Online colleges in Idaho make it possible to earn your degree at one of the state’s top schools without leaving your hometown.
The state has a number of resources designed to make education, especially online education, more accessible to all Idahoans and even out-of-state students.
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From countless grant programs to institution collaborations to online course hubs, online colleges of Idaho are working hard to serve students.
Online Colleges in Idaho
Idaho has been involved in web-based education since its early developmental stages, launching what was eventually known as the Idaho Electronic Campus.
The site was a marketplace for online courses available at the state’s public colleges and universities. Today, Independent Study in Idaho (ISI) offers almost 100 courses online, which can be transferred to most postsecondary institutions for college credit, including Boise ID colleges.
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Most of Idaho’s online colleges and universities also offer their own online degree programs. Some universities in Idaho offer more than 60 online degree and certificate programs. You can find single online courses or pursue an entire bachelor’s or graduate-level degree online.
With options like these, it’s no surprise that the state has some of the highest percentages of online learners. According to the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES), 31% of Idaho undergraduate students are enrolled in fully online degree programs. Another 31% are enrolled in some online courses.
Common Online Degrees in Idaho
While programs and degrees vary by school, listed below are some common online degrees offered through online universities in Idaho.
- Registered Nurse: This degree is needed in most states to qualify for a registered nurse (RN) license.
- Business Administration and Management, General: This degree typically focuses on the finance, human resources, and planning skills needed to manage an organization.
- Liberal Studies: This program can help you develop critical thinking and communication skills while studying subjects such as literature, history, philosophy, and psychology, among others.
- Accounting: Earning this degree can help you develop a foundation in finance and business and pursue careers in the financial industry.
- Special Education and Teaching, General: This program typically provides the essential teaching strategies and curriculum development needed to qualify for a teaching license.
These are just some degrees offered by online colleges and universities in Idaho. With a diverse range of degree programs available, you can likely find a degree that aligns with your interests.
Overview of Higher Education in Idaho
Despite being a relatively large state, Idaho is home to just 14 degree-granting institutions, according to the NCES. Of the 14, 8 are public schools, 5 are non-profit schools, and 1 is a for-profit school. This includes community colleges in Idaho and universities.
To attend one of the state’s 4-year institutions, NCES reports that residents pay an average of $7,482 in tuition and fees each year. Out-of-state students pay $24,700, on average. Both totals are well below the national average.
Residents in other western states may pay less, thanks to Idaho’s partnership with the Western Interstate Commission for Higher Education (WICHE).
WICHE’s Student Exchange Program allows students to enroll in degree programs at any of the 16 participating states and territories for no more than 150% of the in-state tuition rate.
Another tremendous resource for students is Next Steps Idaho, sponsored by the Idaho State Board of Education. Next Steps Idaho is a “comprehensive clearinghouse of resources and tools pertaining to education, training, and career exploration and development.”
The site provides timelines and checklists, can help students choose a major or a college, and offers financial aid guidance and more.
Employment Outlook for College Graduates in Idaho
Graduates looking for employment in Idaho will find that, based on data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), many industries have made and are projecting steady job growth for the future.
As job growth grows steadily, unemployment in Idaho is slightly below the national average. Outside of agriculture, government and trade, transportation and utilities, and education are the three largest employers in Idaho.
Some industries are in high demand, including construction, professional and business services, and education and health services.
Careers & Salaries in Idaho
Idaho offers a diverse field of industries for employment, including healthcare, education, sales, transportation, finance, production, and management.
Graduates interested in healthcare can pursue opportunities in hospitals, outpatient clinics, medical laboratories, physicians’ offices, and nursing care facilities.
Those interested in education may find opportunities in elementary and secondary schools, junior colleges, technical and trade schools, and child daycare services.
Graduates interested in accounting and bookkeeping can pursue opportunities in almost every industry, as there is always a need for individuals with financial acumen in every organization.
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, these are some careers that graduates of online Idaho colleges and universities may pursue.
|Careers||Annual Median Salaries|
|Project Management Specialists||$76,110|
|General and Operations Managers||$64,290|
|Accountants and Auditors||$63,730|
|Human Resources Specialists||$61,300|
|Sales Representatives, Wholesale and Manufacturing, Except Technical and Scientific Products||$55,970|
|Bookkeeping, Accounting, and Auditing Clerks||$41,500|
|Office and Administrative Support Workers||$36,650|
These are just the average median salaries for these careers in Idaho, and earning a degree does not guarantee any specific job. Job availability and salaries depend on a variety of factors, including location, education, and experience.
In addition to the occupations listed above, there are also numerous opportunities in transportation, production, construction, and the food service industry.
Online Idaho College Admissions Requirements
Admissions requirements vary between online universities in Idaho, but listed below are some common requirements needed to gain admission.
- Diploma or GED: Most colleges will require you to have earned your high school diploma or GED.
- Transcripts: Many colleges will ask for copies of your official transcripts.
- Online application: You may be required to complete an online application at the time of your application.
- Minimum GPA: Some programs may require a certain minimum GPA to be admitted to their program.
In addition to the above requirements, some programs may require you to submit a personal statement explaining your goals and why you would like to become a student at their school. Some schools also require SAT or ACT scores, or other test scores, but a growing number of schools do not require them.
ID Online Colleges Accreditation
As you explore options for Idaho universities online, one factor to take into consideration is the school’s accreditation status.
Regionally accredited schools are the most widely accepted, with their educational programs verified by a third party as meeting educational standards.
Accreditation status is an important factor since it can potentially impact you in several ways, including transfer credits, additional degrees you may want to pursue, and your job options.
To learn more about school accreditation and to search for accreditation by a school, you may go to the Council for Higher Education Accreditation (CHEA) website.
Financial Aid and Scholarships
If you are interested in attending a college or university in Idaho, it is a good idea to complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). This form is used to determine the amount of federal, state, and some forms of private financial aid you can receive.
The data you provide will be reviewed and then you will find out how much and what type of aid you qualify for. Funds are awarded on a first-come, first-served basis, so it is a good idea to fill this form out early.
Other forms of financial aid include grants and scholarships, and these types of aid do not have to be paid back as long as they are used appropriately.
Typically, grants are awarded based on financial need. Scholarships, on the other hand, may be awarded based on need, merit, geographic location, race or ethnicity, course of study, community involvement, artistic or athletic ability, unique hobbies, and more.
Here are some of the many scholarships open to Idaho residents:
- Idaho Governor’s Cup Scholarship: $3,000 per year, renewable up to 4 years
- Idaho Latino Scholarship: Up to $5,000 per year
- Idaho Opportunity Scholarship: Up to $3,500 per year, renewable for up to 4 years
- Tschudy Family Scholarship: $2,500 per year, renewable up to 5 years of undergraduate and 2 years of graduate study
You should also check with the financial aid office at the schools you are considering. They will be able to tell you about any private scholarships that you may be eligible for.
Idaho Online Education Resources
As you explore options for online universities in Idaho, you may want to consider using these educational resources to assist you before, during, and after graduation.
- Idaho State Board of Education: In addition to essential information on public education, this site also provides information on scholarships and grants.
- Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities (NWCCU): This site provides accreditation for schools in the northwest and information for where you can find regionally accredited schools in Idaho can be found here.
- Idaho Job Network: This site offers career planning help, job searches, internship locators, and additional resources, including informative podcasts and articles.
In addition to the sites listed above, you can also find resources to help you transfer credits and resources for adult learners looking to get back into education.
How Much Does It Cost to Go to an Online College in Idaho?
The cost of tuition for online Idaho colleges and universities will vary based on several factors, including the type of school and potentially whether you are an in-state or out-of-state student.
Some colleges and universities charge all online students the same tuition, whether they are Idaho residents or not. While tuition will vary by school and program, it typically costs $200 to $400 per credit hour for online courses at a public 4 year university in Idaho.
Tuition will also vary between 2 year colleges and public and private 4 year universities, with private universities usually costing more.
Tuition Breaks for Out-of-State Students
With the establishment of the State Authorization Reciprocity Agreement (SARA), online schools in participating states are more accessible and regulated for out-of-state students.
As part of SARA and through the Western Undergraduate Exchange, out-of-state students are eligible for reduced tuition at participating online colleges and universities in Idaho. These tuition breaks do not apply to schools that charge the same for in-state and out-of-state online students.
Eligibility for these tuition breaks can be inquired about during the application process. While it varies by school, some schools may charge fees for online students, including technology, distance learning, or financial aid fees.
What Jobs Are in High Demand in Idaho?
There are jobs in demand in almost every industry in Idaho. According to the Idaho Department of Labor, job growth for all occupations is expected to grow by about 15%.
Based on data from the Idaho Department of Labor, these are some of the highest in-demand jobs in Idaho and their projected job growth:
- Construction Managers: 35%
- Dental Hygienists: 27%
- Physical Therapist Assistants: 23%
- Medical Assistants: 24%
- Labor Relations Specialists: 24%
Many of the most in-demand jobs typically only require an associate’s or bachelor’s degree for entry-level positions, with work experience and on-the-job training taken into consideration.
What Are the Highest Paying Jobs in Idaho?
The specific careers available and salaries offered will vary based on many factors, including education level, work experience, and geographic location. Many of the highest-paying jobs require additional education at the graduate and doctoral levels.
Based on data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, these are some of the highest-paying careers in Idaho and their annual median salaries.
|Careers||Annual Median Salaries|
|Family Medicine Physicians||$215,700|
|Computer and Information Research Scientists||$139,320|
While some jobs require additional education, you may also need to begin in an entry-level position and increase your earning potential through on-the-job training and professional development.
List of Online Colleges in Idaho
Methodology: The following school list is in alphabetical order. To be included, a college or university must be regionally accredited and offer degree programs online or in a hybrid format.
U.S. News and World Report named Boise State University in their Top 15% of Best Online Programs for a Bachelor’s Degree listing. The school offers bachelor’s, master’s, and doctorate degrees. Classes start in the fall, spring, and summer.
Fields of study offered include public health, educational technology, nursing, and cyber operations.
Boise State University is accredited by the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities.
Brigham Young University—Idaho offers certificates, associate degrees, and bachelor’s degrees that can be earned online. Students may start or complete a degree online. The school aims to provide a spiritual environment in which it can graduate well-round individuals.
Degree programs are offered in fields such as applied business management, marriage and family studies, family history research, and applied health.
Brigham Young University – Idaho is accredited by the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities.
Idaho State University offers online programs for nontraditional students. These programs are entirely online and are either asynchronous or mostly asynchronous, with some classes meeting online.
The school offers programs for associate, bachelor’s, master’s, and doctoral degrees and professional certificates. Fields of study offered include family consumer science, dental hygiene, rehabilitation and communication science, and elementary education.
Idaho State University is accredited by the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities.
Best College Reviews named Lewis-Clark State College the best college in the nation for nontraditional students. The college offers over 20 programs for associate degrees, bachelor’s degrees, or certificates that are entirely online.
Some programs have 8 week courses, while others follow the school’s semester schedule. Fields of study offered include marketing and literacy.
Lewis-Clark State College is accredited by the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities.
Northwest Nazarene University offers online undergraduate and graduate programs for busy students. Most programs are fully online, but a few are in a hybrid format or have on-campus components. Most classes are 8 weeks long and asynchronous with weekly deadlines.
Areas of study offered include Christian ministry, family nurse practitioner, and curriculum, instruction, and innovation.
Northwest Nazarene University is accredited by the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities.
The University of Idaho’s online programs can help students finish a degree they’ve already started or earn a complete degree. The school’s online courses are designed to fit into students’ busy lives and do not require campus visits.
The school offers six undergraduate degrees and four master’s degrees that can be earned online. Areas of study offered include criminology, history, psychology, music, theater arts, and public administration.
The University of Idaho is accredited by the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities.
Getting Your Online Degree in Idaho
Many students who choose to pursue a postsecondary degree in Idaho find themselves in good hands. The northwestern state has demonstrated it is committed to improving education, enhancing online learning opportunities, and making the Idaho of tomorrow smarter, stronger, and more competitive than ever.
To start your educational journey, you can begin researching accredited colleges in the state of Idaho and make a list of those that offer your chosen degree program.