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Montana Western ranks second nationally for value

December 28, 2009

The newly released ranking of “30 well-regarded and affordable colleges with lots of small classes” places Montana Western second only to the State University of New York College of Environmental Science and Forestry.

The ranking took into consideration five factors in determining each university’s ranking: the number of classes with 19 or fewer students; the total number of undergraduates; the percentage of faculty who are full-time; selectivity in the acceptance process; and tuition and fees. Montana Western has 73 classes with 19 or fewer students. Tuition and fees are $4,866 per year for Montana residents and $13,050 for non-residents.

The small campus and unique block scheduling program, Experience One, are conducive to keeping class sizes small, giving Montana Western a student-to-professor ratio of 16 to one.

Although the ranking warns readers that smaller classes may also mean classes are taught by graduate students or adjuncts, 97 percent of Montana Western’s professors have either a master’s degree, a Ph.D or both. Fifty-nine percent of classes at Montana Western are taught by full-time, tenured or tenure-track faculty.

“As universities across the country face serious budget shortfalls and the cost of a college education continues to rise, Montana Western continues to offer the best value in the region,” Montana Western Chancellor Richard Storey said of the ranking. “Not only does Experience One give students more attention from their professors, it gives them more hands-on, real-world learning opportunities at a cost they can afford.”