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Regents React To Feedback On Tuition, Fee Increases


Two members of the Montana Board of Regents were at MSU-Billings Wednesday, May 10, 2017, to hear from faculty, staff and students on how to keep higher education affordable and accessible.

The regents are scheduled to meet later this month to set tuition and fees for the coming two years.

The Montana University System (MUS) has to deal with a $18.8 million shortfall from the 2017 legislative session.

To make up for the drop, the regents have proposed tuition increases for full-time students.

Also being discussed is a proposal for freeze mandatory fees. The regents are addressing fees so students and their families have a complete picture of the total cost of each semester, not just the price of tuition.

Regent Martha Sheehy said what she heard this week on the regents’ proposals, not just Wed. in Billings but also a Monday listening session in Bozeman, has been quite meaningful.

“We are learning  information and getting a lot of ideas from them so, I can’t predict the meeting, yet, because I certainly haven’t made up my mind about what’s best for each of these branches," said Sheehy.

Under the proposal, tuition increases for the first year in-state undergraduate students would range from no increase for MSU-Billings to a 14.5 % increase  at UM Western.

Proposed increases for non-resident undergraduates range from 1.5 % at UM Western to 4.7% at Great Falls College.

Regent William Johnstone was also at the listening session.  A concern he heard is about the challenge of maintaining quality programs with limited funds.

“Our costs are going up as you heard faculty members,” Johnstone said. “It is more of a challenge to recruit and retain faculty members because of compensation. And so it’s not an easy task.”

The regents meet May 25-26, 2017, in Great Falls to take final action on the tuition and fees.

An email address has been created for comments on the tuition, fee and budget proposals at

Tuition Increase Recommendation FY 2018

  • University of Montana:
  •           Resident Undergrad              8.5%
  •           Nonresident Undergrad        3.2%
  • Montana State University:
  •           Resident Undergrad              2.3%
  •           Nonresident Undergrad       3.7%
  • MSU Billings:
  •           Resident Undergrad              0.0%
  •           Nonresident Undergrad       2.7%
  • MT Tech:
  •           Resident Undergrad              3.6%
  •           Nonresident Undergrad       3.3%
  • MSU Northern:
  •           Resident Undergrad              13.0%
  •           Nonresident Undergrad       2.3%
  • UM Western:
  •           Resident Undergrad              14.5%
  •           Nonresident Undergrad       1.5%
  • Helena College:
  •           Resident Undergrad              3.8%
  •           Nonresident Undergrad       4.1%
  • Great Falls College:
  •           Resident Undergrad              4.0%
  •           Nonresident Undergrad       4.3%
Kay Erickson has been working in broadcasting in Billings for more than 20 years. She spent well over a decade as news assignment editor at KTVQ-TV before joining the staff at YPR. She is a graduate of Northern Illinois University, with a degree in broadcast journalism. Shortly after graduation she worked in Great Falls where she was one of the first female sports anchor and reporter in Montana.