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Our Research

This list features some of the best online 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 Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities (NWCCU) accredits most of the schools on this list. This regional accrediting commission is recognized by both the U.S. Department of Education and the Council on Higher Education Accreditation (CHEA). Accreditation is determined based on multiple standards, including but not limited to: student success, institutional mission, policies and procedures, and resources for students.

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

Online College Programs That Might Interest You

Learn about start dates, transferring credits, availability of financial aid, and more by contacting the universities below.

The Top 50 Online Colleges in Idaho

Best Online Colleges in Idaho Badge

Northwest Nazarene University

Brigham Young University

University of Idaho

Boise State University

Idaho State University

Lewis-Clark State College

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Frequently Asked Questions: Online Colleges in Idaho

Does Idaho have good online colleges and universities?

Idaho’s online college and university offerings are limited compared to those of other states. Only one university in Idaho offers an online bachelor’s degree option, and only three universities offer online graduate degree options. However, Boise State University’s programs are decently ranked — for example, according to U.S. News & World Report, they are the #10 best school in the country for earning an online Master’s in Nursing and #24 for earning an online Bachelor’s in Business. Idaho’s community and technical colleges also have extensive online courses, certificates, and degree options that offer classes both asynchronously and synchronously.

Given the relatively limited number of programs available in Idaho, you may want to check out our guide to the best accredited online colleges in the entire United States. In addition to showing you the country’s top 30 schools for remote learning, this guide offers expert advice on how to choose a college and complete the application process.

Do online college credits in Idaho cost more than in-person classes?

The answer to this question depends on which college you attend. Some colleges offer discounted rates for online courses regardless of where you live, while others charge an additional fee for online courses to help cover the cost of software licenses, technical support, etc. Compared to other states, Idaho’s online tuition fees are reasonably priced.

Why should you choose Idaho for online higher education?

Idaho could be a good choice for online higher education if you want to take flexible yet rigorous community college classes, you’re interested in the affordable bachelor’s degree programs at Boise State, or you want to earn one of the graduate degrees offered by Boise State, Northwest Nazarene University, or University of Idaho.

The Cost of Online College in Idaho

How much does an online degree in Idaho cost?

The cost of an online degree in Idaho depends on which institution you attend as well as the type of degree you choose to pursue. For example, undergraduate degrees are usually more affordable than graduate degrees. Also, you may find yourself paying more for your degree if you major in a STEM field rather than the humanities.

Regardless of the cost per credit, you should also consider that you may be able to save a lot of money on indirect expenses, such as transportation and housing, by earning your college degree online.

To give you a sense of exactly how much you should expect to pay for your online education, we’ve listed the current rates for earning an online bachelor’s degree in Idaho below. Note that there is only one university in Idaho that offers online bachelor’s degrees.

  • Most affordable online college in Idaho: Boise State University, $350 per credit

Average College Tuition Cost

Source: Education Data Initiative

How long do you have to live in Idaho to get in-state tuition rates?

Establishing Idaho residency typically requires you to have resided in Idaho for at least 12 months prior to declaring Idaho residency. You must also prove legal and physical ties to the state by, for instance, changing your driver’s license and voter registration, owning property or paying rent, paying utilities in the state, etc. Beyond that, you need to prove you are in the state for a reason other than education.

Who qualifies for reduced tuition costs in Idaho?

Idaho offers several ways to reduce your tuition costs. One is through participation in the Western Interstate Commission for Higher Education (WICHE), which enables online students from the western U.S. who attend college outside their home state to pay a tuition rate equivalent to 150% of their school’s in-state tuition. This can end up saving you thousands of dollars, even tens of thousands of dollars, on your degree.

Moreover, Gov. C.L. “Butch” Otter and the Idaho Legislature established the Idaho Opportunity Scholarship, which offers stipends of $3,500 per year to Idaho students who attend college in the state. Eligibility is determined using data from your FAFSA application, so it’s important to complete that early and accurately. The FAFSA will also show if you are eligible for Federal Pell Grants, Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grants (FSEOG), and other financial aid awards.

College Financial Aid, Scholarships, and Grant Programs in Idaho

In addition to WICHE reciprocity agreements and the Idaho Opportunity Scholarship, there are a number of other programs available that can help you cover the cost of college. Some of these programs are also based on financial need, while others are awarded based on factors such as demographics or academic merit. We’ve reviewed a few of the most prominent financial aid options for you below:

Idaho Latino Scholarship Foundation

This scholarship program awards funding to Latino students in Idaho who demonstrate financial need. The organization awards more than $25,000 total in scholarships per year.

Who’s eligible? Students of Hispanic/Latino descent from Idaho who will attend college in the state. Must have a minimum GPA of 2.5 and have demonstrated leadership in high school.

Contact information: [email protected] | 208-447-0001

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Idaho Governor’s Cup Scholarship

This scholarship program provides approximately 25 grants of $3,000 each to Idaho students who meet certain academic requirements and demonstrate a strong commitment to public service.

Who’s eligible? Students graduating from an Idaho high school with a cumulative GPA of 2.8 or above who demonstrate a strong commitment to public service via community work and volunteering.

Contact information: [email protected] | 208-332-1576

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Community Council of Idaho Hispanic Scholarship

This program provides a one-time grant of $1,000 to Idaho students of Hispanic descent who demonstrate financial need and/or are first-generation college students.

Who’s eligible? Requirements vary by scholarship, but most are open to students attending an Idaho university and intending to teach at a public school in Idaho.

Contact information: [email protected] | 208-453-3100

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Pride Foundation Scholarship

The Pride Foundation offers grants to support LGBTQ+ and allied students who are from the American Northwest or are attending college in one of the five Northwestern states (Alaska, Idaho, Montana, Oregon, or Washington).

Who’s eligible? LGBTQ+ and allied students who are from the Northwest or enrolled at a university in Alaska, Idaho, Montana, Oregon, or Washington.

Contact information: [email protected] | 800-735-7287

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Top 5 Fast-Growing Industries in Idaho

If you’re still in the process of assessing your college options, you may also be undecided on your major. When selecting a major, one of the most important factors to consider is your future employability. Thinking about which industries and careers are growing the fastest in Idaho can make it easier to find a job once you graduate, and being in demand should also help you earn a higher salary.

By consulting the U.S. Department of Labor’s Long-Term Occupational Projections (2020–2030), we’ve determined that the following five careers have some of the highest projected growth rates in Idaho:


Idaho’s population is expected to grow considerably in the next decade, and with that growth comes a need for more housing. Therefore, the skills of carpenters are in high demand. In Idaho, carpenters earn an average salary of $45,990. Even though carpentry relies more on apprenticeship than degrees, earning a certificate or degree can make you stand out on the job market and qualify you for more management-level jobs.

  • Growth: 44.6%
  • Degree options: Certificate in Carpentry, Apprenticeship in Carpentry

Dental Hygienists

Dental hygienists provide both clinical and administrative support to dentists. They may schedule patient appointments, keep track of records, perform teeth cleanings, and educate patients on oral care. In Idaho, dental hygienists earn an average salary of $82,140.

  • Growth: 27.3%
  • Degree options: Associate in Dental Hygiene, Bachelor’s in Dental Hygiene

Physician Assistants

Physician assistants (PAs) are one of the most in-demand health professionals. They work under physicians to support patient care and must complete extensive education and medical training. They are not as highly compensated as physicians, but they still make six-figure salaries. The average annual PA salary in Idaho is $120,220.

Registered Nurses

Registered nurses (RNs) perform a wide range of health and patient care duties, depending on where they work (hospital, doctor’s office, health clinic, etc.). RNs in Idaho earn an average salary of $78,610.

Office Clerks

Office clerks are administrative professionals who perform a wide variety of office-related tasks involving paperwork, phone and email communications, scheduling, and more. In Idaho, they earn an average salary of $36,390.

  • Growth: 15.6%
  • Degree options: Certificate in Data Management, Associate in Applied Business Management, Associate in Administrative Assisting

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