Governor's "Best and Brightest" High School Merit Scholarship

The purpose of the Governor’s "Best and Brightest" Merit Scholarship is to provide Montana residents with greater access to Montana’s postsecondary institutions and Montana’s tribal colleges, through scholarship grants based on academic achievement. The goal of these scholarships is to relieve student debt burdens, allowing more Montanans to stay in the state upon graduation. View the Governor's Scholarship Fact Sheet.

Information regarding scholarships awarded by our office is subject to change based on final budget approvals. Funding for these scholarships is not guaranteed and final approval for scholarship awards may be determined after the application period has ended.

In addition, criteria noted for each scholarship is used as a minimum starting point for consideration, the final number of scholarships may be limited. Meeting the eligibility criteria does not guarantee selection.

Eligibility Requirements

A student is eligible to receive a scholarship providing the student:

  • Must be a graduate from a high school accredited by the Montana Board of Public Education;
  • Is a resident of the State of Montana;
  • Must be accepted by an eligible Montana campus
  • Must take the ACT/SAT by December 31st of the student’s senior year
  • Must obtain a cumulative high school GPA of at least 3.0 (calculated as of 7th semester) OR a score of at least 20 on the ACT OR 1050 on the SAT (1440 for tests prior to March 2016) college admissions tests
  • Must begin using the next chronological semester following high school graduation (excluding summer)
  • If a male, must meet the Title IV selective service requirements
  • Must not be incarcerated
  • Must be seeking a first certificate, or 2-year or 4-year degree

  • * May not utilize a MUS Honor Scholarship for the same period of enrollment
    *Applications scored utilizing the methodology in regents policy 501.1(I)(B).

Governor's Scholarships may be used at the following campuses

U of M - Missoula MSU - Billings Blackfeet CC
Missoula College UM City College MSU Chief Dull Knife
U of M - Western MSU - Northern Aaniiih Nakoda
Helena College UM Great Falls College MSU Fort Peck CC
Montana Tech Dawson CC Little Big Horn
Highlands College of MT Tech Flathead CC Salish-Kootenai
MSU - Bozeman Miles CC Stone Child

Scholarship Retention

Requirements are checked automatically — do not re-apply each year (contingent upon continued funding of this program).
Students must:

  • Maintain Satisfactory Academic Progress
  • Complete 24 credits per year
  • Notify SFS if they transfer to another eligible institution

Application Process

Applying is a multi-step process. Students must complete each of the following steps by the deadline for their application to be considered.

  1. Take the ACT or SAT by December 31st of the student’s senior year
  2. Apply to and be accepted by one of the eligible campuses
  3. Register online at
  4. Mail the application and additional required documents postmarked by March 15th
    • Copy of official 7th semester high school transcript reflecting all classes from freshman through first semester of senior year and cumulative GPA
    • Copy of College Acceptance Letter
    • Proof/certification of ACT/SAT score taken by December 31st (print out from ACT/SAT OR listed as part of high school transcript)

Scholarship Transfer

With proper notification, Scholarships may be transferred to other eligible campuses. Please send a request to, indicating which campus you are transferring to and what semester the transfer should take effect.

Annual Reports

The Montana Board of Regents, through recommendations from the Governor’s Scholarship Advisory Council, sets policies for the administration of the program in accordance with State of Montana statute. These annual reports provide a statistical summary of scholarships awarded. Download the annual reports here.

Scholarship Award Process

  • Once awards are announced High School Counselors/Designees will be notified, in addition, ALL recipients of these scholarships will be notified by mail.
  • If awarded, each recipient must accept or decline the offered scholarship, please be sure to return the information promptly.
  • SFS will award the MUS Honor Scholarships first in the process (mid-April), once those are all accepted or declined, the Governor’s Merit Scholarship will be awarded (early May). These dates are subject to change without notice.

For more information regarding these scholarships, please contact the Scholarship Department at 1-800-537-7508 or

Home        Privacy & Security       Accessibility        Contact Us       State Authorization       Search       Site Index

Montana University System • Office of the Commissioner of Higher Education
2500 Broadway Street • PO Box 203201 • Helena, MT 59620-3201 • 406-444-6570

Copyright 2017 Montana University System. All Rights Reserved.