The Missoulian examined college affordability in Montana. This series shows how the state distributes financial aid; how the conversation around assistance may mean a higher focus on need-based aid; the expenses that drive costs on campuses; the reality of “free” tuition; and the barriers that are not financial but have just as much impact on a student’s ability to go to college. This series also shares the stories of four Missoula students who talk about how they pay for school.

For some high school students, setting foot on a college campus after graduation seems as likely as sprouting wings and flying to the moon.