Why This Matters


    There are 12 colleges within the state, including two for-profit colleges, five 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 2021-22 school year.


    The average full-time undergraduate student received $14,800 in financial aid during the 2020-21 academic year. This includes grants, work-study, loans, and tax credits.

Our Research

This list features some of the best brick-and-mortar schools in Idaho. Each school featured is a nonprofit, accredited institution — either public or private — with a high standard of academic quality for post-secondary institutions. We included liberal arts colleges and research universities as well as small, midsize, and large institutions. Next, we compared this comprehensive list to a list of aggregated college rankings from reputable publications like the U.S. News & World Report among others to simplify a student’s college search. We pored through these rankings so students don’t have to.

The colleges on our list are accredited by either the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities (NWCCU) or Transnational Association of Christian Colleges and Schools (TRACS). These reputable organizations examine the objectives, quality, and overall effectiveness of post-secondary education programs.

We evaluated each school on tuition costs, admission, retention and graduation rates, faculty, and reputation as well as the student resources provided for on-campus students. Then we calculated the Intelligent Score on a scale of 0 to 100. Read more about our ranking methodology.

The Top 50 Colleges in Idaho

Intelligent Pick
University of Idaho
Best Christian Institution
Brigham Young University at Idaho
Best Student-to-Faculty Ratio
The College of Idaho
Best Dual-Enrollment Program
Northwest Nazarene University
Most Affordable
Lewis-Clark State College
Best Graduate School
Boise State University
Best Public Research Institution
Idaho State University
Best Private Institution
New Saint Andrews College


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; 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 preschool special education teachers, aerospace engineers, music directors and composers, therapists, and environmental engineers.

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.