- Higher Education in Idaho, Idaho Association of Collegiate Registrars and Admissions Officers, Accessed June 2017, https://boardofed.idaho.gov/public_col_univ/documents/hi_ed_book/IACRAO_HigherEducationInIdaho_2016.pdf?cache=1498145185343
- Idaho Schools Directory, Next Steps Idaho, Accessed June https://nextsteps.idaho.gov/schools/
- Facts & Figures, Brigham Young University-Idaho, Accessed June 2017, http://www.byui.edu/about/facts
- About ISU, Idaho State University, Accessed June 2017, https://www.isu.edu/about/
- About the University of Idaho, University of Idaho, Accessed June 2017, http://www.uidaho.edu/about
- Discover Boise State University, Boise State University, Accessed June 2017, https://go.boisestate.edu/about/
- About LC, Lewis-Clark State College, Accessed June 2017, http://www.lcsc.edu/about-lc/
- Academics, Northwest Nazarene University, Accessed June 2017, http://www.nnu.edu/academics
- About The College of Idaho, The College of Idaho, Accessed June 2017, https://www.collegeofidaho.edu/about-cofi
- Scholarships, Idaho State Board of Education, Accessed June 2017, https://boardofed.idaho.gov/scholarship/scholarship_jump.asp
- Scholarship directory data is copyrighted material which is reproduced on this website by permission of Wintergreen Orchard House, a division of Carnegie Communications. Copyright © 2017-18 by Wintergreen Orchard House. All rights reserved.
Earning a degree in Idaho starts with selecting the right school. The state is home to a number of public and private institutions offering diverse academic programs. Some are focused on two-year campus-based degrees while others have embraced digital learning and let students earn an online bachelor's degree in Idaho.
The public higher education system includes eight institutions scattered across the state. The University of Idaho is its flagship school and has five campus locations. Three other public colleges and universities award four-year degrees in the state as well. The state also operates technical schools and community colleges which specialize in associate degrees and career training. Those students who start at a two-year school and later decide to pursue a bachelor's degree may find they are able to transfer credits earned at one school to another.
Many of the private universities in the state are affiliated with a religious organization. Students who don't live near a campus may be able to earn online Idaho degrees through one of these schools or a public college.
Best 4-Year Colleges in Idaho
Within Idaho, there are seven main institutions that award four-year degrees. Using a methodology that considers their cost, degrees and flexible learning options, here's how they rank.
The top school in Idaho is a private university affiliated with The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Brigham Young University - Idaho was founded in 1888 in Rexburg. From humble beginnings, it has grown to a campus spanning 430 acres and drawing students from all 50 states and nearly 100 countries.
BYUI ranks first in the state in large part because of its affordability. It has the lowest tuition and fees, the lowest average net price and the cheapest books and supplies of the seven surveyed schools. Its students graduate with the lowest median debt of any institution in Idaho. Brigham Young University - Idaho also has the second best graduation rate in the state.
Students enrolled at BYUI can earn an associate or bachelor's degree. The university's academic programs include all the state's most popular majors. For those who want to earn an online bachelor's degree in Idaho, there are more than 10 options available.
Idaho State University is the top public institution in the state according to this analysis. It enrolls more than 13,000 students in hundreds of programs that result in everything from certificates to doctoral degrees. These numerous academic programs rank ISU first in the state for degree offerings.
The school was founded in 1901 and has since branched out to include four campuses. Its flagship location is in Pocatello in the southeast section of the state. Other campuses have been established in Idaho Falls, Meridian and Twin Falls. Students who don't live near one of these locations can enroll in online classes. As one of the best online colleges for Idaho, ISU had more than 40 percent of its students taking distance education courses in 2015.
Students seeking an affordable education will find it at Idaho State University. The school ranks second in the state for the cost of its tuition and fees as well as its books and supplies.
The flagship school of the Idaho public higher education system ranks third in the state overall. The University of Idaho is one of only 72 land-grant universities nationwide. It was founded in 1889 and has its main campus in Moscow. Students can also study at learning centers in Coeur d'Alene, Boise, Idaho Falls and Twin Falls.
UI is arguably one of the best online colleges for Idaho, if not the best. The university ranks first in the state for the number of distance education programs it offers. However, there are also plenty of on-campus degree programs available, and the school is second only to Idaho State University for the number of overall academic programs it supports.
The University of Idaho ranks second for its average net price for low-income students. It is also generous with financial aid, ranking second for the amount of institutional grant aid it provides as a percentage of its tuition and fees.
Boise State University started as a junior college affiliated with the Episcopal Church. Founded in 1932, the college was turned over to a private board of directors in 1934 and became a public institution in 1939. Today, it draws more than 22,000 students to its campus and online programs, making it the largest school in the state.
Students at BSU get an affordable education. The university ranks third in Idaho for its tuition and fees. It ranks first for the amount of institutional grant aid it awards as a percentage of its tuition and fees. That generous aid helps Boise State University rank second for its average net price.
With a campus in the vibrant city of Boise, BSU offers flexible learning options. In addition to online courses, students can take night and weekend classes. Credit may also be offered for some life experiences.
Named for the famous explorers, Lewis-Clark State College is a public four-year school located in Lewiston. It was founded in 1893. Its campus, near the border of Idaho and Washington, is located by the Clearwater and Snake rivers and offers plenty of outdoor recreation activities.
Nearly 4,000 students are enrolled at Lewis-Clark State College, and the school offers more than 90 degree and certificate programs including several online Idaho degree programs. It takes a three-pronged approach to education that includes academic programs, career and technical programs and community programs. With more than four in ten students enrolled in distance education in 2015, the college ranks third for the percentage of students taking online classes.
Students at Lewis-Clark seem to complete their degree with relatively minimal debt. The college ranks second in Idaho for the low median debt carried by graduates.
Northwest Nazarene University is one of Idaho's private institutions. The school was founded in 1913 as an elementary school, but college courses were added within two years. Its first degrees were awarded in 1917. The university is one of eight schools nationwide affiliated with the Church of the Nazarene.
Northwest Nazarene University has no trouble keeping students once they enroll. It has the best retention rate in the state. Its graduates also have the best three-year repayment rate for their student loans, implying they go on to work in financially stable positions.
NNU has more than 60 areas of study including a robust online program. The university ranks second in Idaho for the number of degree programs available via distance education. High school students can earn credit through dual enrollment and AP classes while adult learners may benefit from accelerated degree programs.
The College of Idaho was founded in 1891. That makes it the oldest private, liberal arts school in Idaho. It is also the smallest institution on this list with a student body of 1,065 in 2015. While you won't find online Idaho degree programs here, students travel to its Caldwell campus for a personalized education experience that features small class sizes and a tight-knit community.
C of I uses a PEAK curriculum that encourages students to graduate with one major and three minors. The program is intended to provide a solid foundation in four areas: humanities, social sciences, natural sciences and a professional field.
Among Idaho schools, C of I is notable as having the best graduation rate. It also has the second best retention rate. The College of Idaho offers the third highest level of institutional grant aid as a percentage of its tuition and fees, and its graduates have the third lowest median debt in the state.
Most Popular Degree Programs in Idaho
If you aren't sure what to study, consider whether one of these popular Idaho majors is right for you.
In-Demand Careers in Idaho
Getting a job in Idaho after graduation may depend on your degree. Will your education help prepare you for one of these potential high-growth occupations?
|Career Title||Projected Job Growth||Total Employment||Annual Salary|
|Manicurists and Pedicurists||57.1%||90||$21,630|
|Morticians, Undertakers, and Funeral Directors||55.1%||140||$47,480|
|Hearing Aid Specialists||46%||40||$46,170|
|Helpers--Painters, Paperhangers, Plasterers, and Stucco Masons||45.2%||70||$26,210|
|Helpers--Brickmasons, Blockmasons, Stonemasons, and Tile and Marble Setters||43.8%||160||$33,270|
|Medical Scientists, Except Epidemiologists||43.6%||130||$63,130|
|Brickmasons and Blockmasons||43.6%||300||$48,530|
|Hairdressers, Hairstylists, and Cosmetologists||42.7%||1,570||$25,020|
|Public Relations and Fundraising Managers||42.1%||200||$78,960|
|Home Health Aides||41.2%||2,040||$22,120|
|Property, Real Estate, and Community Association Managers||40.9%||1,670||$35,500|
|Software Developers, Applications||40.5%||2,240||$83,870|
|Nonfarm Animal Caretakers||40.5%||1,120||$21,370|
|Meeting, Convention, and Event Planners||40%||430||$38,060|
|Self-Enrichment Education Teachers||40%||620||$40,930|
|Plasterers and Stucco Masons||38.7%||-||$31,730|
|Labor Relations Specialists||38.4%||190||$56,040|
|Market Research Analysts and Marketing Specialists||38.3%||1,450||$56,320|
|Insulation Workers, Mechanical||38.3%||-||$49,630|
|Shoe and Leather Workers and Repairers||37.5%||80||$30,260|
|Psychologists, All Other||37.1%||50||$81,640|
|Insulation Workers, Floor, Ceiling, and Wall||36.5%||280||$26,980|
|Pressers, Textile, Garment, and Related Materials||35.6%||120||$20,310|
Financial Aid and Scholarships in Idaho
Earning a degree can be expensive, but the state of Idaho has several scholarship programs to help offset the cost. These include the Postsecondary Credit Scholarship, the Governor's Cup Scholarship and the Opportunity Scholarship. What's more, Idaho students may be eligible for additional grants and loans from the federal government.
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Recipient must maintain a minimum 3.0 GPA or better to retain scholarship. Award is renewable for up to four years.
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