Carroll College: “Not for School, But For Life”

Carroll College is a private Catholic college in Helena, Montana. (Not to be confused with Carroll University, a private university affiliated with the Presbyterian Church and located in Waukesha, Wisconsin.)

Founded in 1909, Carroll College is a regional leader in providing high quality and highly affordable private higher education. U.S. News & World Report ranked Carroll College as the #1 Regional College in the West for ten consecutive years.

Carroll College has 21 buildings on a 63-acre campus, which is within walking distance of downtown Helena shops, restaurants, galleries and theaters. The college has over 35 academic majors, participates in 15 NAIA athletic sports, and is home to All Saints Chapel at the historic center of campus.

The college motto, in Latin, is “Non scholae, sed vitae.” This translates into English as “Not for school, but for life.” They say, “Our diocesan Catholic mission drives us to serve others, strive for social justice and welcome students from all faith backgrounds.”


Personal attention from professors is key to the Carroll experience. The faculty-to-student ratio at the college is 11-to-1, and most classes have 16 or fewer students.

Carroll College offers numerous academic majors in the major liberal arts and life sciences, as well as engineering, education, computer science, nursing, physics, ROTC, and theology. The school also offers several medical pre-professional programs including pre-seminary, pre-med, pre-dental, pre-pharmacy and pre-veterinary.

Carroll College is known for a higher than average rate of acceptance of its students into top medical schools. While the national average medical school acceptance rate is approximately 44%, Carroll students have an 85% average acceptance into medical and dental school.

Nursing graduates achieve NCLEX passage rates above both the state and national averages. Carroll students taking the Senior Comprehensive Exam for Biology consistently finish in the 90th percentile or higher. Carroll’s unique Anthrozoology program, which explores the human-animal bond, is the first undergraduate degree of its kind in the country.

Study abroad on six continents and over 65 countries is facilitated through Carroll’s Education Abroad program. Internships in government, business, nonprofits and healthcare are readily available to Carroll students.


Carroll’s colors are purple and gold, and the school’s athletics teams are known as the Fighting Saints. For five consecutive seasons, all 15 of the Saints athletic teams earned NAIA “Scholar Team” designation 3.0 GPA or higher.

Carroll’s Nelson Stadium is home to the football and soccer teams. The PE Center hosts basketball and volleyball games along with several other community events. The Green Meadow Country Club is home to the golf teams. Helena’s Centennial Park hosts the softball team’s home games. The track & field teams host events at Helena’s Vigilante Stadium. The Hunthausen Activity Center is a state-of-the-art facility which provides fitness classes, courts and climbing walls.

Student Life

With 1,400 students, Carroll College has a female to male student ratio of nearly 3:2 (60%/40%). Montana residents comprise just under half of the total student body (Montana/Out-of-State: 45%/55%). Of students reporting a religious preference, 44% are Catholic.

Carroll College offers an open and friendly campus community, and a healthy outdoor lifestyle. Recreation abounds on public lands and rivers close to campus, with six major ski resorts within about 2.5 hours of campus or closer, plus Helena’s own Great Divide.

The Carroll Adventuring and Mountaineers Program (CAMP) offers many outdoor adventures such as mountain biking, kayaking, camping, hiking, backpacking, trail running, cross country skiing, downhill skiing, and more. CAMP also provides trips for students to explore the outdoors during academic breaks, such as Spring Break in Moab, Utah.

In addition to CAMP, Carroll has over 35 active student clubs or student groups that host nearly 350 events annually. Groups include Carroll Crazies, Up ‘Til Dawn, Saints’ Swing Dance Society, Carroll Student Activities (CSA), and Carroll Outreach Team.

The American Society of Civil Engineers Carroll Student Chapter competes yearly in the concrete canoe races. Carroll Engineers Without Borders students design and build clean water systems and earthquake proof buildings in Latin America and Africa.

The Carroll College newspaper, The Prospector, is student-run and student-written. The Talking Saints forensics team has won or shared 29-straight Northwest regional championships. The college is home to the annual summer Symphony Under the Stars, one of the largest outdoor concerts in the country.

Homeschool Admissions

From an admissions standpoint, U.S. News & World Report indicates Carroll as being “more selective” with an average incoming GPA of 3.46, an ACT of 25, and an average SAT of 1145. Nearly 80% of Carroll students graduating get their degrees in four years.

Carroll College welcomes students who have been educated through a homeschool curricula program. Homeschool applicants must submit the following:

  1. Completed application form
  2. High school transcript and/or syllabus of all course work completed and any colleges concurrently attended during high school, or GED/HiSet Exam (if applicable)
  3. Results of a standardized test (ACT, SAT, or COMPASS)
  4. Letter of recommendation, by someone other than a parent, addressing academic potential and accomplishments (encouraged but not required)

Although not required for admission consideration, homeschooled candidates are encouraged to submit their state’s equivalency of high school completion.

For more information about Carroll College admissions, click on the link below:

Carroll believes that parents play an important role in the college selection process and supporting their student throughout his or her time at the college. “We are here to help the entire family navigate the process and make sure that everyone has the information they need to make the best decision.” You may contact Carroll College here.

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