When online learning first entered the scene, it was often relegated to only private institutions. As it has become more common, the scope has broadened to also encompass traditional colleges. These days, countless students have access to a multitude of online degrees and certificates that can be completed in the comfort of their own homes.
Varied types of distance learning courses and programs are offered by numerous colleges and universities across the state, making it easier for students, especially those in rural areas, to work toward a degree. Institutions offering online programs are detailed below.
University of Idaho. The University of Idaho has a growing collection of master’s degree programs available fully online. Main subject areas include education, engineering, environmental studies, and science. The university’s College of Education uses an online learning platform called Elluminate to facilitate live discussion and interaction between students and professors.
Boise State University. Operating as Idaho’s largest educational institution, BSU offers undergraduate and graduate degrees in almost 200 disciplines at their on-campus facilities. The university also boasts the state’s most extensive undergraduate nursing program and the country’s only master’s degree in raptor biology. The Extended Studies division focuses on distance education, concurrent enrollment, lifelong learning opportunities, and online professional workshops. The school’s eCampus program aims to increase access to education by offering 22 fully online programs and more than 250 courses. Undergraduate programs target adult learners in search of degree completion and certification, while graduate degrees and certificates are offered in various disciplines, such as nursing, business administration, and education.
College of Western Idaho. The College of Western Idaho is headquartered in Nampa, but also serves a large student population at its Boise campus. This public community college has over 9,000 degree-seeking students enrolled, in addition to nearly 11,000 students taking individual courses. With about half of the student body attending part-time, CWI addresses the varied needs of students by offering online and weekend classes. The college provides GED preparation, dual credit for high school students, degrees for transfer to four-year institutions, technical and career training degrees, certificates, and continuing education. Students can also find online and hybrid courses to satisfy general education requirements. CWI’s online associate degree programs include topics in liberal arts and humanities alongside studies in business, criminal justice, and geography.
Boise Bible College. Boise Bible College, situated on a 16-acre campus at the northwest edge of the city, is a community of nearly 500 students. Associated with the independent Churches of Christ, this school awards associate and bachelor’s degrees and one-year Bible certificates online.
Prospective students should consider the various costs associated with earning a certificate or degree before enrolling in a program. While tuition varies by school, in 2012 college students in Idaho paid an average of $9,500.
Nearly all colleges and universities charge student fees to help defray the cost of offering various activities and facilities not directly related to the classroom. In addition to tuition, these fees may cover laboratory materials, recreational facilities, parking, and technology resources. In 2012, Idaho students spent an average of $1,100 in student fees, with total costs for the college experience totaling $10,600 per year.
Living expenses should also be factored in when considering all the financial needs associated with college. These additional costs include housing, transportation, utilities, and food. While they vary city to city, Idaho’s cost of living runs approximately 7 percent lower than the national average. Here are the COL details for Idaho’s urban areas:
|Urban Area||Composite Index||Housing||Groceries||Utilities||Transportation||Health Care||Misc.|
Another cost-related issue to consider is return on investment (ROI). ROI is measured by calculating the lifetime salary of the average graduate and subtracting the total cost of attendance for four years. The following Idaho colleges have the highest lifetime ROI:
Students in Idaho have a number of options when it comes to paying for their degrees and certificates, ranging from school-specific scholarships to federal aid. The government awards funding based on financial need calculated from the FAFSA®. In 2012, Idaho ranked 22nd in the nation with 69 percent of students receiving federal aid.
Colleges and universities throughout Idaho also offer various types of merit or need-based scholarships. Likewise, many private organizations and companies within the state help students pay for college. Below, you can find a few of these benefactors:
Only students who attend accredited colleges in Idaho are eligible to receive federal financial aid. In Idaho, the Northwest Accreditation Commission ( http://www.advanc-ed.org/ ) evaluates both public and private non-profit institutions to ensure a maintained level of academic quality. Idaho schools may also seek accreditation from programmatic agencies. For example, the National Council for the Accreditation of Teacher Education (NCATE) accredits The University of Idaho’s College of Education.
Prospective students interested in attending an online college can use the list below to learn about resources specific to Idaho, including information from the State Department of Education, career preparation materials, and scholarships for online students.
The search tool below contains up-to-date information about each of Idaho’s 39 postsecondary institutions and can make the process of choosing the right school easier for prospective students. The search results include a wealth of information for those interested in learning about online degree and training programs in Idaho, including insight into curriculum, tuition costs, degree types, and enrollment procedures.
In Idaho, many colleges and universities throughout the state are attuned to the value of online learning options for today’s busy students. In an effort to make education easily accessible, some offer a wide range of degree programs available completely online. Based on their commitment to flexible degree opportunities, number of accredited programs, and reasonable tuition rates, the following schools rise above the competition. See which post-secondary institutions have been named as Idaho’s Best Online Colleges for 2015.
|RANK||COLLEGE||Tuition And Fees||Enrollment||Accredited||MORE INFO|
|1||Brigham Young University-Idaho||$3,770||30,025||YES|
Brigham Young University-Idaho is one of the many online colleges in Idaho that offers a huge variety of online degree programs that provide students with the opportunity to earn either their associate or bachelor’s degrees, as well as several additional graduate certificates. Students interact with their professors and each other using various resources, including webcasts and virtual classrooms.
|2||Lewis-Clark State College||$5,562||5,911||YES|
Lewis-Clark State College is somewhat unique among online colleges in Idaho in that each area of focus is handled by its respective division on campus. Students can earn their bachelor’s and master’s degrees in a wide range of fields, and the college utilizes several online resources, including Blackboard and video chatting, to facilitate this.
|3||Boise State University||$5,884||22,775||YES|
Boise State University offers 2 online bachelor’s degree programs and 6 master’s degree programs, many of which focus on the field of health care. Students have access to a wide range of academic support services that help promote successful online learning, and they receive personalized attention from professors with a variety of technology.
|4||Idaho State University||$6,070||15,094||YES|
Idaho State University offers a limited selection of online degree programs, providing only two options for course studies. Students can earn their Master of Science in Speech Language Pathology or take the Pre-Professional Program, the latter of which is designed to act as a go-between for those who have earned their bachelor’s and are intending to pursue their master’s.
|5||University of Idaho||$6,212||11,469||YES|
The University of Idaho is an online college in Idaho that offers a wide range in fields of study for students to earn their graduate’s degree. The fields all fall under engineering, education, science, or earth and environmental studies. Students may also attend online classes to earn one of several graduate certificate options.
|6||Northwest Nazarene University||$25,190||1,533||YES|
Northwest Nazarene University is a primarily religious college that provides several online degree programs for students, all of which focus on working within the ministry, with nonprofits, or in education. The college uses the ANGEL online course management system to facilitate the education process, and it is accredited by the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities.