Online Colleges in Idaho
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Offering a wide variety of career opportunities Idaho attracts college students from across the United States. According to USA Today, Idaho is the third fastest growing state. Listed as the fifth safest state by U.S. News and World Report, Idaho also boasts low unemployment rates and a relatively low cost of living.
Though natural resources industries such as agriculture, timber, and mining still contribute heavily to the economy, Idaho's job market has grown considerably in technology, engineering, and a variety of business ventures. Idaho's colleges and universities have taken the lead to support Idaho's growth in these fields. Accredited online colleges in Idaho make it even easier for students to pursue their career goals from the convenience of their own homes.
Job Outlook for Students With College Degrees in Idaho
Due to favorable job growth, Idaho's unemployment rate is lower than the national average. Despite the low unemployment rate, Idaho residents earn 17% less than the annual mean wage for the nation; however, Idaho's residents enjoy stronger than average purchasing power due to the significantly lower cost of living. Furthermore, according to the Bureau of Economic Analysis (BLS), Idaho's personal income growth rate ranks significantly higher than the rest of the nation.
Idaho residents earn considerably more than the state average when working in fields that require a college education. Not surprisingly, those working in management positions earn more, with an average salary than $81,980, than the average worker. Most of those management positions require some college education. Computer and mathematical occupations pay an average of $70,210, while architects and engineers earn $80,140 on average. Similar trends favor those working in professions of law and health care, which require college degrees. The time and money spent pursuing a degree from accredited online colleges in Idaho can increase your life-long earning potential.
Unemployment Rate, August 2018
Annual Mean Wage, May 2017
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Cost of Online Colleges in Idaho
Students pursuing their degrees through online colleges in Idaho pay the same for tuition and fees as their on-campus counterparts. Public two-year colleges in Idaho charge an average of $4,190 for in-state tuition and fees, with the College of Western Idaho charging the least at $3,336 and the College of Eastern Idaho charging the most at $5,205. Students enrolled in one of Idaho's public four-year colleges or universities pay an average of $7,590 for in-state tuition and fees. As the table below shows, compared to national averages, students pay about 26% less for tuition and fees at Idaho's public four-year colleges; however, those studying at one of the public two-year colleges pay almost 15% more than the national average.
Online students save money as the online format spares them the costs of transportation, housing costs associated with on-campus study, and facility or student activity fees. Pursuing your degree from home also allows you to continue working, making it easier to pay for your education.
Average Price for In-State Tuition and Fees by Institution Type, 2018-19
|Public Two-Year||Public Four-Year|
Source: The College Board
In-State vs. Out-of-State Tuition in Idaho
Public colleges and universities in Idaho derive much of their funding from Idaho's tax base, which means these institutions charge less tuition and fees to Idaho residents. The table below demonstrates that across the nation, out-of-state students pay about 2.6 times more for tuition and fees as do in-state students. Idaho public colleges and universities charge about 3.1 times as much in tuition for out-of-state students. However, Idaho participates in the State Authorization Reciprocity Agreement through the Western Interstate Commission on Higher Education. Students living in one of 16 member states can secure a discount on out-of-state tuition at Idaho colleges by paying only 150% of in-state tuition rather than the 310% average.
Average Tuition and Fees, 2018-19
|Public Two-Year In-State||Public Four-Year Out-of-State|
Source: The College Board
Financial Aid in Idaho
When it comes to paying for your college education, it is important to research financial aid available. Though Idaho spends less per student in state grants than most other states, students can still secure state grant funding. Students in pursuit of their first undergraduate degree and who demonstrate financial need may qualify for the federal Pell Grant. Those with exceptional need can also apply for the Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant (SEOG); however, not all schools participate in this program. Schools that do participate have less SEOG money than Pell Grant money to award.
Start your financial aid process by completing the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) as early as possible. Public and private funding sources rely on information provided on your FAFSA. Then, contact the financial aid office of your chosen college to learn what financial aid resources they offer. Do this as early as possible. In addition to federal and state grants, most colleges offer their own scholarships. Your financial aid officer can also help you find loans, especially subsidized student loans.
State Grant Aid per Full-Time Equivalent Undergraduate Student, 2016-17
Source: The College Board
Scholarships and Grants for Idaho College Students
Financial aid can dramatically reduce the amount you pay for your online college education. The following list points you in the direction of scholarships and grants you should consider regardless of the college you choose.
Who Can Apply: Idaho graduating high school seniors who have earned at least a 2.8 GPA and have demonstrated a commitment to public service may apply for this scholarship.
Amount: $3,000, renewable for up to four years
Who Can Apply: Idaho high school seniors who have earned at least a 2.7 GPA and can show financial need should apply for this scholarship.
Amount: $3,500, renewable for up to four years
Who Can Apply: Idaho residents who have not attended a post-secondary institution within the last 24 months can apply for this need-based scholarship. Applicants must have earned at least 24 post-secondary credits before their lapse in enrollment.
Amount: $3,500, renewable for up to four years.
Who Can Apply: Students graduating from one of the 27 districts participating in the Gear Up Idaho program may apply.
Who Can Apply: Idaho high school seniors who have earned at least 10 post-secondary credits by the time they graduate from high school may apply for this merit-based, award to match a private sector, merit-based scholarship.
Amount: Varies according to the scholarship to be matched
Who Can Apply: The spouse or children of fallen or disabled members of the armed forces or public safety officers may apply if they are Idaho residents.
Amount: Tuition waiver plus $500 per semester for books
Who Can Apply: Open to Idaho high school or home school graduates who have at least a C average may submit an essay on a particular aspect of the Holocaust.
Who Can Apply: Sponsored by the Idaho Power Company, this scholarship targets students planning to study some form of engineering at an Idaho college or university.
Amount: Not specified
Who Can Apply: Sponsored by the Idaho Power Company, this scholarship supports students pursuing a natural resources degree at the University of Idaho.
Amount: Not specified