Top 7 Nonprofit Online Colleges in Montana

The most affordable way for a student today to get an education is by choosing an online program. Offering reduced tuition rates in comparison to their on-campus counterparts, online degree programs allow students to gain a college education at a fraction of the cost. Often times, students who choose an online degree program are getting access to the exact same curriculum being offered online. If you are trying to save money on your college experience, this ranking of the top nonprofit online colleges in Montana should help you find a college that is right for you. These schools have been ranked by their tuition per credit rate.

#1. Montana State University

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Established in 1893, Montana State University is a public research university. Located in Bozeman, Montana, Montana State University is the flagship of the Montana State University System. Originally opened as the Agricultural College of the State of Montana, Montana State University originally operated out of the local high school. A few years later, the Agricultural College of the State of Montana moved to Bozeman Academy. In the early years of the Agricultural College of the State of Montana, growth was slow. However, the school began to hit its stride at the start of the 20th century. Under a new President, the Agricultural College of the State of Montana refocused its academics on a wider set of programming. Part of this change was renaming the school to the Montana College of Agriculture and Mechanical Arts. This change also came alongside a period of rapid expansion and growth for the school. Seeing increased enrollment, the school continued to grow its academic programming and was then renamed to Montana State College. Finally, in 1965, the school was renamed to Montana State University and was made the flagship of the Montana State University system. Now, Montana State University is home to a student body of nearly 17,000 students.

With the motto “Mountain & Minds”, Montana State University now offers its students a wide selection of academic programs to choose from. At this time, students can select from over fifty different bachelor’s programs, forty master’s programs, and nearly twenty doctoral programs. Many of these programs are also offered to students entirely online. By offering these programs online, Montana State University has placed among our top online universities and colleges in Montana. Montana State University is a public institution.

Accreditation: Montana State University is accredited by the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities (NWCCU).

Tuition: $314/credit

Click here for a list of Montana State University‘s online programs.

#2. University of Montana

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The flagship of the Montana University System, the University of Montana is a public research university. Established in 1893, the University of Montana was established by an act of Congress over a decade prior. After being admitted into the United States, the State of Montana began work on establishing the new school. Wanting to locate the school in Missoula, Montana, the people of Missoula brokered a deal with the people of Helena. Exchanging the state capitol for the state university, the people of Missoula secured the University of Montana. Shaping the town of Missoula, the University of Montana quickly grew to become an integral part of the city. Over the coming decades, the University of Montana would continue to grow. Adding more and more students, the University of Montana was able to continually expand its academic offerings. Eventually, the University of Montana had grown to become the second largest school in all of Montana. Now, the University of Montana has grown to have graduated a long list of notable alumni as well as secured a place among the top schools in Montana. Today, the University of Montana is home to a student body of 10,700 students.

Students at the University of Montana are able to select from a large catalog of academic programs offered at the school. Currently, the University of Montana offers over 100 different academic programs at the school. Many of these programs are also offered to students entirely online. By offering these programs online, the University of Montana has placed among our top online colleges in Montana. University of Montana is a public institution.

Accreditation: University of Montana is accredited by the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities (NWCCU).

Tuition: $408/credit

Click here for a list of University of Montana‘s online programs.

#3. University of Montana Western

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Located in Dillon, Montana, the University of Montana Western is a public institution. Part of the Montana University System, the University of Montana Western was founded in 1893. Originally known as the Montana State Normal School, the University of Montana Western was founded as part of an effort to create more trained teachers for the Montana public education system. Over time, Montana State Normal School expanded its curriculum to include four-year degree programs in education. These degree programs ended up being very popular, and the Montana State Normal School decided to expand into additional types of academic programming. With this change in academic programming came a new name. Renamed to Western Montana College, the school began to see higher enrollment than ever before. Over the coming decades, Western Montana College moved beyond offering solely four-year degree programs into offering students the ability to pursue graduate degrees. In 2000, Western Montana College underwent another major change when it was made part of the Montana University System. Renamed to the University of Montana Western, the school is now home to over 1,200 students.

University of Montana Western offers students many different academic programs to enroll in. At this time, students at the University of Montana Western can choose from dozens of academic programs offered at the school. A large number of these programs are also offered to students entirely online. By making these programs available online, the University of Montana Western has ranked among our top online colleges in Montana. University of Montana Western is a public institution.

Accreditation: University of Montana Western is accredited by the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities (NWCCU).

Tuition: $442/credit

Click here for a list of University of Montana Western‘s online programs.

#4. Montana Tech

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With the motto “Of the metals”, Montana Tech is a public university. Located in Butte, Montana, Montana Tech was first established as the Montana State School of Mines. Established in 1889, the Montana State School of Mines was founded in response to Montana’s burgeoning mining industry. Wanting to ensure that there was a large population of trained workers to work within the mining industry, the State of Montana founded the Montana State School of Mines to provide vocational training to these students. Over time, the scope of the Montana State School of Mines expanded. Over the course of the 20th century, the Montana State School of Mines began to incorporate a much wider variety of academic programs. Beginning to offer full-fledged college degrees, Montana State School of Mines also started to offer students degrees outside of mining technology. Eventually becoming affiliated with the University of Montana in 1994, the school was renamed to Montana Tech of the University of Montana. With the backing of the University of Montana, Montana Tech of the University of Montana continued to grow. In 2018, the school was renamed to its current name of Montana Technological University or Montana Tech.

Home to almost 2,500 students, Montana Tech offers its student body the opportunity to select from a large catalog of academic programs. At this time, students at Montana Tech can choose from over forty-five undergraduate degrees as well as over a dozen graduate programs. A large number of these programs are also made available to students entirely online, helping secure Montana Tech’s place among the top online universities and colleges in Montana. Montana Tech is a public institution.

Accreditation: Montana Tech is accredited by the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities (NWCCU).

Tuition: $550/credit

Click here for a list of Montana Tech ‘s online programs.

#5. Montana State University Billings

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Part of the Montana State University System, Montana State University Billings is a public university. Located in Billings, Montana, Montana State University Billings was founded in 1927. With the motto “Access and Excellence”, Montana State University Billings was first founded as Eastern Montana Normal School. At the time, the Eastern Montana Normal School was founded as a teacher training facility. Wanting to increase the quality of the state’s public education system, the State of Montana founded the Eastern Montana Normal School to aid in the training of more qualified teachers. Over time, Eastern Montana Normal School began to offer students the opportunity to enroll in different programs of study. Along with this change came a shift toward offering students the opportunity to pursue college-level degrees. By 1965, Eastern Montana Normal School had added so many additional academic programs that it was renamed to Eastern Montana College. This name change helped better communicate to potential students the variety of degree programs offered at the school. In 1994, Eastern Montana College was absorbed into the Montana State University System and was renamed to Montana State University Billings. Now, Montana State University Billings enrolls nearly 4,500 students.

Home of the Yellowjackets, Montana State University Billings maintains a large catalog of academic programs for students to choose from. Currently, students at Montana State University Billings can choose from over 100 different programs across the school’s undergraduate and graduate offerings. A large portion of these programs is also made available to students entirely online. This commitment to online learning has earned Montana State University Billings a place among the top online universities and colleges in Montana. Montana State University Billings is a public institution.

Accreditation: Montana State University Billings is accredited by the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities (NWCCU).

Tuition: $562/credit

Click here for a list of Montana State University Billings‘ online programs.

#6. University of Providence

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Located in Great Falls, Montana, the University of Providence is a private Catholic university. Established with the motto “In Thy Light We See Light”, the University of Providence was originally established as the Great Falls Junior College for Women. Started by the Catholic Bishop of Great Falls, Edwin Vincent O’Hara, Great Falls Junior College was founded in association with the Ursuline Sisters and the Sisters of Charity of Providence. Operating as a women’s only school for the first five years, the school then began to enroll men in 1937. At this same time, another school was established nearby. Known as the Great Falls Normal School, this school was created in order to train teachers to work within the nearby school districts. In 1942, it was decided that these two schools should be merged into one in order to form a singular entity. Renamed to Great Falls College of Education, this school began to educate students from across the area. The name was later simplified to the College of Great Falls. This name was selected to better reflect the variety of academic programs being offered at the school. In 1995, the school was renamed to the University of Great Falls and then finally to the University of Providence in 2017. Today, the University of Providence enrolls a student body of over 1,100 students.

Students at the University of Providence are able to select from a large catalog of academic programs offered at the school. At this time, the University of Providence offers over forty different undergraduate degree programs and nearly a dozen graduate degrees. Of these programs, the University of Providence offers many of them to students entirely online. By offering these programs entirely online, the University of Providence has ranked among our top online universities and colleges in Montana. University of Providence is a private institution.

Accreditation: University of Providence is accredited by the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities (NWCCU).

Tuition: $814/credit

Click here for a list of University of Providence‘s online programs.

#7. Montana State University Northern

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Part of the Montana State University System, Montana State University Northern is a public university. Located in Havre, Montana, Montana State University Northern was founded in 1929. Sixteen years prior to officially opening, Montana State University Northern’s establishment was called for as the Northern Montana Agriculture and Manual Training School. Due to a lack of funding, it wasn’t until 1929 that the school was able to officially be built and opened. At the time, the school was then known as the Northern Montana School. Two years after its founding, Northern Montana School began to shift its identity towards that of a college. Renaming itself to Northern Montana College that same year, the school began to experiment with offering students the opportunity to enroll in college degree programs. That following year, Northern Montana College received its accreditation as a college, and the school’s growth began to skyrocket. Enrolling more and more students, Northern Montana College continued to add additional programs to its academic offerings. Eventually, Northern Montana College was absorbed into the Montana State University System and was renamed to Montana State University Northern. Now, Montana State University Northern is home to a student body of over 1,100 students.

Home of the Northern Lights and the Northern Skylights, Montana State University Northern now offers its students a wide catalog of academic programs to choose from. At the time of this writing, students at Montana State University Northern can choose from thirty-five different academic programs being offered at the school. A selection of these degrees is also made available to students entirely online. By dedicating resources to online education, Montana State University Northern has ranked among the top online colleges in Montana. Montana State University Northern is a public institution.

Accreditation: Montana State University Northern is accredited by the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities (NWCCU).

Tuition: $818/credit

Click here for a list of Montana State University Northern‘s online programs.

NPCO Staff
February 2019

This has been a ranking of the top nonprofit online colleges in Montana.