Online Colleges in Idaho

Top Online Programs

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

Idaho 2.7%
United States 3.8%

Source: BLS

Annual Mean Wage, May 2017

Idaho $42,240
United States $50,620

Source: BLS

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
Idaho $4,190 $7,590
U.S. Average $3,660 $10,230

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
Idaho $7,590 $23,720
U.S. Average $10,230 $26,290

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

Idaho $130
U.S. Average $820

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.

Idaho Governor's Cup Scholarship

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

Apply Here

Idaho Opportunity Scholarship

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

Apply Here

Idaho Opportunity Scholarship for Adult Learners

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.

Apply Here

Gear Up Idaho Scholarship 2

Who Can Apply: Students graduating from one of the 27 districts participating in the Gear Up Idaho program may apply.

Amount: Variable

Apply Here

Idaho Postsecondary Credit Scholarship

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

Apply Here

Armed Forces/Public Safety Officer Dependent Scholarship

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

Apply Here

Alois and Marie Goldmann Memorial Scholarship

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.

Amount: $1,000

Apply Here

Kevin Whittier Memorial Scholarship

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

Apply Here

Larry R. Wimer Memorial Scholarship

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

Apply Here

Mike Crapo Math and Science Scholarship

Who Can Apply: Idaho residents who plan to major in math or science at one of Idaho's four-year colleges or universities may apply.

Amount: Not specified

Apply Here

Best Majors for Online Students in Idaho

According to the Idaho Department of Labor, the construction industry will grow faster in Idaho than other industries through 2022. Healthcare and social services will likely also experience high growth rates. Hospitality, retail, and finance industries show favorable growth potential.

Fast-growing industries offer employment stability. Consider a field that offers opportunity for career growth and strong earning potential. For example, the construction industry shows strong growth potential, and those working in construction management earn more than twice the average for construction workers according to the BLS. The same holds true in retail, finance, and hospitality fields.

Business Management

A business management major trains students to understand and apply sound business principles. Coursework emphasizes leadership, communication, strategic management, and entrepreneurship. The major prepares students to lead and manage in a variety of industries.


With registered nurses and advanced practice registered nurses in demand, a bachelor or master of science in nursing will help prepare you for these jobs. Coursework covers topics and skills required for nursing. At the bachelor's and master's degree levels, students learn the principles and skills required for nurse leadership and training work.

Public Health

Public health majors pursue coursework covering fundamentals of healthcare and promotion with a view to health advocacy and social improvement. The training prepares students to successfully complete the Certified Health Education Specialist exam. Students will study topics including epidemiology, public health analysis, and health behavior theory.

Resources for Online College Students in Idaho

Idaho Adult Education Program: Sponsored by Idaho Career and Technical Education, the adult education program helps students close academic gaps to better prepare them for jobs and postsecondary education. Anyone over age 16 who has not quite met 12th grade standards may apply.

Libraries Linking Idaho: This online library offers plenty of helpful tools for college and university studies. You'll find links to academic research tools, including publications in the fields of business, medicine, agriculture, religion and philosophy, psychology, and history.

Idaho State Board of Education: This site explains how Idaho's State Board of Education sets direction and policy for public education. Of special interest to college students, the site also provides valuable information regarding scholarships and grants.

Idaho Department of Labor: This website offers information and resources for job seekers. In addition to the job search tool, the site offers information on workshops like career planning and interview preparation. You can also find links to a calendar for networking opportunities. Be sure to download their 24-page career preparation guide.

Idaho Job Network: Like the Idaho Department of Labor site, this site provides career planning and job search resources. You must register to take advantage of all the resources available, but registration is free. The site also links students to internship options.

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