BOZEMAN, Mont. -

Four Montana State University students won the prestigious Goldwater Scholarships.

MSU now claims 58 Goldwater Scholarships, making it one of the nation's leading recipients.

The scholarship gives each student $7,500 a year for tuition fees, books, room and board.

Friday NBC Montana caught up with the four students, who told us they have been working on getting this scholarship for three years.

The students say their research was intense but worth all the hard work.

"My professors told me I should apply and so I kind of looked into it and realized it was a big research scholarship so I've been doing research since my freshman year too," said Alissa Bleem.

The university is only allowed to nominate four students per year. MSU academic officials say they are proud of their students and their accomplishments.