Montana State University was recently named on a list of America's Top 100 College Buys. Roughly 1,500 schools were analyzed in the study which used academic performance data from the most recent freshman class along with the out-of-state cost of attendance to select the top 100 schools.

"More often than not in the last 17 years, Montana State has been included," says Institutional Research and Evaluation Inc. President Louis Lindsay. "and quite frankly, as has the University of Montana, another fine institution, but only Montana State was included on this years list."

Lindsay could not comment on why the UM did not make the list and said that it is possible that someone failed to send in the proper paperwork.

Judging from information on The University of Montana website, it is also possible that UM did not make the list this year because of a one point difference in the average ACT score for incoming freshman. UM tied the national average of 23 while MSU students averaged 24.

Linday singled out MSU President Cruzado for praise saying, "she is a top of the line administrator and that's the type of person it takes to get the best out of a school."

Lindsay also praised Montana tax payers and the board of regents for keeping the out-of-state tuition costs down even though the state is not heavily populated. "You get some of the best students out of Washington because they can afford to go to Montana at a very competitive cost."

At around 28,000 dollars (UM is 28,000 even while MSU is 28,130), both Montana State University and the University of Montana have relatively low cost-of-attendance rates. Especially compared to the national average: a whopping $35,691.