According to the Bozeman Chronicle, nearly three out of four of the top-ranked high school students in the state say they plan to attend Montana State University.
Some 214 Montana students have qualified for the Montana University System Honor Scholarship and 158 or almost 74% have selected the Bozeman campus.
The scholarships, good at 16 public four-year and two-year colleges, pay for annual tuition, or about $5,654 a year at MSU. They are renewable for up to four years, so potentially worth more than $20,000.
High school students are chosen based on their grades, class rank and ACT or SAT exam scores.
In 2016, 72% of scholarship winners chose MSU.
“We’re thrilled to have these students join us on our campus and are committed to helping them succeed,” said Ronda Russell, MSU admissions director.
The trend of top students choosing MSU has been going on for several years as the Bozeman campus has grown, Russell said. Since 2010, the share of scholarship recipients choosing MSU has risen from 60% to 74%.
She also attributed the trend to MSU’s growing Honors College, which has helped many students win prestigious national scholarships, and Dean Ilse-Mari Lee.
“It’s pretty magnificent,” Russell said. “With highly prepared students who might have left the state, Ilse has done a good job getting them to think, ‘I can probably do this in my own state.’”