By ZACH COE/Montana State News

Montana State University students often say they are paying  outrageous prices for parking permits for the growing enrollment and limited spots. However, a review of other northwestern colleges reveals that this price is average.

On average, a commuting MSU student/faculty member pays $180 for a standard parking pass annually, according to the Montana State University website. For a student body of 16,000 students with an acceptance rate of 84 percent, this price seems outrageous when considering all of the other expenses that fall on students already.

The University of Montana, has nearly 4,000 fewer students with a 93 percent acceptance rate and yet the average cost of a parking pass is $225, according to the UM public website. This price is determined by how the university values their parking spots in relation to the number if students.

University of Wyoming, whose average parking pass costs $130.50 for its 12,500 students has a different philosophy. Their permit is well below the average cost for northwestern universities as a result of its 98 percent acceptance rate. By lowering the parking pass could potentially heighten enrollment, as stated of University of Wyoming’s public website.

This trend does not correlate with only high percentage acceptance rates, however, as the University of Idaho, acceptance rate 67 percent, has an average parking cost that levels out at 170 dollars per year, according to public records.  This can be considered a reward for those 15,500 students that are accepted to this borderline high-end university.

This idea is further reinforced when looking at Eastern Washington University, where the acceptance rate is 82 percent while the average permit is $225 for 13,500 students. This is a result from the rising acceptance rate over the last few years, as seen on the school’s website, and has seen the spike in miscellaneous costs around the university.

– edited by Merrit Geary