Why This Matters


    There are 12 colleges within the state, including seven private non-profit colleges and five publicly funded colleges.


    Idaho is among the more affordable states in the nation for college, with students paying $8,000 on average for the 2020-21 school year.


    The average full-time undergraduate student received $14,940 in financial aid during the 2019-20 academic year. This includes grants, work-study, loans, and tax credits.

Our Research

We’ve compiled a list of the top colleges and universities in Idaho. Our list contains everything from large universities with diverse class and program offerings to small liberal arts colleges with broad academic focuses. We reviewed these schools’ academic programs, costs, graduation requirements, and learning formats, including whether they offer in-class instruction or online learning.

Our list is limited to accredited colleges and universities that meet minimum quality and academic standards. In most cases, only students attending accredited colleges are eligible for financial aid, and most employers only recognize undergraduate degrees from accredited schools. The majority of Idaho colleges are accredited through the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities, an independent nonprofit corporation that holds members to high academic and ethical standards.

We evaluated each program on the basis of flexibility, faculty, course strength, cost, and reputation. Then we calculated the Intelligent Score for each program on a scale from 0 to 100. For a more extensive explanation, check out Our Ranking Methodology.

  • 75 hours to write this article
  • 68 universities and colleges we assessed
  • 113 education programs we compared

The Top 50 Colleges in Idaho

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What You Should Know About Graduating From College in Idaho

When deciding whether to attend college in Idaho, it’s important to consider whether the state’s employment opportunities fit your planned field of study. According to recent data, the five industries that employ the most people in the state include trade, transportation, and utilities; goods-producing services; government; education and health services; and professional and business services.

Within these industries are some of the most in-demand careers in the state, many of which require undergraduate degrees. The five fastest growing careers in Idaho for those with bachelor’s degrees are designers, biomedical engineers, actuaries, social science research assistants, and set and exhibit designers.

Idaho is home to several large employers across numerous industries that provide job opportunities for college graduates. The largest employer in the state is Micron Technology Inc., which offers memory and storage solutions and employs approximately 8,000 people. Other large employers include Boise State University, Battelle Energy Alliance, St. Luke’s Magic Valley Medical Center, and the Idaho Department of Labor.

What’s Next?

Idaho has several agencies that help make higher learning economical. The following resources can help students obtain their degrees by offering information on and access to need-based financial aid, including loans, grants, and scholarships.

  • Idaho State Board of Education. The Idaho State Board of Education administers several college scholarships, including merit-based, need-based, and dependent scholarships.
  • Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). FAFSA is an application that determines whether you’re eligible for need-based federal financial aid. To see whether you’re eligible to submit a FAFSA application, click on this link. To apply for aid, click here.
  • CareerOneStop. Backed by the U.S. Department of Labor, CareerOneStop maintains an extensive database of scholarships, prizes, grants, and loans for those seeking financial aid. Visitors can customize their results by filtering for where they live, where they will study, their level of study, and the type of award they’re seeking.