Including printing, scanning, reporting, training and scoring (currently funded by OCHE) and estimated school district expenditures for substitute teachers and travel, the Montana University System Writing Assessment costs about $6.50 per test for 5,000 tests and 110 scorers from 90 high schools and 10 campuses. For the 2001-2004 test years, no stipends or fees were paid. Although OCHE is pursuing continued funding for this effort, after 2004 consortium members could be assessed these costs, perhaps $5 to $10 per test.

These potential costs can be weighed against the benefits of giving students who apply to out-of-state colleges the opportunity to practice for ACT and SAT writing tests and students who apply in Montana the choice to submit alternate scores for admissions.

Several district budgets currently include funding for writing assessments. Many districts consider a writing assessment to be an important component of a comprehensive assessment system. Some districts believe that by working together, they can alleviate concerns about reliability and validity. A Writing Assessment Committee, with district representation, would oversee the assessment by reviewing new prompts, rubric modifications, test data, training plans, and expenditures.