Earning a college degree can lead to numerous personal and professional benefits. For many undergraduates, college marks the first opportunity a student has to experience independent living away from their family and familiar surroundings. College can also introduce individuals to a variety of academic disciplines; encourage personal growth; and allow for participation in activities and events that enhance a learner's appreciation for arts, culture, and community.

Additionally, college can teach graduates the skills needed to succeed in the workforce. Earning a degree in Hawaii can lead to well-paying careers in some of the state's major industries, such as education, sales, management, and healthcare.

The Hawaii Workforce Infonet provides statewide industry and occupational employment projections. Between 2016 and 2026, the organization projects that occupations with the highest projected job growth -- and which require a bachelor's degree -- will include software developers, substance abuse and behavioral disorder counselors, athletic trainers, and operations research analysts. Jobs that require a master's degree and boast high growth projections include nurse practitioners, mental health counselors, and healthcare social workers.

Best Colleges in Idaho

  1. Brigham Young University-Idaho - Rexburg, ID
  2. Northwest Nazarene University - Nampa, ID
  3. University of Idaho - Moscow, ID
  4. Boise State University - Boise, ID
  5. The College of Idaho - Caldwell, ID

To help prospective college students make an informed admission decision, the following ranked list highlights five of the best colleges in Hawaii. This guide covers topics such as campus facilities, academic offerings, notable degrees, and admission requirements.

Ranking Accredited Colleges in Idaho

Rank School Location Cost Graduation Rate Description Toggle

Brigham Young University-Idaho

Rexburg, ID Cost: $$$$$ Graduation Rate: 59%

Brigham Young University-Idaho was originally founded in 1888 as a secondary school for Latter-day Saint settlers of Rexburg. The school later converted into a two-year college before beginning operations as a four-year institution in 2001. Today, Idaho's largest private university spans 430 acres and welcomes 28,000 students each year. The university is owned and operated by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

Students can pursue 20 associate degrees and 87 bachelor's degrees across six colleges and 33 departments. Diverse majors include food science, civil engineering, economics, theater, religious education, and world languages. BYU-Idaho believes in hands-on learning and is one of the largest intern-providing institutions in the U.S. Outside of class, students can participate in sports, performing arts, recreation, and service activities.

The admissions process requires applicants to submit official high school transcripts and ACT or SAT scores. Church members must be in good standing, and nonmembers must complete an interview.


Northwest Nazarene University

Nampa, ID Cost: $$$$$ Graduation Rate: 56%

Northwest Nazarene University is a comprehensive four-year Christian university and one of eight liberal arts colleges in the U.S. affiliated with the Church of the Nazarene. Located on a 90-acre campus in Nampa, NNU serves more than 2,000 undergraduate and graduate students in addition to 6,000 continuing education students and 2,000 high school students taking concurrent credit courses.

NNU offers degrees across four major schools: arts and sciences, graduate studies, business, and theology and Christian ministries. Programs of study include studio art, global business, secondary education, worship leadership, and music theory. NNU also offers a variety of online and accelerated degree options. Students can participate in on-site housing communities, NCAA athletics, over 40 clubs and organizations, and chapel and ministry opportunities.

Undergraduate applicants must supply an introductory essay, SAT or ACT scores, and official high school transcripts. NNU charges a $50 application fee.


University of Idaho

Moscow, ID Cost: $$$$$ Graduation Rate: 55%

The University of Idaho serves more than 11,000 students through a 1,585-acre campus in Moscow, three educational centers, nine research and extension centers, and extension offices in 42 counties. U of I is a land-grant institution, the state's primary research university, and the lead university in the Idaho Space Grant Consortium.

U of I offers 94 undergraduate majors and 62 graduate majors in 12 comprehensive disciplines including art and design, engineering, health, language and writing, and performance art. Many undergraduate, graduate, and postgraduate programs offer online completion pathways. Students enrolled in agricultural programs gain valuable hands-on experience in campus labs, greenhouses, and animal centers and out in the field on hundreds of acres of farmland.

To be considered for undergraduate admission, applicants must possess a minimum 2.0 GPA and provide SAT or ACT scores, official high school transcripts, and a nonrefundable $60 fee.


Boise State University

Boise, ID Cost: $$$$$ Graduation Rate: 44%

Originally founded as Boise Junior College in 1932, Boise State University became Idaho's third state university in 1974. The 285-acre campus encompasses more than 170 buildings and serves approximately 25,000 students each year. BSU boasts successful NCAA athletic programs, a dynamic Greek life community, and more than 260 student clubs and organizations.

This public research university offers 91 bachelor's degrees, 66 master's degrees, 29 graduate certificates, and 11 doctoral degrees. The school's highest-enrollment undergraduate programs include nursing, health science studies, biology, computer science, and psychology. Graduate programs with the highest enrollment numbers include social work, business administration, and educational technology. Distance learners can access hundreds of classes and more than 45 complete degrees online.

Prospective students must submit a complete application, official high school transcripts, and ACT or SAT scores. A $50 application fee applies for nonresidents of Idaho and applicants interested in fully online programs.


The College of Idaho

Caldwell, ID Cost: $$$$$ Graduation Rate: 67%

The College of Idaho is a private liberal arts college located in Caldwell, 30 miles from downtown Boise. The oldest school of its kind in the state, C of I serves more than 1,000 students each year. The college fosters a close-knit community, with more than 60% of students living on-site in residence halls. C of I also offers varsity sports, Greek life, outdoor activities, and study abroad programs.

C of I uses a distinctive curriculum called PEAK, which requires students to complete one major and three minors in four years. PEAK offers practical education and helps expand students' horizons through exposure to four academic areas: the humanities, social sciences, natural sciences, and a professional field. Learners enjoy small class sizes thanks to the school's 9-to-1 student-to-faculty ratio.

C of I bases admission decisions on high school academics, recommendation letters, community involvement, personal achievements, and writing ability. The school does not require applicants to provide ACT/SAT scores.

Students in Idaho attend a variety of two-year programs through the state's technical and career-training facilities and community colleges. Two-year programs in Idaho provide an accelerated and affordable education to students entering the workforce. The state's community college system has campuses across the state, offering a range of classes and training. Some schools, including Eastern Idaho Technical College and McCall College, offer programs in technology and other trades that can be completed in two years or less.

According to the U.S. Department of Education, graduates from top two-year schools in Idaho can expect to earn more than residents with only a high school diploma. Manufacturing, specifically in electrical and computer components, is the state's top industry and many community colleges and trade schools in Idaho produce qualified labor for the field. Other schools provide students access to introductory courses in traditional disciplines, preparing them to earn a bachelor's degree at a four-year school. To see what each school offers, take a look at our ranking of the top two-year colleges in Idaho.

Best Community Colleges in Idaho

Rank School Location Cost Graduation Rate Description Toggle

Eastern Idaho Technical College

Idaho Falls, ID Cost: $$$$$ Graduation Rate: 57%

Eastern Idaho is the most career-oriented of all Idaho community colleges. EITC focuses on technical trades in three specific areas: business, office, and technology; health professions; and trades and industry. In those three fields, EITC offers associate’s of applied sciences degrees, in addition to offering workforce training and community education to help the general public obtain new job skills. EITC’s curriculum is modern by design, focusing on skills that will have value in the 21st century. The school offers distance learning programs - hybrid (in part on campus and in part online) and completely online - in addition to online community workforce training in fields like accounting, computer applications, writing, and law. Eastern Idaho also offers fire fighter training.

As EITC sits on the Wyoming border in Idaho Falls, giving students access to a host of outdoor recreation opportunities outside of the classroom.


College of Southern Idaho

Twin Falls, ID Cost: $$$$$ Graduation Rate: 21%

Southern Idaho, primarily serving Idaho’s agricultural Magic Valley region, enrolls a total of 6,247 students — 1,640 full-time and 4,627 part-time — and is one of the best two-year colleges in Idaho. CSI labels itself as a “progressive” campus, offering student support through study skills courses, tutoring, advising, learning centers, and health services. The school offers majors that transfer easily to four year schools, namely Idaho state schools. CSI offers over 132 academic programs, leading to associate’s degrees and technical and postsecondary certifications. CSI’s fields are technical (e.g. air conditioning, auto body technology), trade-oriented (e.g. baking and pastry arts, horse management), and academic (e.g. history, economics). CSI’s social sciences and English courses enroll the most students.

CSI’s basketball team is a local attraction, regularly competing on a national level and selling out most home games. Eddie Sutton, the legendary Oklahoma State coach, got his start in Twin Falls.


College of Western Idaho

Nampa, ID Cost: $$$$$ Graduation Rate: 13%

Western Idaho serves Treasure Valley with central campuses in Boise and Nampa. The school enrolls 13,766 credit-seeking students, in addition to 10,499 community members pursuing non-credit skill development or basic education. CWI offers a total of 99 programs, which are divided into four different categories: academic transfer, career and technical education, workforce development, and basic skills education.

Academic transfer programs lead to associate of arts and sciences degrees that students can transfer to four-year schools. CWI’s career and technical education programs lead to associate degrees in applied sciences and technical certificates for immediate workforce entry. 46% of CWI’s students take an academic transfer program.

CWI is the largest of the two-year colleges in Idaho. CWI’s stated goal is to eventually serve over 40,000 students. CWI also offers a number of student organizations, with its speech and debate team winning its fourth national title in 2015.


North Idaho College

Coeur d'Alene, ID Cost: $$$$$ Graduation Rate: 25%

Located on the panhandle on Lake Coeur D’Alene, North Idaho traces its roots to the Great Depression; it was founded before Idaho’s Junior College Act of 1963. NIC offers a wide variety of course offerings, including on-campus and distance learning programs, which include strictly online and hybrid options.

NIC’s course offerings are divided between transfer, career, technical, and occupational training programs. NIC offers 44 transfer programs in traditional disciplines like biology, education, and English. These programs provide associate degrees that transfer easily to four-year schools, within Idaho and out of state. NIC’s 44 career, technical, and occupational training programs are intended to lead directly to a job. NIC’s Workforce Training and Community Education program is one of the most extensive of its kind among Idaho community colleges. It offers trade and career-oriented opportunities to the community in the form of non-credit, six-week, online courses.