Montana Access Scholarships

mountains reflected in a lake

A Partnership for Montana's Future

With your support, more than 1,000 UM students could benefit from more than $1 million in need-based financial support to make their UM education an achievable reality. Philanthropic gifts, matched dollar-for-dollar by the state through the Montana Legislature-approved Montana Access Scholarship initiative, are required to claim this critical scholarship funding. 

Join us. Be part of something big. 

Across the state, deserving Montana-resident students with limited resources need our helping hands to pursue their dream of a college education. The University of Montana will empower these students to succeed. Your scholarship gift will extend twice as far for these Montana students under this match program. Read the news release. 


Make a Gift

Gifts of any amount from any donor — individuals, families, businesses and private foundations — count toward this public-private partnership. 



Montana Access Scholarships

In April, the 66th Montana Legislature approved $2 million for state need-based student aid that, when matched one-to-one by private donations from each campus fundraising foundation, will provide a total of $4 million in financial aid for students across the Montana University System over the next two years.

As campus foundations receive donations for this program, the State of Montana, through the Office of the Commissioner of Higher Education, will match those funds up to the cap amounts specified for each campus. Distribution of the state funds is conditional on a 1:1 match from private donors. 

UM-Missoula and Missoula College students are eligible to receive more than $1 million in scholarships through the program, provided that the University of Montana Foundation receives $529,000 in philanthropic gifts directed to this initiative.

How Students Will Benefit

Montana Access Scholarships will be distributed based on need, and gifts cannot be directed to a certain school or college, major or other criteria. Recipients are selected by the UM Office of Financial Aid based on financial need determined by the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) form submitted by students to UM.

The scholarships will be awarded to Montana residents who have financial need (as evidenced by Pell Grant eligibility) and are pursuing a certificate, associate degree or first bachelor’s degree at UM-Missoula or Missoula College campuses.

Recipients must be enrolled full-time (12 credits or more per semester). Recipients who are 25 years or older, pursuing a certificate or two-year program and enrolled part-time (6 credits or more per semester) are also eligible. Students remain eligible in successive years if they meet Satisfactory Academic Progress as determined by the University of Montana.

Students will be awarded $500 per semester, totaling $1,000 for students enrolled in both fall and spring semesters.

Please join us in providing philanthropic support to match this State of Montana investment in the future of Montana students.

Make a Gift

Contact Us

Chris Ritrievi

Please contact Vice President of Development Chris Ritrievi at or 406-243-4607 for more information.