The Billings Outpost

Montana colleges rank as overall best in U.S.

HELENA – According to a “Smart Rating” developed by FindTheBest, Montana has the best overall colleges in the United States. 

“From the Montana University System, to our tribal colleges, to our private colleges, we’ve always known our schools provide Montanans with a world-class education,” said Gov. Steve Bullock. “I’m proud that our state is being recognized for the incredible work our colleges and universities do to prepare the leaders of the future.”

Founded in 2009, FindTheBest has a goal of “collecting all the world’s data” and synthesizing that into a usable format that provides users with “everything [they] need to research with confidence.” 

According to their website, (, they help “23 million monthly visitors research thousands of topics with confidence.”

The ratings consider admission selectivity, academic excellence, the opinions of experts and affordability.

Former chairman of the Board of Regents and current Lt. Gov. Angela McLean said, “During my time as chair of the Board of Regents, I witnessed first-hand the remarkable work being done in our colleges and universities. Education is a top priority of our administration, and we will continue to work tirelessly to ensure that Montana remains the best state in the nation to obtain an education.”

One of the pillars of Gov. Bullock’s Main Street Montana Project is: Train and Educate Tomorrow’s Workforce Today. Key to that effort is aligning Montana’s educational system with the needs of a changing economy, creating partnerships between our colleges and universities, and the private sector, and providing a lifetime continuum of quality education – from pre-school through adulthood. 

Montana’s colleges and universities are already engaged in that effort, and that engagement is expected to grow in the coming years.

Commissioner of Higher Education Clayton Christian said, “Our dedicated professors and support staff in Montana have top-notch credentials and world-class talent. But even more, they just roll up their sleeves and work hard to help students succeed.”

West Virginia and Maine tied Montana for the top spot, also receiving a score of 78.

Copyright 2012 Wild Raspberry Inc.

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