Montana State University

MSU Office of International Programs

Montana State University
P.O. Box 172260
400 Culbertson Hall
Bozeman, MT 59717-2260

May Heriza

Tel: (406) 994-4031
Fax: (406) 994-1619
may.heriza@montana.edu

Frequently Asked Questions from Agents and Counselors


Agent Contract Information

  • How do I become an agent at Montana State University?

We have a very selective process and only work with a few top agents in each region.  The first step is to complete our Prospective Agent Application form and submit it to may.heriza@montana.edu.  A committee will assess your application and conduct reference checks before making a decision.

  • Do you pay commissions?

Yes, we pay a standard 10% commission to contracted agents for the first two semester’s tuition at MSU.   Our ACE Language Institute also pays a commission for students that study ESL prior to University study.  That requires an additional contract with ACE directly.  If you are interested in applying for their contract as well, please contact Mary Ulrichr at: mulrich@cultural.org.

  • Do you waive the application fee for agents?

We are not able to waive the application fee for any agent, counselor or student do to Board of Regent regulations.  The undergraduate online application fee is US$36 and the paper application fee is US$30.  The graduate online application fee is US$50 and the paper application fee is US$60.  Application fees can easily be paid with a credit card when using the online application system or with a bank check for paper applications.  For students seeking conditional admission to MSU, we do not require any separate application or fee to the ACE Language Institute.  We take care of everything for you.

  • Will you authorize me to become an exclusive agent in my country or region?

No, we do not offer exclusivity to any agent.  Instead we prefer to work with a few select agents in each region.  We can guarantee that we will not work with too many agents in any one region so as to cause problems for our partners.

  • Are the students who apply through my agency guaranteed admission to Montana State University or offered any special consideration?

No.  We promise to give you the best service possible, however there is no special consideration for applications sent through agents.  Our standards and admission policies are the same for all applicants.  What we can promise you is regular communication and updates about your applicants and a direct contact to us to ask all questions.  We can also guarantee that applications will be processed as quickly as possible!

  • How can I get more brochures or recruitment materials?

Please email May Heriza with your request at: may.heriza@montana.edu.  If you need them for a particular event please be sure to request them approximately a month out to ensure processing time.

  • Since I am an agent, is there anything special I must include with the applications I send you?

Yes.  In order to better serve you, it is very important that we know which applications you send to us.  With each application you send to us please be sure to include a cover letter with:

your company information
the address you wish the admission documents sent to
the students name, course of study and intended semester
request for conditional admission if that is the situation
representative’s name and email address for contact
any special requests on behalf of the student

Application and I-20 questions

  • Where will I-20's be sent and by what type of mail?

I-20’s will be sent to the agent’s address indicated on the cover letter of the application.  An email will be sent to inform you that the admission documents are completed and in the mail to you.  Our standard policy is to send documents through Global Priority Mail.  Please be aware that this service can take up to 2 weeks to reach some countries and is not trackable.  If you or the student would prefer to get admission materials faster, please be sure to include an addition US$50 courier fee along with the application fee.  When the courier fee is paid we will ship documents through FedEx and will email you with the tracking number.

  • How long will it take to process my student’s application?

Undergraduate:  Undergraduate applications are very fast and generally take 2 – 3 days once all of the application documents are received.  This means we can have admission materials to you within a week if the courier fee is paid, or just over 2 weeks if not.

Graduate:  The graduate application process is much slower because it is competitive admission and all decisions are made internal to each department.  In general, the process can take anywhere from 1 – 6 months.  Please be aware that graduate deadlines are firm and that most strong applicants apply by the priority deadlines of September 1st for Spring semester and January 15th for Fall semester.

  • How will I know if you have received the application and materials I have sent to you?

We will email the person on the cover sheet to inform you that we have received the application and will continue to let you know when other materials are received.  You can also contact us to find out the status if you have not heard.

  • Do you offer conditional admission to students who have not taken the TOEFL or IELTS?  What about students who do not meet your English requirements?

Undergraduate:  Yes, we do offer conditional admission at the undergraduate level for any student who either has not taken the TOEFL exam or does not meet our minimum requirement of a 71 iBT for the TOEFL or 6.0 for the IELTS.  In order to offer full admission we do require official results directly sent from the testing centers.  Conditionally admitted students will automatically be applied to the ACE Language Institute and will be required to take an English Placement Exam upon arrival at MSU.  There is no separate application fee or process for conditionally admitted students.
Graduate:  No, in general there is no conditional admission for graduate students, unless it is a government sponsored applicant.  Each department sets their own TOEFL standards, but in general the minimum is 80 iBT for the TOEFL and 7.0 for the IELTS and we do require official scores from the testing centers.  For a government sponsored applicant we have a process of requesting provisional admission from the departments.  Please contact Ms May Heriza for questions about that process at:may.heriza@montana.edu.

  • Will you accept documents that I send to you by fax of email?  Can I certify or attest student documents myself?

Yes, we will accept faxed or emailed copies of most application materials for the initial application.  Prior to the start of classes students must present an official transcript and diploma.  We do require official SAT exam scores as well as TOEFL or IELTS scores.  We do not accept documents certified by the agent.  They must be certified by the institution, the Ministry of Education, an Education USA office or another formal body.

  • Should I send the SEVIS fee to you?  How do I pay the SEVIS fee?  Can you help me with questions regarding the SEVIS process?

The SEVIS fee is not charged by Montana State University.  Please do not send the SEVIS fee to us.  Details on how to pay the SEVIS fee are included in the student’s admission documents.  Should you have any questions, please contact our visa expert at: international@montana.edu .

  • Will you accept students with GPA’s below the minimum posted score?

No, we cannot make any exceptions based on GPA’s below our freshman minimum of a 2.5/4.0 GPA or our transfer of a 2.0/4.0 GPA. 

Financial Information

  • How much does it cost to attend Montana State University?

Montana State University offers exceptional academic programs at very reasonable tuition rates as compared to comparative schools.  Undergraduate tuition is US$20,500 and living expenses average US$8,000 per year for an I-20 total of US$28,500.  Graduate tuition is US$14,400 and living expenses average US$10,100 per year for an I-20 total of US$25,000.

  • Do you offer any scholarships or financial aid?  Do you offer assistantships for graduate students? 

Undergraduate:  There are 2 scholarship opportunities for undergraduate applicants.  For students applying as freshmen who do not have any previous college credit, there is an Achievement Scholarship based solely on SAT/ACT scores.  You can see the complete awards chart at: http://www.montana.edu/admissions/scholarshipsnonres.shtml .  This scholarship is renewable based on maintaining a 3.0/4.0 GPA at MSU.  The second scholarship is for both freshmen and transfer applicants and is based on academic performance exceeding a 3.0/4.0 GPA.    All applicants will automatically be considered for this scholarship based on the marks presented with their application.  This scholarship is worth US$3,500 for the first year of study.  Please note that students cannot be awarded both scholarships, but would be offered the best one.

Graduate:  Some graduate departments offer teaching and research assistantships.  Students should check with the department they are applying to in order to learn more and see if they would be eligible.

Campus Life and Employment Opportunities

  • Can students work on campus?

Yes, according to U.S. visa regulations international students can work up to 20 hours per week on campus during their academic study or full time during any holidays or summer.  Working off campus requires special approval.

  • How many international students are at Montana State University?

There are 400 international students representing 75 countries at MSU. 

  • Do you have any special international student organizations or clubs?

Yes, we offer a number of clubs and programs outlined below.  There are also many specific country associations, such as the Chinese Student Association and the Indian Student Association. 

complete list of international associations

  • Bozeman Friends of International Students (BFIS), which matches students with a friendship family in the Bozeman community
  • Global Culture Club (GCC), the club for foreign students and scholars on campus
  • Friends Beyond Borders, a program that pairs new international students with American student mentors
  • ESL and American Culture Class for spouses
  • annual  International Education Week and International Street Food Bazaar
  • Do you have campus housing?  How do students apply and what are their options?

Undergraduates:  Campus housing is guaranteed for all undergraduate students!  We have 10 different dormitories located across campus with a variety of themes and services offered.  All dormitories offer a cafeteria, computer laboratory, lounge, free internet service and laundry facilities.  All freshman are required to live on campus their first year of study.  Transfer students and all students past their first year are welcome to live on or off campus.  Apartments and houses are available to rent near campus, however none are as close and convenient as the dormitories.  Students can apply for housing online at: http://www.montana.edu/reslife/application.php .  A US$200 deposit is required and will reserve the room.  Since many international students arrive on campus early there is temporary housing available in the dormitories for students who have already applied for a room.  This is the cheapest and easiest option for getting students settled upon arrival.  We are able to arrange the temporary housing based on the students arrival details.
Graduates:  Family and graduate housing is available on campus and many graduate students prefer this option since it is often the cheapest and closest to campus.  For information and application procedures please visit their website at: http://www.montana.edu/fgh/ .  Please be aware that graduate housing fills up quickly and students are encouraged to apply as soon as they are granted admission.

  • Do you have an on campus ESL program?

Yes, we have spectacular ESL programs at our ACE Language Institute located right next to campus with most of the classes actually held on campus.  The ACE Language Institute can accommodate students at all levels of English through level 7 which is for graduate students.  Conditionally admitted students will take the English Placement Test offered by the ACE Language Institute and those needing English would study there until completion of level 6.  No TOEFL is necessary!  Students studying at the ACE Language Institute are treated just like MSU students and have access to all student facilities, including: the dormitories, gymnasium, clubs, etc.  ACE students have the option of staying in the dormitories or using the homestay program depending on their interest.