financial Aid

At Montana Wilderness School we strive to serve diverse and motivated youth from communities throughout Montana. Our goal is to facilitate the development of impassioned leaders with a strong connection to the natural world. To make our courses accessible to students from a variety of backgrounds, we aim to provide all deserving Montana students with some level of financial assistance on a sliding scale.

If you’re interested in one of our courses for yourself or for a student please have your student fill out the General Application and indicate you are interested in financial aid. Our Admissions Team will follow up with an additional form for you to request a scholarship amount and tell us more about your family's financial situation. We also require that you submit your family’s most recent 1040 tax form, review and sign our Policies and Waivers, submit a copy of your medical insurance, and pay the $120 application fee.(Should you find financial aid insufficient you may withdraw your application and receive a refund for the application fee.)

“When my daughter first approached me about wanting to attend a MWS expedition we were sorry to tell her no. With our large family we were unable to afford such an adventure for one child. Then we were approached with the availability of financial assistance. We were still skeptical because even with assistance we were still not sure she could attend. After filling out the form and hearing back from MWS we found out we could totally send her. What a great relief!! What a great opportunity to adventure in our great state!! I know personally that without the financial assistance from MWS my daughter would have missed out!!” - Echo Jamieson, Parent of 2020 Missouri River Alumni


Financial aid is based on motivation of the applicant, financial need, and references (from non-family members or relatives). We understand that tax forms may not reflect a full financial picture and encourage you to provide us with details about other expenses that are not reflected on your tax returns.


Our financial aid packages are designed to cover some or all of the cost of course tuition. Financial aid does not cover the cost of transportation to our course start in Bozeman, MT.


MWS supplies all the technical and camping equipment that students will need for their expedition. We do not expect you to purchase all new gear or specific clothing items for your expedition. We have generous donors who have helped us in equipping all students at the beginning of each course.  


We are fortunate to have an amazing community of generous supporters and sponsors who donate to our Scholarship Fund. Our Spring Scholarship Fundraiser is an essential part of our organizational structure, as it allows us to support Montana students and families. Our community support has enabled hundreds of students to have the opportunity to participate in one of our challenging and empowering course experiences. Through our Scholarship Fund, MWS has awarded over $740,000 in financial aid scholarship awards since 2015.

Financial assistance is available for Montana resident youth only. In order to process the application for financial assistance, you will need to photocopy or scan parents/legal guardians’ latest 1040 tax return form (or other IRS documentation when relevant) and attach them to your completed application.
Montana Wilderness School
PO Box 1183
Bozeman, MT 59771

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