August 1, 2008



Dan Carter, University Relations, 657-2269
MSU Billings Registrar’s Office, 657-2158
MSU Billings Advising Center, 657-2240
Office of the Commissioner of Higher Education, (406) 444-0374


MSU BILLINGS NEWS SERVICES — Montana State University Billings, in accordance with a decision made this week by the Commissioner of Higher Education, will grant a two-week registration grace period for college students who are fighting fires.


Sheila Stearns, Commissioner of Higher Education in Montana, announced that the Montana University System will grant a two-week grace period for those college students who are fighting forest fires throughout Montana. Student firefighters will now have an additional two weeks past the start of the fall semester to finalize their registration, financial aid, housing and other deadlines. The extension applies to students directly involved in firefighting as well as those providing support services for fire crews.

Across the region — and especially in the Red Lodge area this week — thousands of acres of public and private land are either burned or burning. Some students may still be fighting the fires as classes begin in September and university officials want to give them adequate time to prepare.

Residence halls open at MSU Billings on Sunday, Aug. 31 and classes begin Wednesday, Sept.3.

"The Montana University System is committed to supporting the firefighting efforts in the state of Montana as well as honoring the efforts and contributions of our students fighting the fires and we believe this is a way in which we can accomplish that," said Stearns in a press release. "The students will still be required to complete the academic coursework upon their return."

Student firefighters need to call their university by Monday, Aug. 25 to receive the extension for the courses for which they have pre-registered. It is also the students’ responsibility to contact their professors to find out what assignments they have missed.

MSU Billings students who are granted an extension are encouraged to arrive for classes no later than Sept. 17 in order to keep up with the academic demands of their classes.

For more information about the MSU Billings registration extension, call the MSU Billings Registrar’s office at 657-2158 or the MSU Billings Advising Center at 657-2240.