UM Ranked No. 8 Great Value College with Beautiful Campus

February 02, 2016

The University of Montana is ranked the No. 8 “great value college with a beautiful campus.” Photo credit: Todd GoodrichMISSOULA – Great Value Colleges recently ranked the University of Montana No. 8 of 35 for offering a great value on education in a beautiful setting. “35 Great Value Colleges with Beautiful Campuses” can be accessed online at

UM earned the No. 8 position for the number of awards and recognition the campus has received; notable features, such as significant architecture; campus location; student retention rates; and affordability.

“We were particularly impressed by [UM’s] naturally beautiful setting at the foot of Mount Sentinel,” wrote Gabrielle Gibeily, editor of Great Values Colleges.

Great Value Colleges sourced information from the National Center for Education Statistics’ College Navigator Database, Wikipedia, the individual schools’ websites and other “most beautiful college campuses” list articles.

Great Value Colleges awarded points to each institution to determine its ranking. The point categories are:

  • Affordability: Net cost under $10,000 (2 points) and under $15,000 (1 point).
  • Awards and Recognition: International accolade (2 points), national accolade (1 point), appearance on the National Register of Historic Places (1 point).
  • Other Recognition: Inclusion on other noteworthy “most beautiful college campuses” list articles (1 point per list).
  • Notable Features: Features such as significant architecture, famous buildings, outdoor activity centers, farms, botanical gardens, arboretums, historical relevance, etc. (1 point each, or 2 points if there are several types of one feature, such as gardens).

  • Location: If the location is of certain significance, such as part of a national park or forest, on a hilltop or mountain, forest, etc. (1 point).
  • Student Enjoyment: Full-time student retention rates, as reported by College Navigator, higher than 75 percent (1 point) and 90 percent and higher (2 points).

In cases where two or more schools had the same number of points, their rank order was determined by the schools’ affordability. The schools with lower net costs, as reported by the College Navigator Database, received the better ranking. UM earned 14 points.

For more information call Great Value Colleges Editor Gabrielle Gibeily at 412-527-4674 or email

Contact: Sharon O’Hare, UM associate vice president for enrollment services and student success, 406-243-5672,