Online Schools and Colleges in Idaho

Accredited Degree Programs, Scholarships and Resources for Top Schools

The widespread rural areas of Idaho make it an ideal state for pursuing a college education online. Recent reports show up to 20 percent of residents live at least an hour’s drive from a college campus, and growing distance learning programs in the state providing opportunities for those without close proximity to a college or university to easily earn a college degree. If you’ve never considered the possibility of attending college, or are interested in finding more information but aren’t sure where to start, this page provides answers to common questions about online colleges and universities in Idaho and advice on how to pay for school, take advantage of transfer credit opportunities and more.

Best Online Colleges in Idaho 2020

Methodology

Accredited Schools Online uses data from trustworthy sources to evaluate schools and offer students the best information possible as they choose a degree program.

One important source is the Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System (IPEDS) developed by the U.S. Department of Education. We also consult the Bureau of Labor Statistics, independent research, and information directly from the schools.

We use this data to develop school rankings across many different degree levels and subjects. We want students of all ages, interests, and education levels to be able find the school that fits them.

Undergraduate Programs

We evaluate schools for our rankings and recommendations based on the factors that make a difference for prospective students. Success, quality, and affordability might seem like subjective categories, but they are each supported with objective data.

Student Success 40%

  • Transfer Out Rate
  • Graduation Rate
  • Median 10-Year Earnings

Program Quality 40%

  • Total Programs Offered
  • Enrollment Rate
  • Student-to-Faculty Ratio

Affordability 20%

  • Net Price
  • Proportion of Students Receiving Financial Aid

Graduate Programs

For advanced degrees, we focus on evaluating schools based on their commitment to graduate education.

Commitment to Graduate Education 100%

  • Ratio of Master's Degree Programs Offered via Distance Education to Total Number of Master's Programs
  • Ratio of Total Number of Master's Programs to Total Number of Programs
  • Proportion of Graduate Students
  • Graduates Enrolled in Distance Education

Idaho is home to several affordable colleges and universities, which offer both on-campus and online degree programs. According to CollegeCalc, the average cost of in-state tuition in Idaho for the 2018-2019 academic year was $10,882, about $3,200 less than the national average. State initiatives support degree-seekers and encourage Idaho residents to pursue postsecondary education.

This page explores the benefits of earning a degree and the cost of education. The following sections also list resources for students attending online schools and colleges in Idaho.

Rank Logo School Tuition # of Online Programs Acceptance Rate Graduation Rate Financial Aid Credit For Experience Placement Service Counseling Services Description & Additional Information Toggle
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1 College of Western Idaho Nampa, ID Tuition $3,600 # of Online Programs 6 Acceptance Rate - Graduation Rate 17% Financial Aid 11% Credit For Experience Yes Placement Service No Counseling Services Yes



2 College of Southern Idaho Twin Falls, ID Tuition $4,120 # of Online Programs 20 Acceptance Rate - Graduation Rate 20% Financial Aid 41% Credit For Experience No Placement Service Yes Counseling Services Yes



Rank Logo School Tuition # of Online Programs Acceptance Rate Graduation Rate Financial Aid Credit For Experience Placement Service Counseling Services Description & Additional Information Toggle
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1 Brigham Young University-Idaho Rexburg, ID Tuition $3,920 # of Online Programs 9 Acceptance Rate 96% Graduation Rate 53% Financial Aid 33% Credit For Experience No Placement Service Yes Counseling Services Yes

Brigham Young University-Idaho offers certificate, associate and bachelor's degrees online, along with a stackable degree plan, allowing students to earn all three of these in a 4-year time frame. Interested students can work with advisers upon admission to create a cohesive, stackable degree plan in which each program's learning builds upon the next to expedite degree achievement. For those planning to pursue just the bachelor's degree, 120 credits are required by graduation.

Online courses stick to the campus semester format and flow like on-campus classes, with assignments observing specific deadlines. Students will also participate in online discussion boards and receive academic support from teachers, the Academic Student Support Centers and online tutoring service.




2 University of Idaho Moscow, ID Tuition $5,162 # of Online Programs 9 Acceptance Rate 76% Graduation Rate 60% Financial Aid 89% Credit For Experience Yes Placement Service Yes Counseling Services Yes

The University of Idaho currently offers several online bachelor's degree programs, ranging from the general and traditional - such as psychology and history - to more specialized - such as organizational sciences with concentrations in either organizations and communities or organizational communication, or sociology with an emphasis on criminology. These are considered 4-year programs, with the exception of the 2 + 2 sociology and psychology programs.

Transfer students can shorten program lengths by transferring in credits or associate degrees from accredited colleges. Articulation agreements, in place with several Idaho community colleges, can help make a smooth transition to one of U of I's bachelor's degree programs.




3 Boise State University Boise, ID Tuition $4,872 # of Online Programs 6 Acceptance Rate 82% Graduation Rate 44% Financial Aid 41% Credit For Experience Yes Placement Service Yes Counseling Services Yes

Bachelor's degrees at Boise State Online are career-oriented, such as those in the medical field, while also a good fit for transfer and adult students. The Applied Science degree is designed to build onto an AAS degree, and the multi-disciplinary program works well for those with previous college credits looking for an accelerated bachelor's degree. In addition, these degrees can be used as stepping stones to graduate school.

Along with flexibility, qualifying online students can expect to pay a flat, per-credit rate on tuition and don't have to worry about paying out-of-state tuition. Another attractive feature of attending Boise Online is regional accreditation, along with several individually accredited 4-year programs to choose from, such as nursing, business, respiratory care and allied health.




4 Northwest Nazarene University Nampa, ID Tuition $28,150 # of Online Programs 18 Acceptance Rate 95% Graduation Rate 52% Financial Aid 100% Credit For Experience Yes Placement Service No Counseling Services Yes

Northwest Nazarene University has a well-rounded choice of online degrees at both the undergraduate and graduate level, geared toward working professionals, transfer students, those planning to attend graduate school and first-time students. its 4-year degree programs include liberal studies, Christian ministry, business and nursing.

Programs are 100% online, but differ greatly in course structure, prerequisites, admission requirements and program length. The RN-to-BSN degree takes 5 semesters to complete, with admission requirements specific to nursing students; the BA in business administration is an accelerated, 16-month program in cohort format; the BA in Christian ministry takes 36 months; and the BA in liberal studies offers part-time or full-time enrollment. Tuition rates vary slightly between programs but is not residency dependent.




5 Idaho State University Pocatello, ID Tuition $5,243 # of Online Programs 8 Acceptance Rate - Graduation Rate 36% Financial Aid 62% Credit For Experience Yes Placement Service Yes Counseling Services Yes

Online programs at Idaho State University (ISU) offer lots of flexibility through its various delivery options, which include synchronous, asynchronous or a combination of the two. Courses may be web-enhanced or use web conferencing or they may be mostly online with up to 5 required campus visits or 100% online. Zoom, Moodle and Blackboard Collaborate are used to deliver real-time lectures and demonstrations.

Programs are considered fully online but may have in-person graduation requirements such as internships and practicums, like those offered through the ISU-Meridian Health Sciences Center. Other 4-year programs include psychology, workplace training and leadership, emergency management, emergency medical services and fire services administration. All online students can work with online advisers and benefit from in-state tuition regardless of residency.




How Can I Find Which Online Colleges Offer the Degree I'm Looking for in Idaho?

Online schools and colleges in Idaho offer programs in a variety of subject areas. Resources such as the Idaho State Board of Education can help you narrow down your options. You can also click the link below to search for accredited online programs in Idaho.

How Much More Do College Grads in Idaho Make?

Many entry-level positions require no postsecondary education. However, a college degree can lead to higher earning potential and career advancement opportunities. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, approximately 27% of Idaho residents 25 or older hold at least a bachelor's degree.

The table below shows average U.S. salaries based on degree level. The data illustrates that salaries tend to increase with higher levels of education.

Less Than a High School Diploma High School Diploma Associate Degree
$28,756 $37,960 $44,824
Bachelor's Degree Master's Degree Doctoral Degree
$62,296 $74,568 $94,900

Source: BLS

Paying for Online College in Idaho: Tuition and Financial Aid

Earning a college education is expensive and can seem out of reach. However, Idaho students can apply for several scholarship and grant programs. Federal funding and loans can also help cover the cost of earning a degree. The following table illustrates how Idaho's tuition rates compare to the national averages.

Average Undergraduate Tuition and Fees: Public Colleges and Universities
In-State Tuition Out-of-State Tuition National Average
$7,924 $20,061

$9,037 (In-State)

$25,657 (Out-of-State)
Average Undergraduate Tuition and Fees: Private Colleges and Universities
In-State Tuition Out-of-State Tuition National Average
$5,833 N/A $30,731

Source: National Center for Education Statistics

Cost Considerations for Online Students in Idaho

The previous figures do not include additional expenses, such as housing costs and fees. These costs vary, and prospective students should factor in these expenses when budgeting for school. Below are five important costs to consider in addition to tuition rates.

Room and Board: The cost of room and board depends on whether the student attends school on campus or online. Additionally, on-campus and off-campus housing typically have different costs.
Fees: Schools may charge technology, lab, and facility fees related to on-campus benefits, such as a fitness center. Fees vary by school.
Tuition Agreements: Some schools maintain tuition agreements that qualify out-of-state learners for lower rates. Schools may also charge all online students in-state tuition rates, regardless of the learner's residency status.
Alternative Tuition Rates: Schools may offer discounted rates for options such as night classes and summer courses. Additionally, institutions may charge part-time learners higher tuition rates.
On-Campus Requirements: Some online programs require on-campus lab or classroom hours, which can result in additional transportation costs.

Qualifying for In-State Tuition in Idaho

Idaho residents typically qualify for lower tuition rates than out-of-state learners. Residency guidelines vary by school. However, most require in-state learners to either prove that they have lived in the state for at least 12 months, are registered to vote in Idaho, possess an Idaho driver's license or state vehicle registration, or have an established account with an Idaho-based financial institution.

Additionally, some schools charge all online students in-state tuition rates, regardless of where they live. Prospective learners should carefully research residency requirements when determining each school's affordability.

Paying for College in Idaho: Scholarships and Financial Aid

Earning a college degree requires a significant financial investment. While online programs can be more affordable than on-campus options, most students still need help funding their education. Learners attending online schools and colleges in Idaho can apply for scholarships and grants to help offset the cost of earning a degree.

Scholarships for Idaho College Students

Idaho Opportunity Scholarship

Who Can Apply: The Idaho Legislature offers this scholarship to state residents who demonstrate financial need. Applicants must have graduated high school with a minimum 2.7 GPA. This scholarship is renewable for up to four years and can be used at one of 11 Idaho universities.

Amount: $3,500

Apply For Scholarship

Idaho Governor's Cup Scholarship

Who Can Apply: The Idaho Governor's Cup Scholarship Fund awards this scholarship to up to 25 high school graduates per year. Applicants must be state residents planning to attend an Idaho university. Candidates must have a minimum 2.8 GPA, complete community service requirements, and submit a 500-word personal essay. This scholarship is renewable for up to four years.

Amount: $3,000

Apply For Scholarship

Kevin Whittier Memorial Scholarship

Who Can Apply: Sponsored by the Idaho Community Foundation, this scholarship supports students pursuing a degree in a STEM field at a university or vocational school in Idaho. Applicants must submit a written statement, three letters of recommendation, and unofficial transcripts.

Amount: $1,000

Apply For Scholarship

William Hunt Scholarship Fund

Who Can Apply: The Pacific Northwest Chapter of American Society of Travel Agents awards this annual scholarship to three students pursuing a degree in a field related to tourism or hospitality. Applicants must reside in Idaho, Washington, Alaska, Montana, or Oregon and must submit an essay, proof of college enrollment, a statement of tuition, transcripts, and a letter of recommendation.

Amount: $1,000

Apply For Scholarship

Pride Foundation Scholarships

Who Can Apply: The Pride Foundation in Seattle, Washington, offers more than 50 annual scholarships to qualifying LGBTQ students. Applicants must reside in Idaho, Washington, Alaska, Montana, or Oregon and must be pursuing a degree at a four-year university in the United States.

Amount: $1,000 to $12,000

Apply For Scholarship

Grants for Idaho College Students

Education Incentive Loan Forgiveness Program

Who Can Apply: This program supports students pursuing a teaching or nursing degree. Applicants must attend an Idaho public university and have a minimum 3.0 GPA. Recipients agree to work in Idaho as a nurse or teacher for at least two years after graduation.

Amount: Loan forgiveness

Apply For Grant

Pell Grant

Who Can Apply: This grant assists low-income students. The families of most recipients earn less than $20,000 per year. Applicants must be a U.S. citizen or eligible noncitizen, be enrolled in an undergraduate program, and have no previous college degrees.

Amount: $5,500

Apply For Grant

Federal Supplemental Education Opportunity Grant

Who Can Apply: This grant provides supplemental funding for Pell Grant recipients. The federal government awards this grant in order of priority, so those with the greatest need receive funding first.

Amount: $100 to $4,000

Apply For Grant

TEACH Grants

Who Can Apply: This grant assists students pursuing a teaching career. After graduation, recipients must teach in a high-need field or at a school serving a low-income community for at least four years.

Amount: $4,000

Apply For Grant

Academic Competitiveness Grant

Who Can Apply: Applicants for this grant must demonstrate financial need and attend a qualifying secondary education program. To qualify, Idaho students must have taken at least two Advanced Placement or International Baccalaureate courses or completed the Idaho College Admission Core.

Amount: $750 to $1,300

Apply For Grant

The Importance of Accreditation for Online Colleges and Universities in Idaho

The Idaho State Board of Education oversees all postsecondary schools in the state to ensure that institutions offer quality and accessible programs. Additionally, schools can earn accreditation by undergoing voluntary review by a third-party agency.

Many institutional accrediting agencies focus on schools within a certain geographic area. Programs can receive accreditation from a subject-specific agency. Attending an accredited institution ensures that employers and other schools will recognize your degree.

Regional and National Accreditation

The two main types of institutional accreditation in the U.S. are regional and national accreditation. Regional accrediting agencies typically focus on degree-granting schools within a certain geographic area. Regional accrediting agencies include the Higher Learning Commission and the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities. Regional accreditation is the oldest and most prestigious form of institutional accreditation.

National accrediting agencies, such as the Accrediting Council for Independent Colleges and Schools, typically evaluate vocational schools. Credits earned from nationally accredited institutions may not transfer to regionally accredited schools.

Subject-Specific Accreditation

Specialized accreditation demonstrates that a program meets field-specific standards. Each industry has specialized accrediting agencies that evaluate departments and programs. Examples of subject-specific accrediting agencies include the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology, the American Council on Education, the American Psychological Association, and the Association of Advance Collegiate Schools of Business.

How to Know if Your School or Program is Accredited

Selecting an accredited school or program ensures that you will receive a quality education that meets academic and professional standards. Many schools showcase their accreditation status on their website.

You can search for accredited schools by program and degree level through the Guide to Online Schools. Additionally, the Council for Higher Education Association maintains comprehensive directories of accredited institutions and programs, as well as recognized accrediting agencies.

Online College and Adult Education in Idaho

Online college and adult education programs cater to busy professionals. Many of these programs require no campus visits, and some offer evening courses. Idaho state initiatives improve the accessibility of education. The sections below detail options for adult learners in the state.

By the Numbers: Adult Education in Idaho

Idaho colleges and universities offer 22 fully online degree programs.

Online students accounted for over 28% of Idaho's total student population in 2017.

Although Idaho has no online-only schools, every major institution in the state offers online programs.

Sources: Affordable Colleges Online, Digital Learning Compass, Idaho Digital Learning Alliance

Adult Education Programs for Idaho Students

  • Complete College Idaho: The goal of this initiative is to develop a talented workforce by encouraging students to earn college degrees. Complete College Idaho focuses on designing accessible and effective programs.
  • Adult Education: Idaho offers a free adult education program that helps individuals improve their basic math, English, and reading skills. This program caters to learners with skills below the 12th grade level and is available online and at several Idaho colleges.
  • Idaho Opportunity Scholarship for Adult Learners: The state board of education set a goal that 60% of Idaho residents between the ages of 25 and 34 earn a college degree. This scholarship program supports that goal by financially assisting adult learners.

Online College Resources for Idaho Students

The process of researching online schools and colleges in Idaho can seem overwhelming. Before beginning your search, you can narrow down your choices by identifying which programs you are most interested in. The following online resources can help you learn about Idaho's educational offerings.

  • Open Education Database: The OED provides an overview of online education in Idaho. Users can search by degree level, category, and subject to find programs that align with their goals.
  • Idaho State Board of Education: This website offers resources related to scholarships, initiatives, and research. Users can search the higher education directory to find information about every public or private college or university in Idaho.
  • The Best Schools: This website details Idaho's best and most affordable online schools. Learners can use this information to begin their research into schools and programs in the state.

Search All Accredited Colleges and Universities in Idaho

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