Public Education.
- Have submitted ACT or SAT score to designated high school official prior to the February 15th application deadline.
- Will attend an MUS or eligible community college.
To apply for the scholarship, students must do the following:
- Submit ACT or SAT score to designated high school official prior to the February 15th application deadline.
- Apply for admission and be accepted to an MUS or eligible community college by the February 15th application deadline.
- Complete an MUS Honor Scholarship application (available from designated high school official).
- Attach a copy of the college acceptance letter from the eligible college to their MUS application.
- Submit the completed packet to their designated high school official by February 15th of their senior year.
Recipients will be selected based upon class ranking as determined by the student’s GPA and ACT or SAT score (the higher of the two if both tests are taken). If the SAT score is used, it will be converted to an ACT score using a comparability chart.
A composite scholarship score will be determined by assigning a value to the students GPA, and adding that value to the ACT score or converted SAT score.
Class rank will be determined as follows: The student(s) with the highest 7th semester GPA in the graduating class, will be assigned 30 points. The student(s) with the second highest GPA will be assigned 29 points and so on until either all students with a GPA of 3.4 and greater are ranked, or all 30 points have been assigned. The following is an example of assigning value to a GPA:
Name GPA Points
Carol 4.00 30
Katie 3.90 29
Brian 3.90 29
Larry 3.85 28
The class rank score will then be added to the student’s ACT score, or converted SAT score, and the combination will produce a composite scholarship score. A high school which uses weighted grade point averages must use weighted averages for all students for which the weighting applies.
To retain the scholarship students must maintain a 3.4 cumulative GPA while enrolled in college. Students must also complete at least 30 credit hours after two semesters, 60 credit hours after four semesters and 90 credit hours after six semesters. If the student is not able to obtain the credits or maintain the GPA required due to circumstances beyond his/her control the student may appeal to the financial aid office.
Honor Scholarship for National Merit Scholarship Semi-FinalistsTuition and the registration fee shall be waived for National Merit Scholarship semi-finalists from Montana. This scholarship (fee waiver) will be valid through the first consecutive 2 semesters of enrollment, excluding credits earned prior to high school graduation. The holder of the scholarship must enter one of the Montana University System campuses within nine months after high school graduation. A satisfactory standard must be maintained to be eligible to use the scholarship for both semesters. The scholarship is not transferable, and becomes void three years from the date of issue.
For additional information or questions email: [email protected]
The Community College Honor ScholarshipThe Community College Honor Scholarship is awarded annually to graduates from Dawson, Flathead Valley and Miles Community College, the scholarship can be used at any unit of the Montana University System. The award is issued as a one-year, nonrenewable fee waiver, waiving the cost of undergraduate tuition and the registration fee during the recipient's first year at a Montana University System campus. The fee waiver must be used within nine months from the date it is issued.
Recipients of this scholarship must be recommended by the president and faculty of the community college and be certified by the chairman of the Board of Trustees at the community college. Recipients must meet the following criteria:
- Receive an associate degree graduate of the community college.
- Be one of the highest ranking member of the class desiring to attend a Montana University System unit.
- Be a Montana resident.
The number of scholarships awarded at each community college is based on the size of the graduating class.
State Financial Aid Information
Find state financial aid information for the specific state that you live in. Find contact information for your local federal aid office, and get details about specific federal aid programs in your area.
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- New York
- North Carolina
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