Montana Western

Financial Literacy


Our goal


The goal of Montana Western’s Financial Literacy Program is to provide students with the tools to expand their personal financial knowledge so that they can make smart choices. We want to help students graduate on time, with less debt, and with a better understanding of their financial future.


Maintaining financial wellness is a lifelong process. Our services are available to everyone in the Montana Western community, including students, alumni, staff and faculty. We are located in Main Hall 210. Contact us at 406-683-7499.


Funding for the Financial Literacy program is provided through a grant from the Office of the Commissioner of Higher Education.

Paying for college


More than $185 billion in student aid is available: To qualify for many types of aid, you’ll need to complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). This application gives you access to:


Grants and scholarships: money that doesn’t have to be paid back.


Work-study jobs: paid, part-time work on campus.


Loans: money you will pay back, usually after you graduate.


The FAFSA is free and it’s easy:  Complete the form online at The IRS data retrieval tool makes it simple to import your family’s tax information directly from the IRS website.


More aid is out there: Once you complete the FAFSA, you should apply for these types of aid:


  • Scholarships available through Montana Western
  • Scholarships offered by the Montana University System at
  • Private scholarships for which you are eligible

We understand your money issues.


We can help you solve them.


What if your financial aid award isn’t enough?


UMW wants to provide financial aid to students, but we don’t always have enough funds to meet the full need of every student. That’s why it’s important to complete your FAFSA by the December 1 priority deadline. If your award won’t cover the entire cost of attendance or if your family’s financial situation has changed, and you now need more aid than we previously awarded you, follow these steps.


  • Contact the financial aid office: Make an appointment to meet with the financial aid officer. Talk with a financial aid officer to learn how you can make up the difference between what you need and what the college awarded you and ask:


  • What are my options for receiving more aid?


  • Do you offer a tuition payment plan?


  • How and when will I receive my financial aid payments?


  • File a special conditions exception: If there is a significant change in your family’s finances — such as a drop in income or unexpected medical expenses — you can ask the Financial Aid Office to review your award. Call the office at 406-683-7511 and be ready to provide proof of the change in your circumstances, such as bank statements, pay stubs, or medical bills.  Remember, it takes time to process, and it will take Montana Western time to act on it. Be prepared to pay for school while the exception process is ongoing.


  • Don’t be shy about asking for help: No matter what your situation, don’t be shy about contacting the Financial Literacy office. We are here to answer your questions.

Get help


Here at Montana Western, we are excited to help you understand your finances. We understand the money issues you may be experiencing. We can help you solve them.  The Financial Literacy Office can cover topics with you, including but not limited to: budgeting, savings, credit cards, borrowing/debt, building/establishing credit, identity theft, student loan repayment, and employment after graduation.


The financial literacy team is also available to give presentations on various financial topics for students, faculty/staff, and alumni.  Whether you are an RA searching for a great programming idea, you want to engage your class, or something else, we can present to your group on ways to spend and save smarter, housing, and being financially savvy. Call us at 406-683-7499 to schedule a presentation today.


All services to students, alumni, faculty and staff are free.  We can help with the following services:


  • We can help you file your FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid)


  • Show you how to log into federal websites to track and manage student loans


  • Help you create a spending plan or budget


  • Explain your student loan responsibilities and options


  • Help you apply for scholarships


  • Teach you the basics of money management


  • Give you information about student loan repayment


  • Help you locate on-campus resources that will benefit you


  • Be a resource and an advocate for you on campus


  • Provide information for both traditional students and working adults


  • Help you get the most out of your investment in your education


To schedule a financial coaching session contact Candi Richardson, financial literacy coordinator, at 406-683-7499 or by





Helpful links


Funding for the Financial Literacy program is provided through a grant from the Office of the Commissioner of Higher Education.


The services of the Financial Literacy department at UMW are for general educational purposes only. We do not provide tax, legal, or investment advice. If you need such advice, please contact a licensed advisor in tax, legal, or investment affairs.

Third party resources are provided as a service of the Financial Literacy office, and are not endorsed or approved by the Office of the Commissioner of Higher Education, the University or the Financial Literacy program. We are not responsible for the accuracy, legality, or content of any external website or any subsequent links.

Every effort is made to keep the webpage updated and correct. The Financial Literacy office at the University of Montana Western is not liable for the site being temporarily unavailable due to technical issues beyond our control.