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Net Price of Montana Colleges by Income

Cost of Montana Colleges Zoom In

Source: National Center for Educational Statistics. This is the most recent data available as of January 2021

Questions & Answers

  • What do all these numbers mean?

    All costs shown here are the average net cost paid by families in each income bracket for one year at the college in question. Net cost is the total cost of attendance for one year, minus government grants and institutional scholarships. Figures are based on data from the 2018-19 school year, which is the latest available as of January 2021.

  • What is “Total Cost” on the chart?

    Total cost is the total cost of attendance for one year at that particular college. It includes:

    • Tuition and fees (in-state tuition for public schools)
    • Room and board (on campus)
    • Books and supplies
    • Other expenses (travel and personal)

    There are detailed chart below for each school that shows these expenses. Click here to go to the individual cost breakdown for schools.

  • How can I use this information?

    This information is useful for building a realistic college budget. It's a good place to start until you better understand your specific circumstances. For example, let's say your income is $100,000 per year. This chart shows that the average state school would run $17,599 and the average private school would be $16,762. You can also get information on specific Montana schools in the chart above or the tables below.

  • Will my family pay the amount on this chart?

    Probably not. The numbers are averages. You may be below average or above average. However, there are two key points we can learn from this data:

    1. Families with higher incomes ($75,000-$110,000 and $110,000+) will most likely pay close to full price at the public schools.
    2. Private colleges have a higher list price but offer more discounts. This brings their net price much closer to the cost of state-funded schools.

  • Where did this information come from?

    As part of federal financial aid, colleges are required to provide detailed cost information to the U.S. government. This data is made available to the public through the National Center for Education Statistics. For more details, click here.

  • What about athletes, merit aid or minority students?

    Athletes, high achieving students, and those with minority status are averaged in with everyone else. Within each income bracket, there are families that pay more than average and families that pay less than average.

  • The costs on this chart seem large. How can families afford to pay it?

    For many families paying for college is not easy, but in the end they figure out. Most families will pay their net cost of college with some combination of:

    • College savings and investments
    • Payments from current income
    • Loans
    • Outside scholarships (check out the Scholarship Guide For Busy Parents to learn how your student can win scholarships)
    • Tax planning
    • Student work
Cost of Montana Schools Explanation

Net Price:

Net prices is the total cost of attendance for one year, minus the average amount in government grants and institutional scholarships the school awards. This is an average, so you may pay above the average or below the average. Your exact net price is likely to be different and sometimes drastically different.

Most families will pay the net price with some combination of savings and investments, current income and various loans. Some students will also receive scholarships from sources other than the federal or state government or the college. Any scholarships and grants from these outside sources are not included in the data. However, government grants and institutional scholarships are included in the averages.

Total Cost at The University of Montana (2018-19)
Tuition and Fees $7,063
Room and Board $9,178
Books $1,400
Other Expenses $2,835
Total $20,476

Total Cost:

Total cost is the total cost of attendance for that particular institution for the 2018-19 school year. This is the latest data available as of January 2021. Total costs include:

  • Tuition and fees (in-state tuition for public schools)
  • Room and board (on campus)
  • Books and supplies
  • Other expenses (travel and personal)

College Total Cost
Family Income MT Public $20,659 MT Private $37,051
$0 - $30k $12,159 $13,090
$30,001 – $48k $12,925 $14,044
$48,001 – $75k $15,959 $15,077
$75,001 – $110k $17,599 $16,762
$110,001+ $17,862 $24,406

Public vs. Private Averages

This table shows the average total cost of attendance for the Montana public and private colleges we have included in our analysis. The costs include a breakdown of the average net price paid by family income. Notice that the average private college is $-1,000-$7,000 more than the average public school, depending on your income bracket. It is important to stress that these are averages. Most families will not be average, and their individual circumstances could be drastically different. I encourage all families to work with their preferred colleges to get information specific to their family.

Below are similar charts for each individual private and public college in Montana. Click a school to view its complete chart.

Public MT Schools Cost Breakdown

  • Montana State University-Billings

    Billings
    Year 2018-19 2019-20
    Tuition and Fees $5,928 $5,933
    Room and Board $8,006 $7,420
    Books $1,550 $1,550
    Other Expenses $4,430 $4,640
    Total $19,914 $19,543
    Family Income Net Cost (Actual) Net Cost (Estimated)
    $0-$30k $11,341 $11,130
    $30,001 - $48k $11,749 $11,530
    $48,001 - $75k $14,839 $14,563
    $75,001 - $110k $16,466 $16,159
    $110,001+ $16,707 $16,396
  • Montana Tech of the University of Montana

    Butte
    Year 2018-19 2019-20
    Tuition and Fees $7,412 $7,440
    Room and Board $9,656 $9,854
    Books $1,350 $1,350
    Other Expenses $4,185 $4,164
    Total $22,603 $22,808
    Family Income Net Cost (Actual) Net Cost (Estimated)
    $0-$30k $11,010 $11,110
    $30,001 - $48k $12,562 $12,676
    $48,001 - $75k $14,821 $14,955
    $75,001 - $110k $17,493 $17,652
    $110,001+ $18,078 $18,242
  • Montana State University

    Bozeman
    Year 2018-19 2019-20
    Tuition and Fees $7,277 $7,325
    Room and Board $10,100 $10,300
    Books $1,450 $1,450
    Other Expenses $3,626 $3,738
    Total $22,453 $22,813
    Family Income Net Cost (Actual) Net Cost (Estimated)
    $0-$30k $15,706 $15,958
    $30,001 - $48k $16,625 $16,892
    $48,001 - $75k $19,616 $19,931
    $75,001 - $110k $21,587 $21,933
    $110,001+ $21,840 $22,190
  • The University of Montana

    Missoula
    Year 2018-19 2019-20
    Tuition and Fees $7,244 $7,354
    Room and Board $9,544 $9,966
    Books $1,100 $1,100
    Other Expenses $3,078 $3,248
    Total $20,966 $21,668
    Family Income Net Cost (Actual) Net Cost (Estimated)
    $0-$30k $13,064 $13,501
    $30,001 - $48k $14,314 $14,793
    $48,001 - $75k $17,049 $17,620
    $75,001 - $110k $18,209 $18,819
    $110,001+ $18,239 $18,850
  • Montana State University-Northern

    Havre
    Year 2018-19 2019-20
    Tuition and Fees $5,955 $5,955
    Room and Board $6,470 $6,470
    Books $1,400 $1,400
    Other Expenses $3,200 $3,200
    Total $17,025 $17,025
    Family Income Net Cost (Actual) Net Cost (Estimated)
    $0-$30k $10,688 $10,688
    $30,001 - $48k $11,166 $11,166
    $48,001 - $75k $15,163 $15,163
    $75,001 - $110k $16,122 $16,122
    $110,001+ $16,397 $16,397
  • The University of Montana-Western

    Dillon
    Year 2018-19 2019-20
    Tuition and Fees $5,717 $5,725
    Room and Board $8,090 $8,184
    Books $850 $700
    Other Expenses $6,334 $3,090
    Total $20,991 $17,699
    Family Income Net Cost (Actual) Net Cost (Estimated)
    $0-$30k $11,142 $9,395
    $30,001 - $48k $11,133 $9,387
    $48,001 - $75k $14,264 $12,027
    $75,001 - $110k $15,719 $13,254
    $110,001+ $15,912 $13,417

Private MT Schools Cost Breakdown

  • Carroll College

    Helena
    Year 2018-19 2019-20
    Tuition and Fees $35,486 $36,280
    Room and Board $9,760 $10,036
    Books $1,250 $1,250
    Other Expenses $3,200 $3,272
    Total $49,696 $50,838
    Family Income Net Cost (Actual) Net Cost (Estimated)
    $0-$30k $17,061 $17,453
    $30,001 - $48k $18,637 $19,065
    $48,001 - $75k $21,552 $22,047
    $75,001 - $110k $24,386 $24,946
    $110,001+ $27,900 $28,541
  • University of Great Falls

    Great Falls
    Year 2018-19 2019-20
    Tuition and Fees $25,168 $26,242
    Room and Board $9,600 $9,466
    Books $1,000 $1,000
    Other Expenses $4,000 $4,000
    Total $39,768 $40,708
    Family Income Net Cost (Actual) Net Cost (Estimated)
    $0-$30k $18,966 $19,414
    $30,001 - $48k $21,779 $22,294
    $48,001 - $75k $21,606 $22,117
    $75,001 - $110k $23,654 $24,213
    $110,001+ $23,218 $23,767
  • Rocky Mountain College

    Billings
    Year 2018-19 2019-20
    Tuition and Fees $28,572 $29,552
    Room and Board $8,330 $8,452
    Books $1,300 $1,300
    Other Expenses $3,270 $3,270
    Total $41,472 $42,574
    Family Income Net Cost (Actual) Net Cost (Estimated)
    $0-$30k $16,334 $16,768
    $30,001 - $48k $15,758 $16,177
    $48,001 - $75k $17,151 $17,607
    $75,001 - $110k $19,007 $19,512
    $110,001+ $22,099 $22,686
  • Salish Kootenai College

    Pablo
    Year 2018-19 2019-20
    Tuition and Fees $6,349 $6,399
    Room and Board $7,020 $7,020
    Books $1,500 $1,500
    Other Expenses $2,400 $2,400
    Total $17,269 $17,319
    Family Income Net Cost (Actual) Net Cost (Estimated)
    $0-$30k $0 $0
    $30,001 - $48k $0 $0
    $48,001 - $75k $0 $0
    $75,001 - $110k $0 $0
    $110,001+ $0 $0
 

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