I loved the University of Montana. It felt big when I needed it to and small when I felt overwhelmed. The faculty was dedicated, passionate, and present, something I didn't realize was rare until I got to a much, much bigger university where all the faculty... Read More offices are always closed and dark because the professors are rarely there. I still communicate with my professors from UM, and usually try to have coffee or lunch with them when I go back to visit. UM's academic strengths are in Forestry, Journalism, Social Work, and Biology, but even as an English major I knew that I was getting a top tier education. The quality of this education was doubly evident in the success I had when applying to PhD programs at other institutions. The size of the campus and prevalence of social groups and clubs allows for a deep sense of community and friendships to be built across disciplines and academic departments, As a Native American student, the weekly soup dinners and other events put on by the American Indian Center on campus were hugely important and allowed me to connect with Native students from all over the US and Canada. Notably, the University of Montana has a tuition waiver for any student who is an enrolled member of a federally recognized Montana tribe. To top it off, the campus is gorgeous and I have heard that the dorms are comfortable and fun. It is easy to get out of town and up into the mountains by car or bike, and outdoor recreation is a year-round thing. It is affordable to live and recreate in the area, which helps keep you sane when school is just too much!