Best Online Colleges in Idaho

Search Colleges

Online or Campus

Idaho has belonged to the Western Interstate Commission for Higher Education (WICHE) for more than 60 years. The program has helped students save $144.3 million in tuition since 1988. Most of those savings come through WICHE’s Student Exchange Program, which allows students to pursue certain out-of-state programs while paying in-state tuition. The program has provided Idaho with $51.7 million in savings in the last 5-years, a return 78 times larger than the state’s investment in WICHE.

Idaho is also part two other organizations that help students complete their education affordably. One is the State Authorization Reciprocity Agreement, which makes distance and online education courses more accessible for students. The other is the Consortium for Healthcare Education Online program, which allows distance learners to connect to web-based science labs. These programs are striving to improve enrollment rates, which have stagnated in response to decreased state funding in higher education.

Idaho has suffered severe funding cuts in recent years, pushing a greater percentage of tuition costs onto students. That, combined with a 36.7% increase in tuition at public four-year colleges, has made online education an attractive alternative for residents. As colleges throughout Idaho and the region expand their online programs, the number of online students in the state should grow commensurately in the coming years.

Rank School Name Ranking Score Relative Cost Graduation Rate Location Description
1Brigham Young University-Idaho 1/556.09%Rexburg, ID

With more than 200 courses and 15 degrees available online, students can pursue certificate, associate, and bachelor’s degree programs through BYU’s Idaho campus. Students enrolled in online programs can take asynchronous courses, and complete material at their own pace. Students can take classes year-round or take a semester off if they need. BYU-Idaho does not limit the number of credits that students can take online.

Tweet thisShare thisSchool Profile
2Northwest Nazarene University 4/551.83%Nampa, ID

Northwest Nazarene allows students to pursue a graduate, undergraduate, or associate degree online. Undergraduates can pursue online degrees in liberal studies, education, theology, business administration, and nursing. The school also accommodates distance learners pursuing graduate degrees in education, theology, business, and nursing. Courses are taught by the same faculty that teaches residential students. Unless otherwise specified, classes are taught asynchronously.

Tweet thisShare thisSchool Profile
3Boise State University 2/535.71%Boise, ID

With more than 250 courses and 22 fully online programs, Boise State’s eCampus can help students with disparate interests find their academic passion. The school’s online courses and programs are taught asynchronously, which lets students take courses at their convenience. Popular programs include:

  • Business Bridge to Career Certificate
  • Imaging Sciences
  • Multidisciplinary Studies
  • Nursing R.N. to B.SN
  • Respiratory Care RRT to B.S.
Tweet thisShare thisSchool Profile
4Lewis-Clark State College 2/526.89%Lewiston, ID

Lewis-Clark State offers 10 academic programs entirely online. The school’s e-Learning platform offers an alternative method of classroom instruction to students who are unable to attend regularly-scheduled classes due to time restraints or geographic location.

The e-Learning program relies on a variety of web conferencing and collaboration tools that facilitate engagement, discussion, and interactivity among students and faculty. This technology allows faculty to hold virtual office hours and deliver real-time lectures.

Tweet thisShare thisSchool Profile
5Stevens-Henager College – Boise 3/541.57%Boise, ID

Stevens-Henager offers online and in-person classes in all of its programs: healthcare, business, technology, and graphic arts. Stevens-Henager’s flexible model, which features asynchronous courses and allows students to take time off if necessary, allows distance learners from all backgrounds to pursue a degree. Students can pursue an associate, bachelor’s, or master’s degree. Many programs are offered entirely online.

Tweet thisShare thisSchool Profile

More About Online Colleges in Idaho

Like many postsecondary institutions in the U.S., Idaho’s schools have recently implemented more online programs to accommodate the increased demand for distance learning options. Tuition and fees at public, four-year Idaho colleges and universities have increased by 36.7% over the last five years, while state funding for postsecondary education costs dropped by 11.1% during this time. Accordingly, students pursuing higher education degrees in Idaho have turned to online programs, where tuition and associated costs are much lower.

Disinvesting in higher learning in Idaho has also reduced the number of college-educated employees and job qualifications in the local economy. In response, The Idaho Board of Education set a goal that 60% of Idahoans ages 25-34 will have a postsecondary degree by 2020. Set in motion through various initiatives such as Complete College Idaho and the P-20 Statewide STEM Strategic Plan, this statewide plan is centered on promoting higher learning and revitalizing the labor force in Idaho’s major markets.

Browse our list of the best online colleges in Idaho for more insight into distance learning programs in this state.

NCES Report

As of fall 2012 enrollment, NCES reports indicate that 12.6% (13,848) of students attending Title IV institutions in Idaho enrolled exclusively in online programs.

  • 5.5% of students at four-year institutions studied entirely online
  • 11.3% of students at two-year institutions studied entirely online
  • 40.9% of online students lived in Idaho
  • 6.5% were living elsewhere in the United States

For more than 60 years, Idaho has partnered with the Western Interstate Commission for Higher Education (WICHE) to provide higher learning opportunities for college students. Through a variety of WICHE initiatives, including those involved in distance education such as the State Authorization Reciprocity Agreement and the Consortium for Healthcare Education Online, Idaho students and learning institutions saved an average of $11.6 million in 2014-15. These initiatives support online learning and have contributed to the platform’s growth in Idaho over the last decade.