EFFECTIVE DATE: March 14, 2014; Updated March 3, 2020

BOR POLICY REFERENCES: 940.13 – Tuition Waivers and Discounts


Early College Students (i.e. Dual Enrollment): A student who has not yet graduated from high school but has been admitted to earn college credit while attending a Montana high school (including MT residents that are home schooled, in middle school, or traditional high school age students enrolled in GED programs). This definition is intended to cover all early college admits, whether they are receiving dual credit or not. Once these students graduate from high school and if they continue to enroll in the MUS, they would then be considered “First-time” students.

Tuition Rates: The tuition amount will be 50% of the Resident 2-year tuition rate (or 50% of lower division undergraduate rate at MSUN and UMW). Mandatory and non-mandatory fees will not be assessed, except for applicable course fees. No distance learning fees will be assessed regardless if they are considered course fees or a flat fee. (Note: this is a tuition rate, this is not a rate derived from waiving of tuition)

Beginning Fall 2018, high school students will receive the first two lower-division courses (6 credits) tuition-free. See One-Two-Free Operating Guidelines for details.


All Early College Student tuition will be assessed using the existing detail code for Resident 2-year tuition, regardless of the campus where the students are admitted (ex. high school students enrolling in courses at UM or MSU will be charged the 2-year rate), except at MSUN and UMW where there are no specific 2-year rates; at MSU-Northern and UM-Western students will be assessed the lower division undergraduate rate.

Waiver Eligibility:

Due to the reduced tuition rate and no assessment of fees, Early College Students are NOT eligible for Board Designated Tuition Waivers.

Board Designated Tuition Waivers Include: Montana University System Honor Scholarships, Community College Honors Scholarships, Honor Scholarship for National Merit Scholarship Semi-Finalists, American Indian Waiver, Faculty and Staff Tuition Waiver, Honorably Discharged Veteran Waiver, War Orphans Waiver, Surviving Dependents of Montana National Guard Member Waiver, September 11, 2001 Victims Waiver, Surviving Dependents of Montana Firefighters/Peace Officers Waiver, Tuition Waiver for Dependents.

Clayton T. Christian
Commissioner of Higher Education

Commissioner’s directives are official interpretations and guidance issued by the Commissioner of Higher Education; they remain in effect as system directives until withdrawn or revised by the Commissioner or superseded by action of the Board of Regents.