STEM Scholars Won’t Get Montana Awards
Students who were promised a Montana STEM scholarship will not be receiving the spring 2017 portion of their award. The Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics scholarship program was created by the Legislature in 2015 and was supposed to be funded with revenue from the Montana Lottery. But the account didn’t generate enough revenue to give students the scholarships they were promised this spring.
Members of the Montana Lottery and Office of Commission of Higher Education testified before the appropriations committee over an accounting error that diverted funds into the general fund instead of the scholarship fund. For fiscal year 2016, the bill required the STEM scholarship program to receive a one-time payment of $400,000 to fund student scholarships in 2015-2016 from the lottery before any money was sent to the general fund. Once the revenue transferred to the general fund meets its specified cap, the remaining money goes to the STEM scholarship program.