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Online Degrees in Idaho (ID)


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Methodology

To be included in our ranking of the best colleges for online degree programs, all colleges had to meet the following five criteria:

  1. Be an accredited U.S. institution
  2. Offer either 2- or 4-year degree programs
  3. Have at least 1 percent of students taking at least some of their classes via distance education
  4. Be active in the 2015-16 school year
  5. Report data for all 15 specific ranking variables included in our methodology

We then ranked the remaining 2,169 colleges and universities and scored each on a 100-point scale on these specific. Our data points include:

  • The in-state tuition and fees for full-time undergraduates, National Center for Education Statistics, 2015-16
  • Percent of undergraduate students awarded federal, state, local, institutional or other sources of grant aid, National Center for Education Statistics, 2015-16
  • The average amount of federal, state, local, institutional or other sources of grant aid awarded to undergraduate students, National Center for Education Statistics, 2015-16
  • Full-time Retention rate, National Center for Education Statistics, 2015-16
  • Percent of students participating fully or partially in distance education to total enrollment, National Center for Education Statistics, 2015-16
  • Graduation rate within six years, National Center for Education Statistics, 2015-16
  • No. of degree programs offered via distance education, National Center for Education Statistics, 2015-16
  • Percent of students working and not enrolled 6 years after entry, College Scorecard, 2013-14
  • Open admissions policy for all or most entering first-time undergraduate-level students, National Center for Education Statistics, 2015-16
  • Flexibility and student services, based on whether the school offers the following services, National Center for Education Statistics, 2015-16
    • Dual credit
    • Credit for life experience
    • Advanced Placement credit
    • Academic and career counseling
    • Job placement services for graduates
    • Offers credit for military training

Sources:

  • Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System (IPEDS) 2016-17, National Center for Education Statistics, http://nces.ed.gov/ipeds/
  • College of Western Idaho, "Are the College of Western Idaho Online Learning programs and courses comparable in quality to on-campus programs?" accessed Jan. 29, 2019,http://cwidaho.cc/faq/online/are-college-western-idaho-online-learning-programs-and-courses-comparable-quality-campus
  • "Idaho Board of Education launches online data dashboard," KIVI-TV, Jan. 16, 2019,https://www.kivitv.com/news/idaho-board-of-education-launches-online-data-dashboard
  • Idaho State University, "Quality Matters at ISU," accessed Jan. 29, 2019,https://www.isu.edu/itrc/quality-matters-at-isu/
  • Idaho State Board of Education, "Data Dashboard," accessed Jan. 29, 2019, https://boardofed.idaho.gov/data-research/data-dashboard/postsecondary-education/
  • Idaho State Board of Education, "Higher Education in Idaho Booklet - 2018/9," accessed Jan. 29, 2019,https://boardofed.idaho.gov/resources/higher-education-in-idaho/
  • Idaho State Board of Education, "Idaho Scholarships," accessed Jan. 29, 2019, https://boardofed.idaho.gov/scholarships/
  • "Idaho Postsecondary Numbers Improve, but Remain Far From Goal," Idaho Ed News, Feb. 14, 2018,https://www.idahoednews.org/news/idaho-postsecondary-numbers-improve-remain-far-60-percent-goal/
  • "Idaho wants students to consider higher ed. In its way: Culture, geography, economics," Idaho Statesman, Nov. 28, 2019,https://www.idahostatesman.com/news/local/education/article222195410.html
  • Institute for Research on Higher Education. (2016). College Affordability Diagnosis: Idaho. Philadelphia, PA: Institute for Research on Higher Education, Graduate School of Education, University of Pennsylvania.http://www2.gse.upenn.edu/irhe/affordability-diagnosis
  • Institute for Research on Higher Education, Graduate School of Education, University of Pennsylvania, "College Opportunity Risk Assessment: Idaho," accessed Jan. 29, 2019, https://irhe.gse.upenn.edu/sites/default/files/College-Opportunity-Risk-Assessment-2018-IDAHO.pdf
  • "State Board Opens Free College Application Website," Idaho Ed News, Oct. 2, 2018,https://www.idahoednews.org/news/state-board-opens-free-college-application-website/
  • U.S. Census, "QuickFacts: Idaho," July 1, 2018,https://www.census.gov/quickfacts/fact/table/id/PST045218
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Online degrees in Idaho

Idaho, with its rugged landscape and vast area consisting of protected wilderness and public recreational areas, has a population of 1.75 million concentrated in its urban centers that include Boise and Twin Falls. The rest reside in highly rural areas that often are separated by many miles and geographical barriers from its institutions of higher education.The entire first paragraph can be replaced with the above.

In a state where the need for college-educated workers is acute, these physical challenges, along with issues of financial need, can mean the difference between keeping the status quo and earning that college degree. Fortunately, the state's lawmakers and higher ed leaders are working hard to improve college access, including making great strides in expanding online degree programs in Idaho and improve financial aid resources.

Keep reading to discover how online education in Idaho can help you reach your educational and career goals.

According to the Institute for Research on Higher Education (IRHE), by 2020, more than two-thirds (68 percent) of Idaho's jobs may require some postsecondary credential. To help bolster college attainment rates among Idahoans, state leaders established a goal to have 60 percent of its 25- to 34-year-olds complete some education beyond high school — at least a one-year professional certificate.

Yet, although great strides have been made, its rate was still just 40.6 percent in 2016. Idaho may face severe employee shortages if it does not drastically improve its number of college-going students. Students who enroll in online colleges in Idaho are likely to find more employment opportunities. Not only that, but an average distance of 13.7 miles sits between each county center and the closest degree-granting institution; online colleges in Idaho can provide college access to students who may not have it otherwise.

Plus, the Idaho State Board of Education says that someone who graduates from college earns more money than those with only high school educations &mdash pay increases by education level, on average. With a high school education, an Idahoan can earn $638 per week, while someone with a college degree can earn $1,100 a week.

The following list ranks Idaho colleges that offer online degree programs on such factors as admission rates, student support services, tuitions and more.

1
Brigham Young University-Idaho
Rexburg, ID
Average in-state tuition
$4,018
No. of online programs
14
% of students in distance education
81%
Avg. amount of Aid
$6,922
Admissions Rate
95%
Graduation Rate
59%
Career Counseling
Yes
Placement Services
Yes
2
Northwest Nazarene University
Nampa, ID
Average in-state tuition
$28,500
No. of online programs
23
% of students in distance education
50%
Avg. amount of Aid
$16,514
Admissions Rate
73%
Graduation Rate
56%
Career Counseling
Yes
Placement Services
N/A
3
University of Idaho
Moscow, ID
Average in-state tuition
$5,346
No. of online programs
34
% of students in distance education
30%
Avg. amount of Aid
$11,543
Admissions Rate
73%
Graduation Rate
55%
Career Counseling
Yes
Placement Services
Yes
4
Boise State University
Boise, ID
Average in-state tuition
$5,043
No. of online programs
8
% of students in distance education
35%
Avg. amount of Aid
$7,395
Admissions Rate
84%
Graduation Rate
44%
Career Counseling
Yes
Placement Services
Yes
5
Idaho State University
Pocatello, ID
Average in-state tuition
$5,425
No. of online programs
15
% of students in distance education
47%
Avg. amount of Aid
$6,335
Admissions Rate
N/A
Graduation Rate
30%
Career Counseling
Yes
Placement Services
Yes
6
North Idaho College
Coeur d'Alene, ID
Average in-state tuition
$3,754
No. of online programs
2
% of students in distance education
57%
Avg. amount of Aid
$3,616
Admissions Rate
N/A
Graduation Rate
N/A
Career Counseling
Yes
Placement Services
Yes
7
Lewis-Clark State College
Lewiston, ID
Average in-state tuition
$6,334
No. of online programs
9
% of students in distance education
42%
Avg. amount of Aid
$5,671
Admissions Rate
100%
Graduation Rate
28%
Career Counseling
Yes
Placement Services
Yes
8
College of Southern Idaho
Twin Falls, ID
Average in-state tuition
$4,120
No. of online programs
18
% of students in distance education
24%
Avg. amount of Aid
$3,892
Admissions Rate
N/A
Graduation Rate
N/A
Career Counseling
Yes
Placement Services
Yes

Using data from the National Center for Education Statistics, we've created the following list of the top online degree programs in Idaho.

Program Name
No. of online programs
Registered Nursing/Registered Nurse
7
Business Administration and Management, General
6
Liberal Arts and Sciences/Liberal Studies
4
General Studies
3
Special Education and Teaching, General
2
Accounting
2
Entrepreneurship/Entrepreneurial Studies
2
Business, Management, Marketing, and Related Support Services, Other
2
Homeland Security, Law Enforcement, Firefighting and Related Protective Services, Other
2
Computer Science
2

Students considering enrollment in online degree programs in Idaho may appreciate knowing that the state's leaders and higher education institutions have worked extremely hard in recent years to make college accessible and valuable to its students.

At the individual school level, efforts to step up quality include the College of Western Idaho, whose online faculty must complete online instructor certification programs, and Idaho State University, which subscribes to the Quality Matters Program.

Also, Idaho is a part of the State Authorization Reciprocity Agreement (SARA) through the Western Interstate Commission on Higher Education. States who are members of SARA agree to meet a set of national standards for postsecondary distance education. It not only improves access across state boundaries, but it insures a level of quality of online education at member schools.

Helpful tool: To step up its level of accountability and quality, the Idaho State Board of Education unveiled its new Data Dashboard in early 2019. Accessed through the state board's website, this online tool shares information about student access, progress and success at the state's eight public colleges and universities, in a user-friendly format.

Currently, 10 institutions in Idaho are approved member institutions with SARA. If this designation is important to you, it's important when you're considering online degree programs in Idaho that you choose from these member schools.

Other factors to consider include:

  • Accreditation: The voluntary process of a third-party review of quality and rigor to receive accreditation is a measure of a school's stability and ability to adequately prepare students for the workplace. Accreditation is also a requirement for receiving federal or institutional financial aid, scholarships or military funding. Any online college you're considering should be accredited.
  • Degree offerings: The Idaho State Board of Education can provide useful information at a glance about which types of credentials its public colleges and institutions offer. Students should consider whether their preferred online schools can offer the practical experience needed to meet career goals.
  • Student outcomes: The state's Data Dashboard may be helpful in choosing among Idaho colleges that offer online degree programs. You can search graduation rates of individual schools or categories of schools or explore the number of graduates produced and more. Ask the schools themselves for information on job placement rates and success of graduates.

We used state industry data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics to come up with this list of the top occupations in Idaho.

Occupation
Number of Workers
(2016)
Average Salary
(2016)
Office and Administrative Support Occupations106,200$33,690
Sales and Related Occupations70,210$34,910
Food Preparation and Serving Related Occupations61,520$21,510
Production Occupations44,560$35,290
Transportation and Material Moving Occupations42,800$35,150
Education, Training, and Library Occupations42,210$41,690
Construction and Extraction Occupations39,820$41,650
Management Occupations38,510$81,980
Healthcare Practitioners and Technical Occupations37,650$74,180
Installation, Maintenance, and Repair Occupations30,300$43,980
Business and Financial Operations Occupations26,350$63,510
Retail Salespersons24,460$27,750
Building and Grounds Cleaning and Maintenance Occupations23,160$26,410
Personal Care and Service Occupations23,100$24,360
Healthcare Support Occupations19,430$29,370
Source: 2017 Occupational Employment Statistics and 2016-26 Employment Projections, Bureau of Labor Statistics, BLS.gov; 2016-26 State Occupational Projections, Projections Central, projectionscentral.com

Until recently, the state of Idaho offered no need-based financial aid to its students. However, its "60 percent by 2020" goal motivated state leaders to take action which includes creating financial aid opportunities, such as:

  • Idaho Opportunity Scholarship: This need-based award offers Idaho high school graduates and state residents with GPAs of at least 2.7 up to $3,500 per year (renewable for up to four years).
  • Idaho Opportunity Scholarship for Adult Learners: This need-based award of up to $3,500 is specifically for students with at least 24 college credits under their belts and at least 24 months since they last attended postsecondary institutions.

Other scholarships from Idaho are offered for students in varying specific circumstances of school, industry or background. In order to qualify for these, and any other form of federal grants and scholarships, as well as most private scholarships or tuition assistance, students must complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid.

Scholarship Listing

UI Scholars Scholarship
No. of Awards
70
Deadline
February 15
Max. Award Amount
3,000
Renewable
Yes
Criteria
Applicant must be a resident of Idaho graduating from high school with a minimum 32 ACT score, and a 1420 SAT 1 score.
More
Governor's Cup Scholarship
No. of Awards
25
Deadline
February 15
Max. Award Amount
3,000
Renewable
Yes
Criteria
Applicants must be Idaho high school seniors planning to attend Idaho colleges or universities full-time and have a minimum 2.8 GPA. Public service is a significant factor.
More
D. L. Evans Scholarship
No. of Awards
8
Deadline
March 3
Max. Award Amount
250
Renewable
No
Criteria
Applicant must be a graduating senior from one of the following high schools: Mini-Cassia, Magic Valley, Treasure Valley, Wood River Valley, and Eastern Idaho. Applicant must be attending the College of Southern Idaho, Idaho State University, College of Idaho, University of Idaho, Boise State University, or College of Western Idaho as a full-time student. Preference will be given to students majoring in finance business, or economics; all majors will be considered. Minimum 3.0 GPA required.
More
GEAR UP Idaho Scholarship 2
No. of Awards
0
Deadline
March 1
Max. Award Amount
N/A
Renewable
Yes
Criteria
Applicants must have graduated from an Idaho high school, be entering freshmen at an eligible Idaho college or university, be residents of Idaho and have a minimum 3.0 GPA or minimum ACT score of 20. Applicants must also be younger than 22 years old and complete at least 12 credits per semester with a minimum 2.5 GPA to remain eligible for renewal.
More
Presidential Achievement Scholarship
No. of Awards
0
Deadline
February 15
Max. Award Amount
1,500
Renewable
Yes
Criteria
Applicant must be a resident of Idaho coming directly from high school with a minimum of 3.5 GPA or higher, a minimum 30-31 ACT score, and a 1340-1419 SAT score.
More

Scholarship directory data is copyrighted material which is reproduced on this website by permission of Wintergreen Orchard House, a division of Carnegie Communications. Copyright © 2017-19 by Wintergreen Orchard House. All rights reserved.

There is no standard, required college entrance exam that Idaho schools require applicants to complete. Students may be asked to submit SAT, ACT or other exams, depending on their circumstances, in order to apply.


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