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“Graduates of any Montana high school which is fully accredited by the State Board of Education are admitted to regular standing. Montana residents who are graduates of non-Montana high schools which are fully accredited by a regular accrediting agency are admitted to regular standing.”

That’s the way the admission requirements to Montana universities read prior to 1990. Now, a young Montanan is greeted by this:

“Primary Requirements

"An ACT composite score of 22,

"or a SAT combined score of 1120 (1540 for tests prior to March 2016),

"or a 2.50 cumulative grade-point average,

"or a class rank in the upper half of your high school graduating class.”

For a century the Montana education system believed it was its responsibility to take care of all Montana youths, and that is reflected in the first statement. Any young Montanan had the chance and the right to try.

Now, by the second set of admission standards, the system denies that access to half of Montana youths. Right now, at a time when the University of Montana has declining or stagnant enrollment. Apparently, it is better to cut programs and staff, or to recruit Californians, than to support and grant access to Montanans. Really?

William Sikonia,


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