Montana State University

MSU remains school of choice for high achieving students

May 22, 2014 -- By Tanya Reinhardt, MSU News Service

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MSU News Service
Tel: (406) 994-4571

BOZEMAN— Montana State University continues to attract the top academically ranked high school scholars from the state with more Montana University System Honor Scholarship recipients applying to MSU than all of the other Montana schools combined.

The MUS Honor Scholarship is a 4-year renewable scholarship that provides free tuition for up to four years to top students from Montana high schools based on grade point averages and college entrance exam scores. The scholarship at MSU equates to approximately $5,300 annually.

While students may use the scholarships at any of the state's colleges, universities or two-year institutions, 68 percent have applied to MSU this fall.

According to Ronda Russell, MSU’s admissions director, 140 of the 205 Montana high school students eligible for the MUS Honor Scholarship have applied to MSU this fall.

“The number of honor students selecting MSU is up 5 percent from last year and is more than all of the other colleges in the state combined,” Russell said.

For the past five years the largest share of the honor students have enrolled at MSU with 135 of 213 scholarship recipients choosing MSU last fall; 127 of 206 in 2012; 99 out of 176 in 2011; and 121 out of 199 in 2010.

“Because students can choose to use the honor scholarships at any of the state's colleges, universities or two-year institutions, seeing so many choose MSU is indicative of the quality of our programs,” Russell said.

According to the MUS Honor Scholarship guidelines, eligible students must have a cumulative grade point average of 3.4 after seven semesters in high school to apply.

“MSU continues to attract the top academically ranked high school scholars from the state and this year is no exception,” said Ilse-Mari Lee, dean of MSU’s Honors College. “Between the Presidential Scholarship recipients and those joining us with the state Honor Scholarships, we have attracted an inspirational cohort of highly motivated scholars,” Lee said.

“These are the future Fulbright winners and the upcoming Goldwater scholars,” Lee said. “The gifts of these incoming students are truly inspirational and they will undoubtedly impact our community, state and nation in meaningful ways.”

While Harvard and Princeton have the most Goldwater Scholars of any school with 87 recipients, Montana State University ranks in the top ten in the nation with 61 scholars ranking just below Johns Hopkins University and Massachusetts Institute of Technology and above Yale University and Northwestern University.

“MSU has been drawing record numbers of students, while maintaining and even increasing the quality of our incoming students,” Lee said. 

Seventeen MSU students were honored for receiving national academic scholarship or honorable mentions at MSU’s annual scholarship reception in April. Of those honored there were: three Goldwater scholars, two Udall scholarship recipients, two Fulbright recipients, a Boren scholarship recipient and several research fellowships from the National Science Foundation as well as national finalists for Fulbright, Rhodes and Truman scholarships.

MSU students have also won ten Rhodes scholarships, as well as Marshall, Gates-Cambridge, Mitchell, Fulbright, Udall and Truman Scholarships.

Contact: Ronda Russell, (406) 994-5541,