Online Schools and Colleges in Idaho

ASO Staff Writers
Updated September 20, 2023
Your Future is Waiting

Explore and compare a list of accredited schools to enroll in your next program.

Person in college

Accredited Degree Programs, Scholarships and Resources for Top Schools

The widespread rural areas of Idaho make it an ideal state for pursuing a college education online. Recent reports show up to 20 percent of residents live at least an hour’s drive from a college campus, and growing distance learning programs in the state providing opportunities for those without close proximity to a college or university to easily earn a college degree. If you’ve never considered the possibility of attending college, or are interested in finding more information but aren’t sure where to start, this page provides answers to common questions about online colleges and universities in Idaho and advice on how to pay for school, take advantage of transfer credit opportunities and more.

Best Online Colleges in Idaho

Idaho is home to several affordable colleges and universities, which offer both on-campus and online degree programs. According to CollegeCalc, the average cost of in-state tuition in Idaho for the 2018-2019 academic year was $10,882, about $3,200 less than the national average. State initiatives support degree-seekers and encourage Idaho residents to pursue postsecondary education.

This page explores the benefits of earning a degree and the cost of education. The following sections also list resources for students attending online schools and colleges in Idaho.

#1 Online Schools and Colleges in Idaho

Brigham Young University-Idaho

  • Location-markerRexburg, ID
  • 4 year
  • Campus + Online
Average Tuition
  • In-State$4,208
  • Out-of-state$4,208
  • Retention Rate70%
  • Acceptance Rate96%
  • Students Enrolled39,145
  • Institution TypePrivate
  • Percent Online Enrollment70%
  • AccreditationYes
#2 Online Schools and Colleges in Idaho

University of Idaho

  • Location-markerMoscow, ID
  • 4 year
  • Campus + Online
Average Tuition
  • In-State$6,182
  • Out-of-state$25,418
  • Retention Rate77%
  • Acceptance Rate78%
  • Students Enrolled11,926
  • Institution TypePublic
  • Percent Online Enrollment32%
  • AccreditationYes
#3 Online Schools and Colleges in Idaho

Boise State University

  • Location-markerBoise, ID
  • 4 year
  • Campus + Online
Average Tuition
  • In-State$5,532
  • Out-of-state$22,452
  • Retention Rate79%
  • Acceptance Rate77%
  • Students Enrolled26,217
  • Institution TypePublic
  • Percent Online Enrollment39%
  • AccreditationYes
#4 Online Schools and Colleges in Idaho

Northwest Nazarene University

  • Location-markerNampa, ID
  • 4 year
  • Campus + Online
Average Tuition
  • In-State$30,550
  • Out-of-state$30,550
  • Retention Rate82%
  • Acceptance Rate86%
  • Students Enrolled2,111
  • Institution TypePrivate
  • Percent Online Enrollment50%
  • AccreditationYes
#5 Online Schools and Colleges in Idaho

Idaho State University

  • Location-markerPocatello, ID
  • 4 year
  • Campus + Online
Average Tuition
  • In-State$5,928
  • Out-of-state$22,224
  • Retention Rate64%
  • Acceptance Rate0%
  • Students Enrolled12,402
  • Institution TypePublic
  • Percent Online Enrollment52%
  • AccreditationYes

Top Online Programs

Explore programs of your interests with the high-quality standards and flexibility you need to take your career to the next level.

Loading...Learn More
Visit Site
Loading...Learn More
Visit Site
Loading...Learn More
Visit Site

How Much More Do College Grads in Idaho Make?

Many entry-level positions require no postsecondary education. However, a college degree can lead to higher earning potential and career advancement opportunities. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, approximately 27% of Idaho residents 25 or older hold at least a bachelor’s degree.

The table below shows average U.S. salaries based on degree level. The data illustrates that salaries tend to increase with higher levels of education.

Salary Comparison by Degree
Less Than a High School DiplomaHigh School DiplomaAssociate DegreeBachelor’s DegreeMaster’s DegreeDoctoral Degree


Paying for Online College in Idaho: Tuition and Financial Aid

Earning a college education is expensive and can seem out of reach. However, Idaho students can apply for several scholarship and grant programs. Federal funding and loans can also help cover the cost of earning a degree. The following table illustrates how Idaho’s tuition rates compare to the national averages.

Average Undergraduate Tuition and Fees: Public Colleges and Universities
In-State TuitionOut-of-State-TuitionNational Average
$7,924$20,061$9,037 (In-State), $25,657 (Out-of-State)
Average Undergraduate Tuition and Fees: Private Colleges and Universities
In-State TuitionOut-of-State TuitionNational Average

Source:National Center for Education Statistics

Cost Considerations for Online Students in Idaho

The previous figures do not include additional expenses, such as housing costs and fees. These costs vary, and prospective students should factor in these expenses when budgeting for school. Below are five important costs to consider in addition to tuition rates.

  1. 1

    Room and Board

    The cost of room and board depends on whether the student attends school on campus or online. Additionally, on-campus and off-campus housing typically have different costs.

  2. 2


    Schools may charge technology, lab, and facility fees related to on-campus benefits, such as a fitness center. Fees vary by school.

  3. 3

    Tuition Agreements

    Some schools maintain tuition agreements that qualify out-of-state learners for lower rates. Schools may also charge all online students in-state tuition rates, regardless of the learner’s residency status.

  4. 4

    Alternative Tuition Rates

    Schools may offer discounted rates for options such as night classes and summer courses. Additionally, institutions may charge part-time learners higher tuition rates.

  5. 5

    On-Campus Requirements

    Some online programs require on-campus lab or classroom hours, which can result in additional transportation costs.

Qualifying for In-State Tuition in Idaho

Idaho residents typically qualify for lower tuition rates than out-of-state learners. Residency guidelines vary by school. However, most require in-state learners to either prove that they have lived in the state for at least 12 months, are registered to vote in Idaho, possess an Idaho driver’s license or state vehicle registration, or have an established account with an Idaho-based financial institution.

Additionally, some schools charge all online students in-state tuition rates, regardless of where they live. Prospective learners should carefully research residency requirements when determining each school’s affordability.

Paying for College in Idaho: Scholarships and Financial Aid

Earning a college degree requires a significant financial investment. While online programs can be more affordable than on-campus options, most students still need help funding their education. Learners attending online schools and colleges in Idaho can apply for scholarships and grants to help offset the cost of earning a degree.

Scholarships for Idaho College Students

plusIdaho Opportunity Scholarship

Who Can Apply: The Idaho Legislature offers this scholarship to state residents who demonstrate financial need. Applicants must have graduated high school with a minimum 2.7 GPA. This scholarship is renewable for up to four years and can be used at one of 11 Idaho universities.

Amount: $3,500

plusIdaho Governor’s Cup Scholarship

Who Can Apply: The Idaho Governor’s Cup Scholarship Fund awards this scholarship to up to 25 high school graduates per year. Applicants must be state residents planning to attend an Idaho university. Candidates must have a minimum 2.8 GPA, complete community service requirements, and submit a 500-word personal essay. This scholarship is renewable for up to four years.

Amount: $3,000

plusKevin Whittier Memorial Scholarship

Who Can Apply: Sponsored by the Idaho Community Foundation, this scholarship supports students pursuing a degree in a STEM field at a university or vocational school in Idaho. Applicants must submit a written statement, three letters of recommendation, and unofficial transcripts.

Amount: $1,000

plusWilliam Hunt Scholarship Fund

Who Can Apply: The Pacific Northwest Chapter of American Society of Travel Agents awards this annual scholarship to three students pursuing a degree in a field related to tourism or hospitality. Applicants must reside in Idaho, Washington, Alaska, Montana, or Oregon and must submit an essay, proof of college enrollment, a statement of tuition, transcripts, and a letter of recommendation.

Amount: $1,000

plusPride Foundation Scholarships

Who Can Apply: The Pride Foundation in Seattle, Washington, offers more than 50 annual scholarships to qualifying LGBTQ students. Applicants must reside in Idaho, Washington, Alaska, Montana, or Oregon and must be pursuing a degree at a four-year university in the United States.

Amount: $1,000 to $12,000

Grants for Idaho College Students

plusEducation Incentive Loan Forgiveness Program

Who Can Apply: This program supports students pursuing a teaching or nursing degree. Applicants must attend an Idaho public university and have a minimum 3.0 GPA. Recipients agree to work in Idaho as a nurse or teacher for at least two years after graduation.

Amount: Loan forgiveness

plusPell Grant

Who Can Apply: This grant assists low-income students. The families of most recipients earn less than $20,000 per year. Applicants must be a U.S. citizen or eligible noncitizen, be enrolled in an undergraduate program, and have no previous college degrees.

Amount: $5,500

plusFederal Supplemental Education Opportunity Grant

Who Can Apply: This grant provides supplemental funding for Pell Grant recipients. The federal government awards this grant in order of priority, so those with the greatest need receive funding first.

Amount: $100 to $4,000

plusTEACH Grants

Who Can Apply: This grant assists students pursuing a teaching career. After graduation, recipients must teach in a high-need field or at a school serving a low-income community for at least four years.

Amount: $4,000

plusAcademic Competitiveness Grant

Who Can Apply: Applicants for this grant must demonstrate financial need and attend a qualifying secondary education program. To qualify, Idaho students must have taken at least two Advanced Placement or International Baccalaureate courses or completed the Idaho College Admission Core.

Amount: $750 to $1,300

The Importance of Accreditation for Online Colleges and Universities in Idaho

The Idaho State Board of Education oversees all postsecondary schools in the state to ensure that institutions offer quality and accessible programs. Additionally, schools can earn accreditation by undergoing voluntary review by a third-party agency.

Many institutional accrediting agencies focus on schools within a certain geographic area. Programs can receive accreditation from a subject-specific agency. Attending an accredited institution ensures that employers and other schools will recognize your degree.

Regional and National Accreditation

The two main types of institutional accreditation in the U.S. are regional and national accreditation. Regional accrediting agencies typically focus on degree-granting schools within a certain geographic area. Regional accrediting agencies include the Higher Learning Commission and the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities. Regional accreditation is the oldest and most prestigious form of institutional accreditation.

National accrediting agencies, such as the Accrediting Council for Independent Colleges and Schools, typically evaluate vocational schools. Credits earned from nationally accredited institutions may not transfer to regionally accredited schools.

Subject-Specific Accreditation

Specialized accreditation demonstrates that a program meets field-specific standards. Each industry has specialized accrediting agencies that evaluate departments and programs. Examples of subject-specific accrediting agencies include the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology, the American Council on Education, the American Psychological Association, and the Association of Advance Collegiate Schools of Business.

How to Know if Your School or Program is Accredited

Selecting an accredited school or program ensures that you will receive a quality education that meets academic and professional standards. Many schools showcase their accreditation status on their website.

You can search for accredited schools by program and degree level through the Guide to Online Schools. Additionally, the Council for Higher Education Association maintains comprehensive directories of accredited institutions and programs, as well as recognized accrediting agencies.

Online College and Adult Education in Idaho

Online college and adult education programs cater to busy professionals. Many of these programs require no campus visits, and some offer evening courses. Idaho state initiatives improve the accessibility of education. The sections below detail options for adult learners in the state.

By the Numbers: Adult Education in Idaho

Idaho colleges and universities offer 22 fully online degree programs.

Online students accounted for over 28% of Idaho’s total student population in 2017.

Although Idaho has no online-only schools, every major institution in the state offers online programs.

Sources:Affordable Colleges OnlineDigital Learning CompassIdaho Digital Learning Alliance

Adult Education Programs for Idaho Students

check-circleComplete College Idaho

The goal of this initiative is to develop a talented workforce by encouraging students to earn college degrees. Complete College Idaho focuses on designing accessible and effective programs.

check-circleAdult Education

Idaho offers a free adult education program that helps individuals improve their basic math, English, and reading skills. This program caters to learners with skills below the 12th grade level and is available online and at several Idaho colleges.

check-circleIdaho Opportunity Scholarship for Adult Learners

The state board of education set a goal that 60% of Idaho residents between the ages of 25 and 34 earn a college degree. This scholarship program supports that goal by financially assisting adult learners.

Online College Resources for Idaho Students

The process of researching online schools and colleges in Idaho can seem overwhelming. Before beginning your search, you can narrow down your choices by identifying which programs you are most interested in. The following online resources can help you learn about Idaho’s educational offerings.

The OED provides an overview of online education in Idaho. Users can search by degree level, category, and subject to find programs that align with their goals.
This website offers resources related to scholarships, initiatives, and research. Users can search the higher education directory to find information about every public or private college or university in Idaho.
This website details Idaho’s best and most affordable online schools. Learners can use this information to begin their research into schools and programs in the state.

Shape your future with an online degree

Connect with a community of peers, and find a program that will allow you to continue your education in a fast and flexible way.