Public colleges and universities account for almost 75 percent of all undergraduate students in the U.S. The best public colleges in Idaho provide broad access to reputable degree programs, affordable tuition, and sprawling educational communities.
While there are only a few major colleges in Idaho, prospective students do have some excellent public options. In fact, just over half of the 13 colleges and universities in Idaho are public school options.
Boise State University, Idaho’s largest public university, serves roughly 17,000 students through both on-campus and online degree programs. Students at Boise State University can pursue both traditional and online degrees in fields like communications, earth sciences, and engineering.
Other major public universities in Idaho include Idaho State University and Lewis-Clark State College. This is noteworthy because Idaho residents who attend public online colleges in Idaho will still have access to in-state tuition discounts. Out of state students will pay more.
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.
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While students at BYU school can expect to pay around $4,000 in tuition, well below the national average, tuition for Idaho’s other private colleges costs between $13,000 and $30,000 per year.
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, with both traditional and online students having access to tuition for as little as $4,000 per year.
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-based financial 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 both on-campus and online degree programs with competitive tuition fees and excellent professors.
For more information, explore some of Idaho’s top programs and future career possibilities.
Public and private colleges and universities operate under different business models. Public colleges and universities are owned by the state and receive both state and federal funding to operate. Private colleges and universities are private companies with private funding. If you’re looking at the pros and cons of private vs. public colleges, consider that many public colleges provide diverse course offerings, influential professors, and an excellent return on your investment.
Public colleges are schools that receive most of their funding from tax revenues. As a result, the cost of a bachelor’s degree at a public university is often lower than the equivalent cost at a private college — especially for students attending a public school in their home state. Attending a college in-state is usually the cheapest option. Private universities and colleges can be very competitive with their funding opportunities, so do not simply believe that private colleges are always going to be more expensive. According to National Center for Educational Statistics, the average annual cost (tuition, fees, room and board for full-time students) at a public university was slightly over $20,000. In contrast, private universities cost, on average, nearly $43,000 annually. But in the end, the cost of college comes down to each student’s academic and financial situation.
This list is composed entirely of public colleges and universities that offer bachelor’s degrees. We’ve identified 4 public universities in Idaho. To be included in our list of the best public colleges in Idaho, shcools must receive direct funding from the state, be fully accredited, and offer a broad range of bachelor’s degress.
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University of Idaho’s faculty and alumni have been influential in:
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Boise State University’s faculty and alumni have been influential in:
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Idaho State University’s faculty and alumni have been influential in:
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Lewis–Clark State College’s faculty and alumni have been influential in:
Many of our 2022 undergraduate focused rankings look considerably different than 2021. That’s because we took a fundamentally different apporach. For 2021 we utilized our Concentrated Influence algorithm, designed to take away the size advantage larger schools have when we rank their faculty and alumni’s academic influence. Concentrated influence highlights smaller schools that are proportionally as successful as larger universities at cultivating influential alumni and faculty.
Check out our directory of public colleges throughout the U.S. for a look at the top public colleges in every state.