March 25-26, 2004

Policy and Procedures Manual


Policy 501.1 - Montana University System Honor Scholarships
Effective July 1, 2003; Issued May 2, 2003

Please note that effective July 1, 2003, this policy applies for students graduating in the 2003-04 academic year. For students who graduate in the 2002-03 academic year, click here for the applicable policy.

A. Board policy:

The Board of Regents of Higher Education will award Montana University System Honor Scholarships annually.

1. The scholarships may be utilized at any campus of the Montana University System or Dawson, Flathead Valley, and Miles community colleges (hereinafter referred to as eligible campus) as a waiver of registration fee and tuition at the parent/ home campus, provided the provisions of A.2. are met.

2. The honors scholarship is renewable annually provided the student maintains a 3.400 GPA at the parent / home campus at the end of each academic year and demonstrates progress toward a degree by completing at least 30 credit hours after two semesters, 60 credit hours after four semesters, and 90 credit hours after six semesters. If the student is not able to obtain the credits or GPA required for progress toward a degree due to circumstances beyond his/her control, the student may appeal to the financial aid office at the parent / home campus.

3. The scholarship may be received a maximum of 8 contiguous academic (fall / spring) semesters and is transferable between eligible campuses.

4. Students lose eligibility by non-enrollment, lower than 3.400 GPA at end of academic year, or violating the student conduct code at the parent/ home campus.


B. Procedures:

1. Montana University System Honor Scholarship. One scholarship may be awarded to a member of any graduating class having 50 or fewer graduates. An additional scholarship may be awarded for each additional 50 graduates or major fraction thereof. In cases where a school has ten or fewer graduates and students in the top 25 percent decline the scholarship, the school may award a scholarship to the next eligible student with a grade point average of 3.500 or higher.

Accredited Montana high schools with no eligible students meeting the 3.500 grade point average may appeal to the Commissioner of Higher Education.

2. The high school principal, or designee, must certify to the Commissioner of Higher Education that the prospective recipient is a graduate of a high school accredited by the Montana Board of Public Education and has been enrolled full time in an eligible accredited high school for at least three years prior to graduation, is a US citizen, ranks within the highest one-fourth of his or her class in scholarship, has a minimum grade point average of 3.500, has met college preparatory requirements (see Section 301.7), and is the highest in scholarship of those members of the graduating class desiring to attend an eligible campus.

3. The eligible high school students must apply for the scholarship. Before the student can submit an application, the student must apply to and be accepted by one of the eligible campuses. The student must then complete a scholarship application and submit it to the designated high school counselor, along with a copy of the acceptance letter from the eligible campus. The completed scholarship application must be submitted to the high school counselor (designated by the high school principal) by January 31st of the award year. Any eligible student who does not submit the required scholarship application and acceptance letter by the application deadline will be deemed to have relinquished the scholarship.

4. If the recipient of a Montana University System Honor Scholarship decides not to attend an eligible campus, the student should relinquish the scholarship at once. In such cases where the scholarship is relinquished prior to May 15th of the award year, the high school principal or designee may certify the next ranking eligible member of the same graduating class, but such person will be subject to the same restrictions as the original holder of the scholarship.

5. If there is a tie between top ranking students, the principal, or designee, shall use the following process to break the tie:

i. If the GPA for the students is exactly the same, the results of the students' ACT composite test score taken before November 31st of the award year will be used.

ii. If the students did not take the ACT test, the results of the SAT test taken before November 31st of the award year will be used.

iii. If the students took both, or one student took the ACT and the other the SAT, a comparability chart will be used, with the highest test score based on the comparability chart prevailing.

iv. If the test scores are the same, the number of honors classes the students have completed will be used, with the student scoring the highest points in GPA and numbers of honors classes prevailing.

6. A recipient must begin utilizing the scholarship within 9 months after high school graduation.

7. The computation of actual grade point averages and the size of the graduating class shall be as of the end of the 6th semester of high school or, in the case of a student graduating in three years, at the end of the 4th semester of high school. The student has until the date of high school graduation to meet the Montana University System college preparatory requirements (see Section 301.7). However, to remain eligible the student must maintain a 3.500 or higher GPA through the 7th semester (the 5th semester in the case of a student graduating early).


History:  Item 5-006-R0774, Policy regarding Fee Waivers, Montana University System, amended June 7, 1976 (rescinded); Item 18-006-R1077, Honor Scholarships, Montana University System, October 28, 1977, December 15, 1989, November 20, 1997, May 21, 1998, and November 18, 1999 (Item 104-103-R0999) and January 18, 2002 (ITEM 114-102-R0102) - Revised Policy , (Item 114-101-R0302) and March 20, 2003 (Item discussion, Item 118-103-R0303).