Increase in Montana College Grads - KULR8.com | Montana's News Leader | Billings, MT

Increase in Montana College Grads

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BILLINGS, Mont. -

Four years ago President Obama set a goal for the nation to have the highest proportion of college graduates in the world by 2020.

Montana is currently soaring above the others. Incoming freshmen students at Montana State University City College play "get to know you" games for their orientation. Two-year colleges like MSU-B City College have become more attractive to students who want a college degree without having to empty their wallets. Ian and his twin brother Quinn didn't even look at applying to four-year colleges because of the cost of tuition, something they're paying every penny for.

"I'm coming to school and I'm paying for it now so I actually want to go to school for school, not to just mess around," says Ian Letsinger.

They're paying $15,000 apiece for the two-year school.

"MSU-B has a pretty good automotive program, so we decided to both go here and get the same education and hopefully open up a good shop," says Quinn Letsinger.

MSU-Billings City College Dean Marsha Riley says the Treasure State boasts a 6% increase in college students graduating with associate's degrees, the highest among the nation's fifty states.

"Our percentage of associate and certificate graduates has increased more than any other state. Which is really what has brought attention to Montana and really is raising that level of awareness that there is an alternative in Montana," says Riley.

With the 300 City College students that graduated in May, two-year colleges may just be what will put the U.S. back on top, when it comes to the number of college graduates.

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