Best Colleges in Idaho

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Updated on August 3, 2023
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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

Best Colleges in Idaho

  1. Brigham Young University-Idaho

    Rexburg, ID



    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.

  2. Northwest Nazarene University

    Nampa, ID



    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.

  3. University of Idaho

    Moscow, ID



    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.

  4. Boise State University

    Boise, ID



    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.

  5. The College of Idaho

    Caldwell, ID



    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