Montana State University

MSU named to Indian Country Today’s list of top universities for Native students

July 12, 2016 -- Carol Schmidt, MSU News

MSU was named to Indian Country Today’s “Hot List” of five universities Native students should check out because of the support and scholarships offered to Native students. MSU Photo by Kelly Gorham.

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Montana State University was named one of the country’s best universities for Native students by Indian Country Today.

The university made the publication’s “Five Universities for Native Students to Check Out: 2016 Hot List,” an annual national listing of colleges and universities that offer support and scholarships for Native students.

In the story published July 11, writer Debra Utacia Krol wrote “For those who can’t abide big cities, take the immortal Merle Haggard’s advice and head to the middle of Montana—well, not quite the middle, but to beautiful Bozeman—to earn your degree at Montana State University. Named one of the top 100 minority degree producers by Diverse Education, MSU offers Natives degree programs in many sought-after programs such as sustainable food production, natural resources and rangeland ecology, and education.

“Plus, you’ll be living in the gorgeous Gallatin Valley, with clean water and air, support from the Native American Studies program and a cost of living that’s only slightly higher than the U.S. average. Pow wows are plentiful in Montana as well, including the legendary Crow Fair.”

Walter Fleming (Kickapoo Tribe in Kansas), chair of MSU Native American Studies program, which is the center of MSU Native programs, said that the university was honored to be included in the annual list and is proud of the varied programs offered to support its Native students.

“We were challenged by past MSU President Geoff Gamble to make MSU the “University of Choice” for Native students in this region.  President Crusado has embraced this philosophy by committing resources to recruit and retain Native students.  The legacy of these commitments is the national recognition we receive for our Native support programs. 

“We look at it as a privilege to work with Native students and recognize that we have an enormous responsibility to our Native communities to care for the young people that they entrust to us.  In recognition of the importance of family to Native people, we try to treat our Indian students like we would want our sons and daughters or nieces and nephews to be treated.”

Other universities included in the list were the University of Maine, Humboldt State University in California, University of California Los Angeles and the University of Tulsa. Last year, nearly 600 students at MSU identified as Native American. For more information about Native programs at MSU, see MSU Admissions.

MSU currently offers hundreds of thousands of dollars in aid to Native students. More information can be found at the Native financial aid page.

MSU offers a variety of programs across the university that support Native American students, including the American Indian Research Opportunities, Caring for Our Own, a co-op program in the College of Nursing, Native American Collaborations and the ILEAD (Indian Leadership Education and Development), Wanji Oyate programs in the College of Education, Health and Human Development, the McNair Program for Undergraduate Scholars, EMPower STEM Peer Mentoring Program and TRiO Support Services, among others.

This year two MSU students from Montana, Montana Duke Wilson of Poplar, a member of the Gros Ventre of the Fort Belknap Indian Community and a member of the Assiniboine and Sioux tribes of the Fort Peck Indian Reservation, and  Elva Faye Agnes Dorsey, a member of the Blackfeet Nation of Browning, both were selected as Udall Scholars in the Tribal Public Policy category.

Walter Fleming, (406) 994- 3881, wfleming@montana.edu