Idaho’s Best Colleges & Universities of 2021

Here are the best colleges and universities in Idaho. Our list will help you find the right kind of school for you.

Idaho’s Best Colleges & Universities of 2021

Colleges and Universities in Idaho

Just over half of the 13 colleges and universities in Idaho are public schools. Boise State University, Idaho’s largest public university, serves roughly 17,000 students. Here, students can pursue degrees in fields like communications, earth sciences, and engineering. Idaho is also home to five private schools, including the state’s largest school, Brigham Young University Idaho, which has a student population of nearly 49,000 students.

Find college admissions consultants in your state.

While students at BYU school can expect to pay around $4,000 in tuition, well below the national average, the other private school tuition costs range between $13,000 to $30,000. The majority of Idaho’s colleges and universities can be considered small schools, serving student populations of 4,000 or less. However, the state’s largest schools offer the most affordable tuition fees, ranging from as little as $4,000 to $8,000. Students who pursue their degrees in Idaho can study fields like chemistry, law, and anthropology at the University of Idaho or religious studies, psychology, and literature at New Saint Andrews College. Additionally, Idaho offers a loan forgiveness program of up to $100,000 to physicians who work in the state’s rural areas.

French fries, mashed potatoes, tater tots, and even potato-inspired ice cream — Idaho is, as per its reputation, a potato lover’s dream. But it’s not all spuds in this state. Along with countless hiking trails, rivers perfect for rafting trips, and 72 types of gemstones, this state offers higher education institutes with competitive tuition fees and programs.

For more information, explore some of Idaho’s top programs and future career possibilities.


What are Idaho’s Colleges & Universities?

Idaho’s Best Overall

Related: Differences between research universities and teaching colleges

Idaho's Best Colleges and Universities 2021 badge
Download Badge

How do we determine Idaho's best colleges and universities?

Methodology

The people affiliated with a school are ultimately what make it great. This is why, at the undergraduate level, we rank the best colleges and universities based on what we call “Concentrated Influence”. Concentrated Influence takes the combined influence score of a college or university’s top academic influencers (including faculty and alums) and divides it by the school’s total number of undergraduates.

Using concentrated influence gives small and mid-sized schools an opportunity to shine by taking away the size advantage of larger universities. A small school with proportionately more influential faculty than a large school, whose influence in absolute terms may be bigger, will nonetheless score higher in a concentrated influence ranking. Our approach highlights undergraduate schools that truly rank for excellence, regardless of size.

If you are serious about finding the best colleges and universities for a bachelor’s degree, you should be asking where the most influential professors are teaching and whether their graduates are themselves advancing the school’s reputation for academic excellence.

Most ranking sites rely on an opaque combination of reputation surveys and arbitrary performance metrics. Concentrated Influence provides a ranking that is free from bias, insulated from manipulation, and reflective of real-world educational outcomes.


Every fall, more than 2 million high-school graduates will enroll in colleges and universities across the United States. Finding the best college for your educational, personal, and professional goals may be challenging. The purpose of this ranking is to help you manage this challenge with an accurate, objective, and up-to-date ranking of the best colleges and universities in Idaho for earning a bachelor’s degree.

We’ve identified a total of 8 colleges and universities in Idaho, 6 satisfy our criteria. The list below of the best schools in the state focuses on those that offer four-year undergraduate degrees, includes both public and private colleges and universities, and also meet the following two conditions:

  1. It must be fully accredited.
  2. It must have a graduation rate of greater than 30%.

Best Colleges & Universities in Idaho

  1. #1

    University of Idaho

    #637 institution's historical influence
    #1023 overall school desirability

    Tuition + fees

    $8K

    Acceptance

    74%

    Graduation

    59%

    Student body

    9K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1125/23

    Moscow, ID

    View profile

    What is University of Idaho known for?

    University of Idaho’s faculty and alumni have been influential in:

    • Biology
    • Engineering
    • Education
    • Business
    • Chemistry
    • History
    • Law
    • Literature
    • Medical
    • Mathematics
    REQUEST INFO
  2. #2

    College of Idaho

    #3039 institution's historical influence
    #862 overall school desirability

    Tuition + fees

    $33K

    Acceptance

    48%

    Graduation

    66%

    Student body

    1K

    Caldwell, ID

    View profile

    What is College of Idaho known for?

    College of Idaho’s faculty and alumni have been influential in:

    • Education
    • Biology
    • History
    • Medical
    • Political Science
    • Chemistry
    • Literature
    • Psychology
    • Engineering
    • Mathematics

    Most Influential Alumni

  3. #3

    New Saint Andrews College

    #3123 institution's historical influence
    #622 overall school desirability

    Tuition + fees

    $14K

    Acceptance

    85%

    Graduation

    69%

    Student body

    <1K

    Moscow, ID

    View profile

    What is New Saint Andrews College known for?

    New Saint Andrews College’s faculty and alumni have been influential in:

    • Education

    Most Influential Alumni

  4. #4

    Boise State University

    #1516 institution's historical influence
    #981 overall school desirability

    Tuition + fees

    $8K

    Acceptance

    77%

    Graduation

    55%

    Student body

    18K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1130/23

    Boise, ID

    View profile

    What is Boise State University known for?

    Boise State University’s faculty and alumni have been influential in:

    • Business
    • Education
    • Engineering
    • History
    • Political Science
    • Biology
    • Medical
    • Mathematics
    • Computer Science
    • Literature
    REQUEST INFO
  5. #5

    Northwest Nazarene University

    #4008 institution's historical influence
    #1168 overall school desirability

    Tuition + fees

    $33K

    Acceptance

    77%

    Graduation

    62%

    Student body

    3K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1090/23

    Nampa, ID

    View profile

    What is Northwest Nazarene University known for?

    Northwest Nazarene University’s faculty and alumni have been influential in:

    • Religious Studies
    • Education
    • Philosophy
    • Communications
    • Business
    • History
    • Literature
    • Political Science
    • Medical
    • Physics
  6. #6

    Brigham Young University–Idaho

    #3524 institution's historical influence
    #1000 overall school desirability

    Tuition + fees

    $4K

    Acceptance

    97%

    Graduation

    56%

    Student body

    43K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1095/22

    Rexburg, ID

    View profile

    What is Brigham Young University–Idaho known for?

    Brigham Young University–Idaho’s faculty and alumni have been influential in:

    • Education
    • Business
    • Political Science
    • History
    • Engineering
    • Literature
    • Economics
    • Biology
    • Medical
    • Communications

    Most Influential Alumni

Find the Best Schools in Idaho for your Major

Resources for College-Bound Students

Photo By: Davidlharlan - Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0