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Montana Ranked Best in Nation for Keeping Higher Education Affordable

Monday, May 18, 2015/Categories: Governor's Office/Tags: Montana university system, tuition

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                                                                                May 18, 2015

CONTACT

Dave Parker, Communications Director, Governor’s Office, 444-9844

Montana Ranked Best in Nation for Keeping Higher Education Affordable

HELENA – Governor Steve Bullock today praised a recent report published by the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities that ranked Montana’s percent change in average tuition at public, four-year colleges as the lowest in the nation.

“Thanks to record investments in public education and successful tuition freezes the last two legislative sessions, Montanans continue to have unparalleled access to a quality, affordable education,” said Bullock. “I am committed to making responsible tax and budget decisions to ensure that a college education is within reach for any Montanan who wants it.”

Montana ranked best in the country -- 50th out of the 50 states -- when measuring the percent increase in average tuition since the great recession (2008 – 2015). Many states have been forced to make drastic funding cuts to public education due to diminishing revenues, resulting in major consequences for schools. Governor Bullock’s insistence on responsible fiscal management has helped Montana’s universities avoid charging students tens of thousands of dollars more for education.

“Stable funding levels for higher education help keep tuition costs down at our colleges and universities,” said Clayton Christian, Commissioner of Higher Education. “With industries in Montana seeking well-trained, employment ready graduates, we’re proud that the Montana University System continues to offer affordable access to all of the educational opportunities at our top-quality institutions.”

Montana rankings from the study include:

  • 50th in percent change in average tuition at public, four-year colleges (3.7%) from 2008 – 2015
  • 47th in percent change in state spending per student (-2.0%) from 2008 – 2015
  • 17th in percent change in state spending per student (5.9%) from 2014 – 2015

The full study can be accessed here: http://www.cbpp.org/research/state-budget-and-tax/years-of-cuts-threaten-to-put-college-out-of-reach-for-more-students.

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