Is Financial Aid Free?

Financial aid is a way to help pay for college, but students need to understand that aid is not free and must be managed responsibly. Refer to the Financial Aid web page for information on loans, grants, and scholarships.

Money Management and Budgets

Creating a budget or a spending plan allows students to see where their money goes throughout the month giving a better idea of how to prepare for the upcoming month's expenses. Students can create budgets on Excel, on paper, or electronically.

These videos: How to Blow Your Refund and What I Wish I had Known: Financial Aid from the Montana University System will help students prepare for paying for college. View the Saving for College web page to start saving early to help make higher education a reality.

Making payments with Deferred Payment Plans through Business Services can split the bill up each semester. Please contact Business Services for more information.


Knowing your credit score is important for borrowing certain student loans. A credit score is a number assigned by credit reporting companies based on information available on your credit report, a good credit score will help you take out loans more easily and even get better interest rates. A free credit report is available through This video, All About Credit, from the Montana University System helps explain.

The loan amount, interest rate, and the term of the loan can have a dramatic effect on the total amount you will eventually pay on a loan. Use the Loan Payment Calculator to determine the payment and see the impact of these variables on a specified loan amount complete with an amortization schedule.

For more additional resources, visit this page from the University of Montana. 

What is UM Financial Education?
University of Montana Financial Education is a free service that gives students the opportunity to increase their financial IQ. We offer workshops and one on one consultations focused on college students-- from basic budgeting to FAFSA, we're here to help!

For more information on the types of Financial Aid, visit this page from the Montana University System.

Financial Aid Offer

Your Financial Aid Offer will be based on your Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) that must be filed each academic year and the Cost of Attendance established for the following academic year. For more information related to estimating your financial aid offer, please visit our Net Price Calculator.

Connect with us.

We can answer your questions and help you get started.

Financial Aid Office
Phone: (406) 496-4223
Fax: 406-496-4705
Student Success Center, Room 3.126