In the Sept. 29 issue of The Outpost, an article on the Montana University System contains a quote attributed to the Commissioner of Higher Education that is factually incorrect.
The quote, “Commissioner of Higher Education Sheila Stearns said Montana has a relatively high graduation rate out of the high schools but fewer than 10 percent go directly into the state’s universities and COTs,” grossly understates the percentage of Montana high school graduates who attend the Montana University System immediately following high school graduation.
In Fall 2010, 58 percent of recent Montana high school graduates attended college immediately following graduation. That 58 percent is distributed between in-state and out-of-state colleges like this: 39 percent attend one of the state’s universities, colleges of technology or community colleges, approximately 6 percent go to either a tribal or private college, and about 13 percent go out of state (source: National Center of Education Statistics).
Tyler Trevor is associate commissioner for planning and analysis in the Office of the Commissioner of Higher Education.