- Associated Press - Sunday, December 20, 2015

MISSOULA, Mont. (AP) - The University of Montana is planning to eliminate about $2 million in tuition waivers because of budget shortfalls over the next few years, but will continue to honor commitments to Montana military veterans and others who qualify, including Native American residents.

The university says students who currently have waivers will not be affected.

University of Montana will eliminate an estimated $2 million in tuition waivers, or scholarships, over the next two to four years to help reduce its projected shortfall, according to university officials.

Mike Reid, vice president of finance, said the university is facing a $10 million to $12 million shortfall in the 2017 fiscal year, but he said it is still affordable for many residents.

Sharon O’Hare, associate vice president for enrollment and student success, said waivers to out-of-state students will be reduced.

Tuition is about $6,100, compared to about $6,800 at Montana State University in Bozeman.

School officials said UM is transparent about scholarship qualifications, with amounts varying depending on a student’s GPA and ACT score, the Missoulian reported (http://tinyurl.com/jp489aq).

O’Hare said she does not believe the reductions will have a significant impact on enrollment. She said the university has been working on changing its scholarships for several years.

“We’ve tightened the criteria, but in some cases, have made a more generous award to the best students,” she said.

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Information from: Missoulian, http://www.missoulian.com

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