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"People and organizations are investing in the University of Montana in record numbers and amounts these days," says Engstrom.

MICHAEL GALLACHER/Missoulian

BOZEMAN — A higher education official says tuition and fees at Montana's two flagship universities are going up slowly compared with other states.

A new affordability study shows the cost of attending Montana State University and the University of Montana rose 55 percent in the last 10 years.

Deputy commissioner for planning and analysis Tyler Trevor says other states have raised tuition up to 200 percent in the decade. The average increase among 14 western states was 110 percent.

Montana has kept its costs relatively low by freezing tuition in some years and imposing modest tuition hikes in others.

Students who take out loans graduate with an average of $26,440 in debt.

Trevor will present the report to the Board of Regents next week in Havre.

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