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The 14th largest state in the U.S., Idaho also has the most land held by the United States Forest Service at nearly 40%. No doubt, this can be attributed to the state’s stunning geography and largely unspoiled territory, including Rocky Mountain ranges, whitewater rapids, canyons, 12 different climate zones, 20 lakes, and nearly a dozen rivers, including some of the most scenic in the country: the water at Shoshone Falls drops higher than anywhere at Niagara. The 43rd stated admitted into the Union, Idaho has seen human activity for almost 15,000 years. Nez Percé and Northern and Western Shoshone tribes are among the earliest known inhabitants, and French-Canadian trappers likely reached the area sometime before the Lewis & Clark expedition. The state has long been a significant agricultural producer — most famously for its potatoes, which make up a third of all potatoes grown in the U.S. Food processing, industrials, mining, and tourism are established economies as well. The fields of cience and technology are now the largest industries in the state (Hewlett-Packard, Micron Technology, Sun Microsystems, etc.), accounting for 25% of total revenue and 70% of exports. For its relatively small population — under 2 million — the state has a number of public, private, and community colleges, many of which are keeping up with trends toward affordable, flexible higher education via online degrees.

In-state tuition is often applied to public schools offering online programs. Many online programs require some face-to-face time, or more numerous support services at their brick and mortar locations. Intensive study experiences, often on the weekends or in several week-long bouts, enable many online students to accelerate their time until graduation. And students looking at online education can drastically expand their educational options if they also look to hybrid degrees (degrees where degrees can be taken partially, or mostly online). Finally, one of the most common stipulations in scholarships is that students be from a certain state or region, often more funds are available to students seeking degrees in-state.

There are at least six public schools that offer online degrees in Idaho. For total offered, University of Idaho ranks first, with 17 master’s tracks. For students searching for two-year associate tracks, The College of Southern Idaho offers 16 degrees, while Idaho State University offers the widest variety of degree programs statewide. From there, Lewis-Clark State University offers 11 online degrees, Boise State University offers 10, and College of Western Idaho has seven associates.

Potential Resident

For a variety of reasons, a student may look to move to the state of their online college program whether specifically required by the program or not – be it for a job, location desirability, school benefits, etc. Different states have different policies, however, and some of them can be rather demanding. Fortunately, Idaho’s rules are relatively straightforward and can be reviewed in full here. In short, students and/or their guardians must have established residency — or a permanent domicile — in Idaho at least 12 months prior to the first day of classes. This may be established via proof of employment, tax returns, an Idaho driver’s license, etc. Note that the following Native American tribes are included in any Idaho residency requirement: Coeur d’Alene, Eastern Shoshone, Kootenai, Nez Perce, Shoshone-Paiute, Shoshone-Bannock, and Northwestern Shoshone.

Tuition, Cost of Living and Opportunity

For 2016-17, the average tuition for a four-year public school in Idaho was $7,010 per year, compared to a $9,142 national average. That represents a 2% increase since 2015-2016, compared to a 3% national average, and a 16% increase over five years, compared to a 13% national average. All this is good news for Idaho residents looking to take advantage of in-state tuition, and students should continue to benefit from relatively low tuition costs: Idaho has historically had been below the national average. For two-year public community colleges, average tuition stands at $4,025. Community college tuition was up 3% year-over-year and 35% over a five-year period.

Three universities offer online degrees in Boise and nearby Nampa: Boise State University, Northwest Nazarene University, College of Western Idaho. The largest of these is Northwest Nazarene, in Nampa, which offers 2 bachelors, 11 masters, and a Doctor of Education in Educational Leadership. Masters include an MBA, MEd specializations ( Educational Leadership, Building Administrator, Eds), Master of Divinity tracks (Youth, Children & Family Ministry, Spiritual Formation, Missional Leadership), and several other Pastoral tracks. From there, Boise State, one of Idaho’s largest universities, offers 3 bachelors, 5 masters, and 2 doctorates in Education and Nursing. Undergraduate tracks consist of 2 nursing tracks and a BA in Interdisciplinary Studies; masters cover MBAs, MSN, and Master of Educational Technology, among others. For those willing to make a short commute on occasion, College of Southern Idaho offers online degrees in Twin Falls.

Idaho State University offers 13 online degrees in Pocatello (additional campuses are in Meridian, Idaho Falls, and Twin Falls). ISU’s selection is among the most diverse in the state, including 2 associates, 3 bachelors, 5 masters, and 3 doctorates across a wide range of fields. Two-year and undergraduate options cover Workplace Training And Leadership, Fire Services Administration, and Emergency Management. Masters include MS’s in Dental Hygiene, Nursing, and Speech Language Pathology, and MEd concentrations in Instructional Technology and Organizational Learning And Performance. With a total enrollment of 13,000, ISU students come from 48 states and nearly 60 countries. For students willing to make occasional short commutes, Brigham Young University-Idaho offers online degrees in Rexburg and College of Southern Idaho offers tracks in Twin Falls.

Idaho Falls resident should consider nearby options in Rexurg and Pocatello for online degree opportunities. Brigham Young University-Idaho is the third-largest online education provider in the state, with 4 associates and 10 bachelors. Two-year tracks include studies in Web Design & Development and Office Management; bachelors are available in Web Design & Development, Health Science, Marriage & Family Studies, Computer Information Technology, Healthcare Administration, Business Management, and Applied Management, among others. Meanwhile, Idaho State University offers 2 associates, 3 bachelors, 5 masters, and 3 doctorate tracks. Off I-84, College of Southern Idaho, in Twin Falls, offers 16 two-year associate tracks in a wide range of fields.

Opportunity Comparison

City
Population
Cost of Living
Top Industries
Local Online Degrees
Boise
216282
92.1%
Retail, Manufacturing, Science and Tech
4
Nampa
88211
90.7%
Manufacturing, Construction
4
Meridian
87743
92.4%
Manufacturing, Construction
4
Pocatello
54292
87.5%
Education, Manufacturing
3
Idaho Falls
58691
88.1%
Manufacturing, Science and Tech
3
Caldwell
50224
90.1%
Manufacturing, Construction
4
Coeur d’Alene
47912
92.9%
Construction, Retail
1

Online Schools in Idaho

The 6 Best Online Universities in Idaho

idaho-01

6 Results Name Number of Online Degrees US News Rank School Type Rank
Name

University of Idaho

Online Programs

17

US News Rank

N171

Type

Public

1
Founded in 1889, The University of Idaho, in Moscow, has a total enrollment of about 11,400. Princeton Review, Washington Monthly, and US News rank Idaho among the best public universities in the country, and it has been recognized by Kiplinger’s for its excellent value. The university’s 16:1 student-to-faculty ratio supports a lively, vibrant learning community, which combines individualized instruction with collaborative education. Over half of classes consist of fewer than 20 students, and less than 10% have 49 or more. All 17 of Idaho’s online degrees are at the master’s level, including an Executive MBA, MS in Adult Organizational Learning & Leadership, and several engineering and teaching specializations. Financial aid opportunities are available in addition to career services, tech assistance, tutoring, and individual academic support.
Name

Brigham Young University-Idaho

Online Programs

14

US News Rank

R10

Type

Private

2
BYU Idaho, founded in 1888, is a private liberal arts school with an enrollment of about 17,500, including students from 50 states and nearly 100 countries. Ranked highly by Forbes and US News, which places it among the top ten colleges in the West, the university’s distance education program has expanded in recent years to include four associates, 10 bachelor’s, and more than 210 individual online courses. (Note that eligibility for online courses includes completion of at least 15 on-campus credits at a BYU satellite or Pathway program.) For maximum flexibility, students can complete degrees on accelerated track year-round or on a traditional semester basis; degree completion time is up to you. Additional benefits include academic advising, financial aid opportunities, registration assistance, and tech support.
Name

Northwest Nazarene University

Online Programs

14

US News Rank

R44

Type

Private

3
Northwest Nazarene University, founded in 1913, has a total enrollment of about 2,300. In addition to its high regional academic ranking, Northwest Nazarene is considered a top-25 school for veterans and has an excellent overall value ranking. The school’s 15:1 student-to-faculty ratio supports an intimate, vibrant educational community that combines one-on-one instruction with collaborative learning. Over 65% of classes have less than 20 students, and less than 4% have 49 or more. Online, NNU offers two bachelor’s, 11 masters, and a Doctor of Education in Educational Leadership. Other highlights include an RN-BSN, MSN, MBA, and MEd in Educational Leadership. From there, NNU offers several Pastoral and Divinity masters.
Name

College of Southern Idaho

Online Programs

16

US News Rank

N/A

Type

Public

4
Founded in 1965, College of Southern Idaho is a public two-year community college in Twin Falls. CSI’s online opportunities are manifold: 16 associates across a wide range of fields, including Business, Entrepreneurship, Economics, History, Political Science, Library And Information Science, Geography, Criminal Justice, and several Education concentrations. Among Southern Idaho’s primary education goals are to provide: personalized support services, a program of professional-technical education, a lifelong learning platform, and a program to support the social, cultural, and economic development of the region. Through the Canvas learning platform, students can leverage group discussion boards, live chat rooms, and video conferencing services as part of CSI’s collaborative learning model. CSI is accredited by the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities.
Name

Idaho State University

Online Programs

13

US News Rank

N/A

Type

Public

5
Idaho State University, a Carnegie-classified doctoral research and teaching institution founded in 1901, has a total enrollment of about 13,600, including students from 42 states and 58 countries, and campuses in Pocatello, Meridian, Idaho Falls, and Twin Falls. With a 15:1 student-to-faculty ratio, classes combine individualized instruction with collaborative learning in an active and dynamic educational setting. Idaho State offers 13 online degrees, including two associates, three bachelor’s, five master’s, and three doctorate tracks. Highlights include a BS in Fire Services Administration, BS in Emergency Management, MS in Nursing, and MEd’s in Instructional Technology and Organizational Learning And Performance, among others. A range of support services are offered, from advising and tutoring, to counseling and tech support.
Name

Lewis-Clark State University

Online Programs

11

US News Rank

N/A

Type

Public

6
Lewis-Clark State University, founded in 1893, is located in Lewiston and has a total enrollment of over 3,500. Composed of academic programs, career & technical education programs, and community programs, LCSU offers 11 online degrees, including four associates and seven bachelor’s across a wide range of disciplines — Business, Early Childhood, Nursing, Management, and more. (All courses can be completed 100% online.) US News places it in the region’s top 10 public schools and top 25 overall. Thanks to its 14:1 student-to-faculty ratio, courses are intimate and collaborative; over 60% of classes have less than 20 students, and just 1% have 49 or more students. Financial aid is available, as well: 75% of full-time undergrads receive some form of aid, and the average need met is about 70%.

Accreditation and Financial Aid

Monitoring the accreditation of a university you are interested in attending is incredibly important. Accreditation ensures your credits can transfer that you can receive Federal financial aid, and most importantly that certain standards of educational quality are during your schooling. The highest accreditation standard for most programs in the United States is provided by regional accreditation agencies. The regional accrediting agency for Idaho is the Northwest Accreditation Commission, one of six regional accrediting agencies responsible for accrediting schools in Alaska, Idaho, Montana, Nevada, Oregon, Utah, and Washington.

Making sure that a University you’re hoping to attend is regionally accredited–or accredited by a real and respected accrediting agency–is one of the most important choices you can make in ensuring the quality of your education.

Three Steps for Securing Financial Aid

  • Submit your FAFSA.
  • Check to see if additional forms are needed at your university of choice.
  • Search and apply for private scholarships.

Through the previous three steps most students find themselves offered some sort of federal grant, work study, private grant, scholarship, or stipend.

Database: All Online Colleges ID

Below we’ve listed all eight Idaho-based universities currently offering online degrees. Toggle the “plus” signs on the right to see what degrees each university offers. And while we’re pretty sure that there’s plenty of Idaho-specific online education information below, remember that you can always visit the National Center for Educational Statistics College Explorer for the most advanced search of higher education institutions anywhere online!

8 Results Name Number of Online Degrees US News Rank School Type Programs

Name

University of Idaho

Online Programs

17

US News Rank

N171

Public

Associates Degrees

  • N/A!

Bachelors Degrees

  • N/A!

Masters Degrees

  • Master of Business Administration – Executive MBA
  • Master of Science in Adult Organizational Learning & Leadership
  • Master of Art in Teaching
  • Master of Arts in Teaching in Mathematics
  • Master of Engineering in Civil Engineering
  • Master of Engineering in Computer Engineering
  • Master of Engineering in Electrical Engineering
  • Master of Engineering in Engineering Management
  • Master of Engineering in Mechanical Engineering
  • Master of Science in Computer Science
  • Master of Science in Geological Engineering
  • Master of Natural Resources (MNR)
  • Master of Science in Environmental Science
  • Master of Science in Experimental Psychology
  • Master of Science in Physical Activity Pedagogy
  • Master of Science in Statistical Science
  • Master of Science in Technology Management

Doctoral Programs

  • N/A!

Name

College of Southern Idaho

Online Programs

16

US News Rank

N/A

Public

Associates Degrees

  • Associate of Applied Science in Business Management/Entrepreneurship
  • Associate of Arts in Economics
  • Associate of Arts in Elementary Education – Economics
  • Associate of Arts in General Business
  • Associate of Arts in Criminal Justice
  • Associate of Applied Science in Early Childhood Education
  • Associate of Applied Science in Education Assistant
  • Associate of Arts in Early Childhood Education
  • Associate of Arts in Elementary Education – History
  • Associate of Arts in Elementary Education – Social Science
  • Associate of Arts in Special Education
  • Associate of Arts in Geography
  • Associate of Arts in History
  • Associate of Arts in Political Science
  • Associate of Arts in Liberal Arts
  • Associate of Arts in Library And Information Science

Bachelors Degrees

  • N/A!

Masters Degrees

  • N/A!

Doctoral Programs

  • N/A!

Name

Northwest Nazarene University

Online Programs

14

US News Rank

R44

Private

Associates Degrees

  • N/A!

Bachelor’s Degrees

  • Registered Nurse To Bachelor of Science in Nursing (Rn To Bsn)
  • Bachelor of Arts in Liberal Studies

Masters Degrees

  • Education Specialist in Educational Leadership – Superintendent
  • Master in Business Administration
  • Master of Arts in Missional Leadership
  • Master of Divinity in Missional Leadership
  • Master of Education in Educational Leadership: Building Administrator (Med, Eds)
  • Masters in Nursing (Msn)
  • Master of Arts in Pastoral Ministry
  • Master of Arts in Spiritual Formation
  • Master of Arts in Youth, Children & Family Ministry
  • Master of Divinity in Spiritual Formation
  • Master of Divinity in Youth, Children & Family Ministry

Doctoral Programs

  • Doctor of Education in Educational Leadership – Doctorate (Edd, Phd)

Name

Brigham Young University-Idaho

Online Programs

14

US News Rank

R10

Private

Associates Degrees

  • Associate of Applied Science in Web Design & Development
  • Associate of Applied Science in Administrative Assistant/Office Management
  • Associate of Applied Science in Family History Research
  • Associate of Science in General Studies

Bachelors Degrees

  • Bachelor of Science in Web Design & Development
  • Bachelor of Science in Applied Management
  • Bachelor of Science in Business Management, Entrepreneurial Management
  • Bachelor of Science in Healthcare Administration
  • Bachelor of Science in Computer Information Technology
  • Bachelor of Science in Health Science, Public Health Emphasis
  • Bachelor of Science in Nursing Rn To Bsn
  • Bachelor of Science in Interdisciplinary Studies
  • Bachelor of Science in Marriage & Family Studies
  • Bachelor of Science in University Studies

Master’s Degrees

  • N/A!

Doctoral Programs

  • N/A!

Name

Idaho State University

Online Programs

13

US News Rank

N/A

Public

Associates Degrees

  • Associate of Science in Fire Services Administration
  • Associate of Science in Emergency Management

Bachelor’s Degrees

  • Bachelor of Science in Workplace Training And Leadership
  • Bachelor of Science in Fire Services Administration
  • Bachelor of Science in Emergency Management

Masters Degrees

  • Master of Education in Instructional Technology
  • Master of Education in Organizational Learning And Performance
  • Master of Science in Dental Hygiene
  • Master of Science in NursingOnline
  • Master of Science in Speech Language Pathology

Doctoral Programs

  • Doctor of Philosophy in Instructional Design
  • Doctor of Nursing Practice
  • Doctor of Philosophy in Nursing

Name

Lewis-Clark State University

Online Programs

11

US News Rank

N/A

Public

Associates Degrees

  • AS Business Administration
  • AAS Early Childhood Development
  • AAS Web Development
  • AA Liberal Arts

Bachelors Degrees

  • BA Business Administration
  • BS Management
  • BA or BS Business & Communication
  • BAS Early Childhood Development
  • BA or BS in Humanities
  • RN to BSN
  • Interdisciplinary Studies BA or BS

Masters Degrees

  • N/A!

Doctoral Programs

  • N/A!

Name

Boise State University

Online Programs

10

US News Rank

N/A

Public

Associates Degrees

  • N/A!

Bachelor’s Degrees

  • NURSING – RN TO BS
  • MULTIDISCIPLINARY STUDIES BA
  • RESPIRATORY CARE – RRT TO BS

Master’s Degrees

  • Master of Business Administration
  • Master of Business Administration M.E.T.
  • Master of Educational Technology
  • Master of Science (M.S.) degree in Organizational Performance and Workplace Learning
  • ADULT-GERONTOLOGY NURSE PRACTITIONER

Doctoral Programs

  • ED.D. Educational Technology
  • DOCTOR OF NURSING PRACTICE (DNP)

Name

College of Western Idaho

Online Programs

7

US News Rank

N/A

Public

Associates Degrees

  • Associate of Arts in Business-General
  • Associate of Arts In Criminal Justice
  • Associate of Arts In English
  • Associate of Arts in Geography
  • Associate of Arts in History
  • Associate of Arts in Political Science
  • Associate of Arts in Liberal Arts

Bachelors Degrees

  • N/A!

Masters Degrees

  • N/A!

Doctoral Programs

  • N/A!

Great Idaho Higher Education Resources

General Sites

Idaho State Department of Education

The Idaho State Department of Education site includes higher education info for undergraduate, graduate, and community colleges.

Idaho State Board of Education

The Idaho State Board of Education is a policy-making body for all state K-20 public education.

Idaho Career and Technical Education

The Idaho CTE prepares students for high-skill, in-demand careers.

General and Regional Financial Aid

Idaho Community Foundation

The Idaho CF manages over 70 different scholarship funds.