The University of Montana has launched a major new scholarship to help Montana students pay for college.
The Payne Family Impact Scholarship, established with a large gift of $7.5 million from UM longtime supporters Terry and Patt Payne, will be awarded to hundreds of Montana high school students who have chosen to attend UM beginning in the fall of 2022.
“When it comes to paying for school, Montana families often find themselves stuck in the middle of a financial gap where help is hard to come by and the cost of education is out of reach,” said UM President Seth Bodnar. “This scholarship will remove the financial burden that prevents many Montana residents from accessing higher education and fulfill UM’s responsibility to promote inclusive prosperity in our state.”
The scholarship was created to help Montana students who grew up in families who earn a lot of money to secure large financial aid packages, such as the Pell Grants, but who do not have the resources to pay directly to college.
Students on a four-year renewable scholarship can stack this award on top of other scholarships and financial aid, and use it to pay for tuition, books, room and board, and other college costs.
“Our family is being able to contribute to the education and future success of Montana students,” said Terry Payne. “We hope our gift will bring hope to students who may not be able to attend the University of Montana or further their education once they enroll.”
Terry Payne, a UM graduate in 1963, began his insurance career while still in college and built PayneWest Insurance Inc. Success is based on principles centered around what is best for the “three clients” of clients, colleagues and communities.
This commitment to the community is evident in all that Terry and his wife Pat support for charitable causes, particularly at UM. Paynes’ contributions have included investments in the Payne Family Native American Center, that center’s Elouise Cobell Land and Culture Institute, and a number of student scholarships. Their latest gift supports the construction of a new building for the Montana Museum of Art and Culture.
After UM, Paynes made an important gift to help fund the recently designated Amerindian Hall at Montana State University, and their contributions to Gonzaga University have included support for the Payne Center for Leadership Development, as well as scholarships for future leaders and senior officials. Attainment of students from low-income backgrounds. At Carroll College in Helena, they supported the Hunthausen Activity Center and funded Carroll’s newly established MA Social Work program.
“Terry and Pat embody the spirit of philanthropy and giving,” Bodnar said. “We are so grateful for their generosity and commitment to making the UM degree available to all students so that these students can pursue lives and careers of impact.”
The UM Financial Aid Office will begin awarding Payne Family Impact Scholarship funds in December. 1. Students must apply for admission to UM and submit their Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) to UM for consideration for the scholarship. Once selected for the scholarship, students will be assigned an academic advisor who will work directly with them as they prepare to begin the next semester of their education at UM.
Students are encouraged to apply to UM and submit a FASFA to UM today. Funds will be awarded on a first come first serve basis. For more information, visit www.umt.edu/finaid/scholarships/impact-scholarship.php.