Tuition Waivers

Tuition waivers are tuition designated awards. Unless otherwise noted, they cover 100% of the cost of resident tuition. They do not cover any fees or program specific tuition charges and cannot be used for self-funded courses (courses offered through the School of Extended and Lifelong Learning). 

No combination of waivers or tuition designated awards (e.g. the Montana Academic Achievement Scholarship) can exceed the cost of tuition.

Tuition waiver applications must be received by the end of the third week of classes and may reduce a student's federal aid package. Awards are not made retroactively. With the exception of Senior Citizen and Faculty/Staff waivers a student must be making satisfactory academic progress (SAP) to be eligible.

Some waivers are Board of Regents designated (i.e. mandatory), others are at the discretion of UM. Waiver policies may change with little to no notice.

Montana University System (MUS) Honors Scholarship

The MUS Honors Scholarship is a competitive award given to students graduating from Montana high schools. It is awarded to the students with the best combined GPA and test scores statewide.

Application is made through the MUS website with assistance from a student's high school counselor.

The scholarship waives undergraduate tuition for up to eight continuous semesters, excluding summer.

Community College 2 + 2 Honors Scholarship

The 2 + 2 Honors Scholarship is awarded to students who graduate with an associate's degree from a two-year Montana University System (MUS) campus or a Montana Community College. The scholarship waives the undergraduate tuition cost at any four-year MUS campus for up to four continuous semesters, excluding summer.

To be eligibile a student must meet the following conditions:

  • Apply the June immediatetly following graduation
  • Have earned an associate's degree from an eligible campus with a minimum cumulative GPA of 3.4
  • Have been enrolled in and attended at an eligible campus for at least two semesters prior to graduating
  • Have been accepted by or enrolled at an eligible four-year campus
  • Utilize the scholarship the next semester (autumn/spring) following the receipt of an associate degree
  • Be a US Citizen and Montana resident

Application is made through the MUS website.

National Merit Semi-Finalist Scholarship

National Merit Semi-Finalists who recently graduated from a Montana high school are eligible to receive this scholarship. It is NOT renewable.

Application is made with the assistance of the high school guidance counselor.

American Indian Tuition Waiver

To qualify for the American Indian Tuition Waiver a student must meet all of the following:

  • Be one quarter (1/4) degree of Indian blood and/or be an enrolled member of a state-recognized or federally recognized Indian tribe located within the boundaries of the state of Montana.
  • Be classified as a Montana resident
  • Have demonstrated financial need each year of enrollment as determined by the FAFSA

Blood quantum and/or enrollment status can be documented with a CIB (Certificate of Indian Blood) letter or card; Tribal Enrollment Card; Form letter(s) documenting descendency (birth certificate) that equal ¼ or more; and document of parent (grandparent) enrollment and/or degree of blood.

To apply, complete the American Indian Student Tuition Waiver Application and submit it to the Financial Aid Office along with blood quantum and/or enrollment status.

Faculty/Staff Tuition Waiver

To qualify for the Faculty/Staff Tuition Waiver, a student must meet all of the following conditions:

  • Be employed at the University of Montana
  • Be a permanent employee of .75 FTE or greater
  • Have completed any union probationary period of employment, if required
  • Have obtained approval with signatures of the supervisor and director/dean

Faculty and staff members who terminate during the academic semester in which they receive a waiver will be required to reimburse the University for the value of the waiver.

Application is made through Human Resources.

Dependents of Faculty/Staff Partial Tuition Waiver

After five years of employment, dependents of employees of the Montana University System (MUS) are eligible for a tuition waiver equal to 50% of resident tuition. A dependent includes the employee’s spouse or adult dependent, as defined in the MUS Employee Benefits Plan, and financially dependent children as defined by the Internal Revenue Code who are unmarried and under age 25.

The waiver ceases to be available once a student earns their first bachelor's degree.

Contact Human Resources for the application and for more detailed information.

Senior Citizen Tuition Waiver

To be eligible for the Senior Citizen Tuition Waiver a student must be at least sixty-five (65) years old prior to the start of the semester and be classified as a Montana resident.

To apply, complete the Senior Citizen Tuition Waiver Application and return it to the Financial Aid Office along with proof of age.

Honorably Discharged Veteran Tuition Waiver

To qualify for the Montana Honorably Discharged Veteran Tuition Waiver a student must meet all of the following:

  • Have received an Honorable Discharge
  • Have at one time qualified for veterans benefits under Title 38 of the U.S. Code but benefits have expired or been exhausted
  • Be a Montana resident
  • Meet one of the service qualifications listed below:
    • Served during World War II, the Korean War or the Vietnam War.
    • Served subsequent to Vietnam and received an Expeditionary Medal*, and be enrolled in an initial degree or certificate program.
    • Served in a combat theater in the Persian Gulf between 8-2-90 and 4-11-91 and received the SW Asia Service Medal*, and be enrolled in an initial degree or certificate program.
    • Awarded the Kosovo Campaign Medal* and be enrolled in an initial degree or certificate program.
    • Served in a combat theater in Afghanistan or Iraq after September 11, 2001, and received either the Global War on Terrorism Expeditionary Medal, the Afghanistan Campaign Medal or the Iraq Campaign Medal and be enrolled in an initial degree or certificate program.

* For purposes of this policy any of above-noted medals shall be deemed to have been "awarded" if a veteran was eligible for the medal but chose to receive another medal in lieu thereof.

To apply, complete the Montana Honorably Discharged Veteran Tuition Waiver Application and submit it to the Financial Aid Office.

War Orphans Tuition Waiver

To qualify for the War Orphan Tuition Waiver, a student must be a child of a member of the armed forces of the United States who served on active duty during WWII, the Korean, Vietnam, Iraq or Afghanistan conflicts. The parent must have been a legal resident of Montana at the time of entry into the service and must have been killed in action or died as a result of injury, disease or other disability while in service.

To apply, contact the Commissioner of Higher Education at:

Commissioner of Higher Education
2500 Broadway
Helena, MT 59620
Phone (406) 444-6594

Surviving Dependents of a MT National Guard Member Tuition Waiver

The surviving spouse or child of any Montana National Guard member killed as a result of injury, disease, or other disability incurred in the line of duty while serving on state active duty is eligible for a waiver.

This waiver shall not apply to the extent that any such person is eligible for educational benefits from any governmental or private benefit program that provides comparable benefits.

A student should contact the financial aid office if they think they are eligible.

Surviving Dependents of a MT Firefighter or Peace Officer Tuition Waiver

The surviving spouse or child of any Montana firefighter or peace officer killed in the course and scope of employment is eligible for a waiver.

This waiver shall not apply to the extent that any such person is eligible for educational benefits from any governmental or private benefit program that provides comparable benefits.

A student should contact the financial aid office if they think they are eligible.

Yellow Ribbon

Qualifying non-resident veterans may have a portion of their tuition waived through the Yellow Ribbon program.

Students should contact UM's VETS Office for more information and assistance in applying.