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Guide to Online Colleges in Idaho

COLLEGE FINDER

Article Sources

Sources:

  • Idaho Digital Learning, https://www.idahodigitallearning.org/
  • Boise State University, http://ecampus.boisestate.edu/programs/grad/
  • Brigham Young University-Idaho, http://byui.edu/online/degrees-and-programs
  • Bureau of Labor Statistics, Occupational Employment and Wage Estimates, http://www.bls.gov/oes/current/oes_ga.htm
  • C2ER, The Cost of Living Index, http://www.coli.org/
  • College Navigator, National Center for Education Statistics, http://nces.ed.gov/collegenavigator/?
  • College Of Southern Idaho, http://www.csi.edu/coursesAndPrograms_/onlinedegree.html
  • College of Western Idaho, http://cwidaho.cc/academics/online-learning
  • Eastern Idaho Technical College, http://www.eitc.edu/
  • Education Initiatives, Idaho State Board of Education, Accessed November 2018, https://boardofed.idaho.gov/education-initiatives/
  • Fun Things to Do in Boise, http://riversideboise.com/over-50-things-to-do-in-bosie
  • Fun Things to Do in Coeur d'Alene, http://coeurdalene.org/what-to-do/parks
  • Fun Things to Do in Idaho Falls, http://www.visitidahofalls.com/exploring.cfm?ID=3
  • Idaho State University, http://www.isu.edu/areg/policy-proc/televised.shtml
  • Key Industries, Idaho Commerce, Accessed December 2018, https://commerce.idaho.gov/site-selection/key-industries/
  • Lewis-Clark State College, http://www.lcsc.edu/e-learning/online-degrees/
  • North Idaho College, http://www.nic.edu/websites/default.aspx?dpt=25&pageId=
  • Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities, accessed January 2017, http://www.nwccu.org/
  • University of Idaho, http://dee.uidaho.edu/programs-courses/
  • The United States Census Bureau The America Community Survey, http://www.census.gov/acs/www/
  • U.S. Census Bureau, American Fact Finder, http://factfinder2.census.gov/faces/tableservices/jsf/pages/productview.xhtml? pid=ACS_12_1YR_S1501&prodType=table
  • Idaho State Board of Education - Financial Aid 101, Accessed April 2017, https://fafsa.idaho.gov/
  • Idaho State Board of Education, Accessed April 2017, https://boardofed.idaho.gov/
  • Idaho College Enrollment Continues to Increase, Kevin Richert, January 3, 2018, Idaho Ed News, Accessed November 2018, https://www.idahoednews.org/news/idaho-college-enrollment-continues-increase/
  • Tuition Exchange Agreements, Idaho State Board of Education, Accessed November 2018, https://boardofed.idaho.gov/higher-education-public/tuition-exchange-agreements/
  • Idaho, Western Interstate Commission for Higher Education, Accessed November 2018, https://www.wiche.edu/state-highlights/idaho
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Whether you're interested in a career in one of Idaho's growing industries, like advanced manufacturing or energy, or if you're looking into a more traditional sector like healthcare or a government job in Boise, having a degree in hand can prepare you for a higher-skill job.

Online colleges in Idaho can provide a convenient way to pursue a degree program. The flexible aspect of distance education means you can still earn a degree around your current work schedule or family responsibilities. Here's a closer look at online education opportunities in the Gem State.

  • Online associate degree programs are available at 10 schools, while online bachelor's degrees can be earned at 8 schools. Master's degree programs can be completed online at 6 schools.
  • While each Idaho college has its own established program offerings, several offer common online degree programs in subjects like business administration, early childhood education, web design and nursing.
  • Of the online colleges in Idaho, 5 are private, including several faith-based schools, and 7 are public.
  • The schools that offer the most online program options in Idaho include Northwest Nazarene University, College of Southern Idaho, and University of Phoenix-Idaho.

To promote higher education in the state, Idaho has created the Next Steps Initiative, which is designed to help all Idaho students, including those who plan on pursuing a degree through an online college.

By browsing this page, you can learn about the best online colleges in Idaho as well as the importance of college accreditation. You'll also find out about Idaho-specific scholarships that you can use to make your education more affordable.

What Makes a Good Online College?

OnlineColleges.com has created multiple rankings of the best online colleges in Idaho to help students find a college that suits their educational needs and financial expectations. Every school displayed in our rankings has been accredited by a nationally recognized accrediting agency. In Idaho, many public and private colleges are accredited by the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities (NWCCU), the primary accrediting agency for colleges in northwestern states such as Idaho, Alaska and Nevada. Students can learn why accreditation is important on our "What is College Accreditation?" page. Alternately, they can learn more about accreditation specific to the state of Idaho from the Idaho State Board of Education.

Our rankings were created to help students make informed decisions about selecting an online college in Idaho. To help educate students, we display data such as cost of in-state tuition, availability of academic and career services, and number of online programs offered -- all factors that we used to determine our rankings in the first place. Students can visit the "What Makes a Good Online College?" section of our "About Us" section to learn more about why we consider these data points to be important for finding the best online colleges in Idaho.

Best Online Colleges in Idaho for 2018-19

We created this ranking of the 10 best online colleges in Idaho to help you compare online schools in Idaho and find the one that's best for you. Our rankings use data from the National Center for Education Statistics, weighing data points such as net price, graduation rate and accessibility of career services with our unique methodology (details at the bottom of this page). If you're interested in more rankings, try making your own with our Top Colleges Tool!

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Methodology
1

Brigham Young University-Idaho

Tuition & Fees/Year Tuition and fees per year refers to the average in-state tuition and required fees for full-time undergraduates and, if applicable, graduate students as of 2016, according to the National Center for Education Statistics.
$4,018
Distance Education Participation Distance Education Participation refers to the percentage of students taking either some or all of the courses via distance education, according to the National Center for Education Statistics.
81%
Number of Programs Offered Number of programs offered refers to the count of degrees and certificates offered via distance education at any level as of 2016, according to the National Center for Education Statistics.
14
School Type
4-year

Brigham Young University-Idaho is affiliated with the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, and is proud of their religious heritage. Their dedication to their faith can be seen in many and varied aspects of the school, from the courses they offer to the events they host.

BYU presents an extremely convenient learning option for its students in the form of "stackable degrees." In this unique format, a student can take a single program and complete a certificate, then carry those credits forward to complete an associate degree, then carry all of those credits forward to complete a bachelor's degree, earning all three in the span of just one program!

2

Northwest Nazarene University

Tuition & Fees/Year Tuition and fees per year refers to the average in-state tuition and required fees for full-time undergraduates and, if applicable, graduate students as of 2016, according to the National Center for Education Statistics.
$29,000
Distance Education Participation Distance Education Participation refers to the percentage of students taking either some or all of the courses via distance education, according to the National Center for Education Statistics.
50%
Number of Programs Offered Number of programs offered refers to the count of degrees and certificates offered via distance education at any level as of 2016, according to the National Center for Education Statistics.
23
School Type
4-year

Northwest Nazarene University is a nonprofit comprehensive Christian school, one of only eight liberal arts colleges in the U.S. that are affiliated with the Church of the Nazarene. In order to spread both intellectual and spiritual well-being, NNU has embraced online learning and educates distance learners across the state and beyond! Through the school's e-campus, students can pursue a variety of undergraduate, graduate, post-graduate and doctoral degree programs such as:

  • Associate programs in fields such as elementary education and accounting
  • Bachelor's programs in fields such as business administration and Christian ministry
  • Master's programs in fields such as nursing and pastoral ministry
  • An online PhD in educational leadership
  • An RN-to-Bachelor of Science in nursing degree completion program
3

University of Idaho

Tuition & Fees/Year Tuition and fees per year refers to the average in-state tuition and required fees for full-time undergraduates and, if applicable, graduate students as of 2016, according to the National Center for Education Statistics.
$7,488
Distance Education Participation Distance Education Participation refers to the percentage of students taking either some or all of the courses via distance education, according to the National Center for Education Statistics.
30%
Number of Programs Offered Number of programs offered refers to the count of degrees and certificates offered via distance education at any level as of 2016, according to the National Center for Education Statistics.
34
School Type
4-year

The University of Idaho has been transforming higher education in the state since its inception in 1889. Eager to supply its students with the innovative educational options they need, UI has been working to make online courses available for several of its degree programs. Many of these online additions are assisted by the virtual classroom software Collaborate.

In addition to these online options, the university diversifies its options with summer sessions, dual credit courses and self-paced independent study programs. UI's online students also have access to a range of student resources, including peer counseling, online technical support and disability support services.

4

Idaho State University

Tuition & Fees/Year Tuition and fees per year refers to the average in-state tuition and required fees for full-time undergraduates and, if applicable, graduate students as of 2016, according to the National Center for Education Statistics.
$7,166
Distance Education Participation Distance Education Participation refers to the percentage of students taking either some or all of the courses via distance education, according to the National Center for Education Statistics.
47%
Number of Programs Offered Number of programs offered refers to the count of degrees and certificates offered via distance education at any level as of 2016, according to the National Center for Education Statistics.
15
School Type
4-year

There are Idaho State Bengals all over the world, with students from 58 different countries attending Idaho State University — some without ever even setting foot on American soil. ISU has established many distance learning programs, helping students to sample their range of online programs and their excellent 14:1 student-to-teacher ratio anywhere there's Internet access.

ISU's online programs and courses are offered through their own dedicated learning portal, eISU. Through the portal, students can access student resources such as disability services, an online library, the school help desk and an online writing lab. Courses can be delivered synchronously (at scheduled times of the week) through Bb Collaborate, or asynchronously (at any time the student wishes) through Moodle.

5

Boise State University

Tuition & Fees/Year Tuition and fees per year refers to the average in-state tuition and required fees for full-time undergraduates and, if applicable, graduate students as of 2016, according to the National Center for Education Statistics.
$7,326
Distance Education Participation Distance Education Participation refers to the percentage of students taking either some or all of the courses via distance education, according to the National Center for Education Statistics.
35%
Number of Programs Offered Number of programs offered refers to the count of degrees and certificates offered via distance education at any level as of 2016, according to the National Center for Education Statistics.
8
School Type
4-year

To fuel their students' grit and ambition, Boise State University offers degree programs in many different formats, including — of course — convenient e-learning formats. BSU has a little bit of everything available for their students, from associate degree programs to graduate certificate programs to endorsements to master's degree programs to minors, and features online tutoring at no additional cost in the bargain.

According to the school, many of their online programs have only a flat fee per credit, with no out-of-state tuition inflation. The university also accepts transfer credits from regionally accredited colleges and universities, and even awards elective credits for relevant military experience. This makes BSU well worth considering for students with some college or military experience who are looking to complete a degree program online.

6

Lewis-Clark State College

Tuition & Fees/Year Tuition and fees per year refers to the average in-state tuition and required fees for full-time undergraduates and, if applicable, graduate students as of 2016, according to the National Center for Education Statistics.
$6,334
Distance Education Participation Distance Education Participation refers to the percentage of students taking either some or all of the courses via distance education, according to the National Center for Education Statistics.
42%
Number of Programs Offered Number of programs offered refers to the count of degrees and certificates offered via distance education at any level as of 2016, according to the National Center for Education Statistics.
9
School Type
4-year

For a school that was founded in 1893, Lewis-Clark State College has come a long way in terms of embracing technology and affording their students diverse learning opportunities. The school offers its own e-learning portal that helps connect online students with their courses and e-learning services. These services include workshops, exam proctoring and 24/7 technical help.

Students seeking online degree programs in Idaho can choose from numerous options at Lewis-Clark State. Possibilities include online associate and bachelor's degree programs in career-oriented fields such as business administration, early childhood development, nursing and web design. Courses are delivered through the Blackboard learning management system.

7

College of Southern Idaho

Tuition & Fees/Year Tuition and fees per year refers to the average in-state tuition and required fees for full-time undergraduates and, if applicable, graduate students as of 2016, according to the National Center for Education Statistics.
$4,120
Distance Education Participation Distance Education Participation refers to the percentage of students taking either some or all of the courses via distance education, according to the National Center for Education Statistics.
24%
Number of Programs Offered Number of programs offered refers to the count of degrees and certificates offered via distance education at any level as of 2016, according to the National Center for Education Statistics.
18
School Type
2-year

The College of Southern Idaho is a fairly small, traditional school built on a foundation of experiential learning and educational achievement. In addition to its small size, this community college boasts among the most affordable tuition costs on our list, making degree attainment that much more achievable for its many on-campus and online students.

While many smaller schools haven't yet ventured into online education, the College of Southern Idaho has embraced web-based learning with open arms. Students can choose from numerous online associate degree programs in fields such as early childhood education, liberal arts, business management and library and information science.

8

College of Western Idaho

Tuition & Fees/Year Tuition and fees per year refers to the average in-state tuition and required fees for full-time undergraduates and, if applicable, graduate students as of 2016, according to the National Center for Education Statistics.
$4,336
Distance Education Participation Distance Education Participation refers to the percentage of students taking either some or all of the courses via distance education, according to the National Center for Education Statistics.
35%
Number of Programs Offered Number of programs offered refers to the count of degrees and certificates offered via distance education at any level as of 2016, according to the National Center for Education Statistics.
7
School Type
2-year

This community college offers career-focused educational programs to interested students across western Idaho and — through its several online and hybrid degree programs — far beyond.

The College of Western Idaho hosts numerous online courses that can count toward the completion of a hybrid Academic Transfer AA, AS, or AAS degree program. However, CWI boasts its share of fully-online degree programs as well, in subjects such as business, criminal justice, English, history or political science. The school's online students can also access online tutorials, help with admissions, and even school-unique scholarships.

9

North Idaho College

Tuition & Fees/Year Tuition and fees per year refers to the average in-state tuition and required fees for full-time undergraduates and, if applicable, graduate students as of 2016, according to the National Center for Education Statistics.
$4,728
Distance Education Participation Distance Education Participation refers to the percentage of students taking either some or all of the courses via distance education, according to the National Center for Education Statistics.
57%
Number of Programs Offered Number of programs offered refers to the count of degrees and certificates offered via distance education at any level as of 2016, according to the National Center for Education Statistics.
2
School Type
2-year

Founded in 1933, North Idaho College was created to supply community college education and two-year degree programs to students in the northern Idaho area. Since its inception, NIC has extended its reach, both on-campus and off. The school reports that, in 2016, over half of the college's student body attended at least one course online.

NIC's roster of online courses is bulked out by the school's many resources for its distance learners. Workshops and Blackboard Orientation sessions are held for students every semester… as well as for teachers! That's right: NIC goes out of its way to educate its faculty about building and teaching online courses. The investment NIC is willing to put into its expanding online portfolio is a clear indication that this school is one to consider for distance learners.

Affordable Online Colleges in Idaho for 2018-19

The following list presents some of the schools in Idaho that offer education at the lowest tuition costs. Tuition figures are sourced from the National Center for Education Statistics and reflect in-state tuition (when in-state tuition is available) for all students, including online students.

  • School Type - 2 Years
  • School Type - 4 Years
  • COLLEGE NAMETUITION & FEES/YEAR
    Tuition and fees per year refers to the average in-state tuition and required fees for full-time undergraduates and, if applicable, graduate students as of 2016, according to the National Center for Education Statistics.
    DISTANCE EDUCATION PARTICIPATION
    Distance Education Participation refers to the percentage of students taking either some or all of the courses via distance education, according to the National Center for Education Statistics.
    NUMBER OF ONLINE PROGRAMS OFFERED
    Number of programs offered refers to the count of degrees and certificates offered via distance education at any level as of 2016, according to the National Center for Education Statistics..
    SCHOOL WEBSITE
    College of Southern Idaho$4,12024%18csi.edu
    College of Western Idaho$4,33635%7cwidaho.cc
    North Idaho College$4,72857%2nic.edu
  • COLLEGE NAMETUITION & FEES/YEAR
    Tuition and fees per year refers to the average in-state tuition and required fees for full-time undergraduates and, if applicable, graduate students as of 2016, according to the National Center for Education Statistics.
    DISTANCE EDUCATION PARTICIPATION
    Distance Education Participation refers to the percentage of students taking either some or all of the courses via distance education, according to the National Center for Education Statistics.
    NUMBER OF ONLINE PROGRAMS OFFERED
    Number of programs offered refers to the count of degrees and certificates offered via distance education at any level as of 2016, according to the National Center for Education Statistics..
    SCHOOL WEBSITE
    Brigham Young University-Idaho$4,01881%14byui.edu
    Lewis-Clark State College$6,33442%9lcsc.edu
    Idaho State University$7,16647%15isu.edu
    Boise State University$7,32635%8boisestate.edu
    University of Idaho$7,48830%34uidaho.edu

Financial Aid Resources in Idaho

1.UI Scholars Scholarship
Type : Scholarship
Criteria:
Applicant must be a resident of Idaho graduating from high school with a minimum 32 ACT score, and a 1420 SAT 1 score.
Award Amount
$3,000
Application Deadline
February 15
Renewable
Recipient must maintain a minimum 3.0 GPA or better to retain scholarship. Award is renewable for up to four years.
Yes
Repay Required?
No
School Specific Scholarship?
Yes
Application URL
2.Governor's Cup Scholarship
Type : Scholarship
Criteria:
Applicants must be Idaho high school seniors planning to attend Idaho colleges or universities full-time and have a minimum 2.8 GPA. Public service is a significant factor.
Award Amount
$3,000
Application Deadline
February 15
Renewable
Yes
Repay Required?
No
School Specific Scholarship?
No
Application URL
3.D. L. Evans Scholarship
Type : Scholarship
Criteria:
Applicant must be a graduating senior from one of the following high schools: Mini-Cassia, Magic Valley, Treasure Valley, Wood River Valley, and Eastern Idaho. Applicant must be attending the College of Southern Idaho, Idaho State University, College of Idaho, University of Idaho, Boise State University, or College of Western Idaho as a full-time student. Preference will be given to students majoring in finance business, or economics; all majors will be considered. Minimum 3.0 GPA required.
Award Amount
$250
Application Deadline
March 3
Renewable
No
Repay Required?
No
School Specific Scholarship?
Yes
Application URL
4.GEAR UP Idaho Scholarship 2
Type : Scholarship
Criteria:
Applicants must have graduated from an Idaho high school, be entering freshmen at an eligible Idaho college or university, be residents of Idaho and have a minimum 3.0 GPA or minimum ACT score of 20. Applicants must also be younger than 22 years old and complete at least 12 credits per semester with a minimum 2.5 GPA to remain eligible for renewal.
Award Amount
N/A
Application Deadline
March 1
Renewable
Yes
Repay Required?
No
School Specific Scholarship?
No
Application URL

Student Loans in Idaho

Idaho does not offer students any state-specific loans, as they prefer to focus on state-based scholarships and grants like The Idaho Opportunity Scholarship instead. The state encourages students to apply for any scholarships and grants for which they may be qualified, since that money is awarded and does not need to be repaid. If you are still in need of financial assistance, you may apply for federal and private loans to help cover your tuition costs. To qualify for federal loans, you will need to fill out the FAFSA with your family's financial information. Learn more about student loans in the Ultimate Guide to Student Loans.

Additional Resources for Financial Aid in Idaho

Costs for Out-of-State Students in Idaho

While college enrollment in many states has declined in recent years, the number of undergraduates in Idaho keeps climbing. In 2018, the state even exceeded 100,000 undergrad students for the first time ever, according to data from the National Student Clearinghouse.

Among those are non-resident students who travel from across the country to study in Idaho. Out-of-state students have to contend with higher costs, but there are ways to offset higher out-of-state tuition rates.

One option is use the Western Undergraduate Exchange (WUE). This program is open to students in 16 Western states and territories. It caps their non-resident tuition at 150 percent of the in-state rate should they be studying a program not available where they live. More than 2,500 students enrolled in Idaho through the WUE in 2017-2018. Similar programs are available for graduate and professional degree programs.

Idaho colleges and universities may have their own programs for out-of-state students as well. For instance, the Discover Idaho program at the University of Idaho provides non-resident scholarships based on high school academic achievement.

Don't assume there won't be other options for you to minimize out-of-state tuition in Idaho. The links below provide additional information, and your admissions counselor may be able to help you identity other resources for out-of-state students.

 
Article Sources
Methodology

Using the National Center for Education Statistics’ Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System (IPEDS), we generated a list of colleges and universities that met the following criteria:

  • Level of institution is either "Four or more years" or "At least 2 but less than 4 years"
  • Data is reported for all 11 ranking variables listed in the Methodology section
  • At least 1% of students are taking at least some of the classes via distance education
  • "Number of programs offered via distance education" was an integer greater than 0

We ranked the resulting 1,813 colleges on 11 criteria, using 2016-17 data from IPEDS:

  1. Number of programs offered via distance education
  2. Ratio of students participating fully or partially in DE to Total Enrollment
  3. Average in-state tuition for undergraduates
  4. Total electronic library collections, including digital books, databases, and media
  5. Graduation rate
  6. Retention rate
  7. The availability of any tuition plans (Payment, Guaranteed, Other)
  8. Services (Academic/Career, Placement for Completers)
  9. Credit offerings (Dual, Life, AP, Military)
  10. Percent of undergraduate students awarded federal, state, local, institutional or other sources of grant aid
  11. Average amount of federal, state, local, institutional, or other sources of grant aid awarded to undergraduate students

All schools were scored on a 10-point scale for each of the points listed above. Individual data point scores were then multiplied by their respective weights, and the scores were added together, for a maximum possible score of 10 points.

Methodology Sources

  • Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System (IPEDS) 2016-17, National Center for Education Statistics, http://nces.ed.gov/ipeds/
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