Why This Matters


    According to College Navigator, there are 15 two-year institutions that grant associate degrees in Montana.


    Data from College Board shows that, during the 2022-23 school year, the average Montana student paid $4,006 in tuition and fees at public in-district community colleges.


    During the 2019-20 school year, 452,493 students attending two-year institutions in the U.S. received a scholarship, grant, or similar form of financial aid.

Our Research

This list features some of the best community colleges in Montana. Each school featured is a nonprofit, accredited institution — either public or private — with a high standard of academic quality for post-secondary institutions. We included small, midsize, and large colleges as well as trade, technical, and vocational programs. Next, we compared this comprehensive list to a list of aggregated college rankings from reputable publications like the U.S. News & World Report among others to simplify a student’s college search. We pored through these rankings so students don’t have to.

The colleges on our list are accredited by the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities (NWCCU), a reputable organization that examines objectives, quality and overall effectiveness of education programs in the Pacific Northwest region of the United States.

We evaluated each school on tuition costs, admission, retention and graduation rates, faculty, and reputation as well as the student resources provided for students. Then we calculated the Intelligent Score on a scale of 0 to 100. Read more about our ranking methodology.

The Top 50 Community Colleges in Montana

Best Community Colleges In Montana Badge 2023
Intelligent Pick
Chief Dull Knife College
Fastest Completion
Miles Community College
Best for a B.S. in Nursing
Blackfeet Community College
Best for Online Learning
Dawson Community College
Best for Rural Public Health
Stone Child College
Best for Native American Studies
Fort Peck Community College
Best for Individualized Instruction
Little Big Horn College
Best for Student Life
Flathead Valley Community College
Most Affordable
Salish Kootenai College
Best Location
Montana Technological University

What You Should Know About Graduating From Community College in Montana

As you prepare for community college, you should consider your career and salary goals. Data from May 2021 shows that the top five highest-paying careers for associate degree holders in Montana were radiation therapists, nuclear medicine technologists, diagnostic medical sonographers, air traffic controllers, and dental hygienists.

Associate degree holders entering the workforce should also consider which careers are more open to hiring new graduates. The occupations projected to have the most annual job openings over the next decade in Montana are paralegals and legal assistants, forest and conservation technicians, preschool teachers (excluding special education), radiologic technicians, and dental hygienists.

While some careers are expected to rise, others are expected to decline. For example, broadcast technicians are projected to see the biggest drop in employment in Montana.

What’s Next?

As you examine community colleges, keep in mind the financial aid opportunities available to you. To help associate degree students fund their education, we’ve put together a list of federal and state resources for grants and scholarships in Montana.

  • Montana Office of Public Instruction. The Montana Office of Public Instruction offers details about state tuition costs as well as information regarding the scholarships and loans that can be used to pay for tuition.
  • Federal Student Aid. Each year, the U.S. Department of Education’s office of Federal Student Aid provides over $120 billion in financial aid. To see if you are eligible, simply visit the FAFSA4caster. Then, you can apply by filling out the online FAFSA form.
  • CareerOneStop. This resource, sponsored by the Bureau of Labor Statistics, facilitates access to scholarships, grants, and loans. Students can quickly find financial aid by filtering their search by degree level and state. The site also offers details about award amounts, qualifications, and deadlines.