Best Community Colleges in Montana 2024


The best community colleges provide an effective springboard into higher education, offering students high-quality two-year degree programs in a wide range of disciplines. The top-rated community colleges in Montana offer a broad selection of associate’s degrees, affordable tuition rates, and strong partnerships with public four-year schools so that students can easily transfer their credits into accredited bachelor’s degree programs.

Colleges and Universities in Montana

Montana has 21 higher learning institutions, including 16 public universities and colleges. The largest is Montana State University (MSU) in Bozeman. With an affordable tuition of $7,000, MSU enrolls just over 16,000 students. Students can earn their degree in fields like forestry, wildlife biology, theatre, and creative writing. The state is also home to five private schools, three of which are religiously affiliated.

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Carroll College is a Roman Catholic liberal arts college with just over 1,000 students in attendance. The tuition runs about $35,000, the most expensive in the state, and it is located on a hilltop in Helena. Students can choose from 18 schools in Montana with tuitions of $7,000 or less, making Montana an affordable state to earn an associate, bachelor’s, master’s, or doctoral degree. The state also offers loan repayment programs, including the Montana NHSC Student Loan Repayment Program, which grants up to $15,000 per year for two years for those in health-related fields.

Hiking through Glacier National Park, exploring the Northern Great Plains, and fishing from one of its many lakes and rivers are just some of the ways to enjoy the natural bounty that Montana has to offer. Visitors and locals can also drive Going-to-the-Sun-Road, a 52-mile highway that ventures through the National Park and crosses into Canada. No matter the outdoor hobby, prospective students are sure to love the scenic backdrop of The Treasure State as they earn their degree.

Check out the best programs Montana has to offer while enjoying the wide-open spaces of Big Sky Country.

What are Montana’s Colleges & Universities?

Montana’s Best Overall

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We’ve identified 2 community colleges in Montana. The following list shows the best community colleges and primarily associate degree granting colleges in Montana.

Best Community Colleges in Montana

  1. Tuition + fees




    Student body


    Career Outlook for degree at Salish Kootenai College

    Cost of Degree: $6,399
    Expenses: $10,920
    Starting Salary: $29,900
    Cost Recoup Time: 11 years
    Paid back at 15% of annual salary
    What is Salish Kootenai College known for?

    Salish Kootenai College’s faculty and alumni have been influential in:

  2. #2

    Stone Child College

    Box Elder , MT

    Tuition + fees




    Student body


    Career Outlook for degree at Stone Child College

    Cost of Degree: $2,645
    Starting Salary: $23,800
    What is Stone Child College known for?

    Stone Child College’s faculty and alumni have been influential in:

2021 Ranking Archive

Many of our 2022 undergraduate focused rankings look considerably different than 2021. That’s because we took a fundamentally different apporach. For 2021 we utilized our Concentrated Influence algorithm, designed to take away the size advantage larger schools have when we rank their faculty and alumni’s academic influence. Concentrated influence highlights smaller schools that are proportionally as successful as larger universities at cultivating influential alumni and faculty.

  1. Salish Kootenai College
  2. Stone Child College
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