Eastern Montana sees big college enrollment hike despite Williston’s free tuition

MINOT, N.D.- Montana University System’s Enrollment Statistics show Dawson and Miles community colleges have the biggest enrollment increases in the state in the 2019 fiscal year, even though they’re offered free tuition from Williston State College.

Miles Community College saw a 6.5 percent increase while Dawson Community College had an increase of 6 percent.

Almost every other college in Montana has had decreases in enrollment.

"We are a small rural college in frontier Montana, and it is amazing to me the interest that we have from students across the state, outside of the state, and actually outside of the country. I think that our story about who we are resonates with certain people, and I don't see any competing with the area schools around there," said Leslie Weldon, Dawson Community College vice president of Advancement and Human Resources.

Montana State University is the only other college that saw an increase, but that was less than one percent.