Online Colleges in Idaho

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According to the Georgetown Center for Education and the Workforce, by 2020, 65% of jobs in Idaho will require some form of postsecondary education. Of those jobs, 22% will require at least a bachelor’s degree, and another 10% will require a master’s degree at minimum. A look at the 100 top jobs from the Idaho Department of Labor demonstrates the importance of postsecondary education, especially as it relates to industry growth rates and earning potential. To meet these educational needs, Idaho’s educational institutions have expanded their online programs for both in-state and out-of-state students. This guide will introduce you to those online programs and help you select the program that best meets your needs.

Idaho’s Top 10 Affordable Online Colleges

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Featured Online Programs

Find a program that meets your affordability, flexibility, and education needs through an accredited, online school.

Idaho’s Top Affordable Online Colleges

This list ranks accredited colleges according to affordability, student-to-teacher ratios, graduation rates, financial aid, and student support services. Each of these online schools in Idaho offers at least three online degrees. Consider how well each school accommodates your goals and preferences.

METHODOLOGY


  • Minimum Qualifications

    • Accredited public or private not-for-profit institution
    • At least 3 online associate degrees or certificate programs (2-year schools)
    • At least 3 online bachelor’s or master’s degrees (4-year schools)
    • Annual in-state tuition below $5,000 (2-year schools)
    • Annual in-state tuition below $25,000 (4-year schools)


  • Ranking Metrics

    Colleges receive a total score based on performance in the following categories:

    • Average in-state net price for first-time/full-time undergraduates
    • Count and breadth of online programs available
    • Student-teacher ratio
    • 6-year graduation rate (4-year schools only)
    • % of beginning, full-time undergrads receiving scholarship/grant aid from the college
    • Average $ of financial aid students receive directly from the college
    • Availability of academic/career counseling services
    • Availability of job placement services for students and graduates
    • 3-year loan default rate
    • AC Online Peer-Based Value (PBV)*

    *PBV is a proprietary metric that compares the cost of a program to the cost of other programs with the same (or a similar) qualitative score. It also compares the qualitative score of the program to the score of other programs with the same (or similar) cost. In short, the PBV calculation denotes the overall value – or ‘bang for your buck’ – of an online degree.


  • Data Sources

    Our Best Online Colleges in Arizona rankings are backed by data collected and analyzed from The Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System, a program managed by the National Center for Education Statistics. Surveying over 7,500 colleges annually, it is among the most longstanding and trusted providers of U.S. postsecondary information.


  1. Family of Faith Christian University
    Location

    Shawnee, OK

    Tuition

    $$$$$

    A Christian worldview underpins the educational philosophy at Family of Faith Christian University, and students who wish to combine Christian values with business skills may do so by pursuing the school's online Bachelor of Arts in Church Ministry with a business emphasis. The goal of the program is to teach students how to bring biblical philosophies and ethics to management and leadership positions, as well as how to apply general economic and legal principles to make appropriate business decisions for a company or organization. Students will complete 135 hours to graduate, including 42 credits in theology studies, 39 in general education requirements, and 48 in professional studies that include business-specific courses in areas such as economics, financial management and organizational behavior. The professional courses also include Christian-oriented classes in topics such as establishing churches, church administration, homiletics and preaching, evangelism, biblical counseling and an introduction to missions. Finally, students must complete a 6-hour service requirement. In some cases, students may apply credits earned through previous coursework (including high school AP classes), military service, work experience or other demonstrated competency; a fee may apply for transferred credits. The degree is structured to take the traditional 4 years, and upon graduation students should be prepared for careers in business management, particularly at Christian-oriented organizations. Many graduates go on to work in Christian ministries, but the skills can easily be translated to secular environments, as well. Family of Faith is accredited through the Commission on Accredidation of the Association for Biblical Higher Education.

  2. Manhattan Christian College
    Location

    Manhattan, KS

    Tuition

    $$$$$

    Manhattan Christian College focuses on putting religious values at the core of all their degrees. Students who wish to combine a faith-based approach with real-world business skills can enroll in the Bachelor of Science in Management and Ethics degree program. Offered entirely online, this degree completion program was created with non-working transfer students in mind. While the focus of the degree is on management and ethics, students will still be required to complete some courses related to theology and Christianity. To be eligible for the online program, transfer students need to bring in a minimum of 40 credits. Once they are accepted, students can begin during any of 5 terms scheduled throughout the year - 2 during the fall semester, 2 during the spring, and 1 in the summer. Each term lasts 8 weeks, and students may take up to 2 courses during each term. They should expect to devote 12-15 hours per class each week. Graduates need to complete a total of 120 credit hours; of those, 42 are in general education, 18 in Bible and ethics courses, 30 in management courses, and 30 in electives. There is also a service credit. Bible and theology classes cover topics such as the Old and New Testaments, Christian doctrine and Christian ethics. Management classes cover economics, accounting, finance, marketing, international business and organizational behavior. There is also a capstone course in business strategies. Manhattan Christian is accredited by both the Higher Learning Commission and the Association for Biblical Higher Education.

  3. Mount Vernon Nazarene University
    Location

    Mount Vernon, OH

    Tuition

    $$$$$

    The Ohio-based Mount Vernon Nazarene University combines practical professional studies with a religious philosophy, teaching students how to incorporate ethics into their business dealings and decisions. Its online Bachelor of Business Administration is a completion degree aimed at working adults who are seeking to advance their existing careers. The degree can be earned by itself through a core curriculum of 40 credits, or combined with another major in finance, marketing, human resource management or general management, each of which requires an additional 15 credits. The basic curriculum teaches students such things as principles of economics, accounting, finance, management and leadership strategies, computer information systems, research methods and business ethics and law. Each of the 4 optional majors encompasses its own specialized coursework; for the general management focus, students can expect to learn about project and operations management, organizational communication, business law and creating new ventures. While Christianity is the foundation of MVNU's culture and philosophy, students aren't required to study theology while earning their degree. To be eligible for admission, students must have finished 56 credits at an accredited school with a minimum grade of C-, and an overall GPA of at least 2.0. (Those who do not meet the grade requirement may apply for probationary status.) Graduates should be prepared to either further their business education with an MBA, or to directly enter the workforce; MVNU alum have gone on to jobs with large corporations, small, independent businesses, ministry organizations and government entities. Others choose an entrepreneurial path.

  4. California State University-Fullerton
    Location

    Fullerton, CA

    Tuition

    $$$$$

    An online Bachelor of Arts in Business Administration degree is offered through the California State University, Fullerton. This program is geared toward working students who have some education and want to finish their degrees, as well as those with a non-business bachelor's degree who want to earn a second undergraduate degree. As a degree completion program, students are required to have at least 63 transferable credits (from 1 or more accredited institutions) before being accepted into the program; such credits may be from an associate degree earned from a California community college, or from another combination of CSU-approved general education and lower-division business courses. Students will need to demonstrate a minimum 2.0 GPA in transferred coursework. The degree's Professional Business concentration takes a holistic approach to business, rather than offering more narrow specializations. Subject areas covered include accounting, finance, marketing, management, urban planning, human resources, the global economy, organizational behavior, economic research and business and research modeling. Upon graduation, students should be prepared for jobs in a variety of environments, from international business to government. A total of 120 credits is required to graduate; students attend for 3 years on a part-time basis over the entire year, taking 2 courses during each of the fall, spring and summer semesters. Courses are offered in an 8-week format so that classes are taken successively, not concurrently. An accelerated option is available for students who qualify. The program is offered using a cohort model, so that students progress with their peer group, and is accredited by the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB).

  5. Independence University
    Location

    Salt Lake City, UT

    Tuition

    $$$$$

    In existence for more than 100 years, Independence University began offering distance education programs in the 1970s and has since transitioned into a fully online university that emphasizes career-focused education. The Bachelor of Science in Business Administration degree is designed to help students enter the workforce quickly, taking on management responsibilities in entry- or mid-level positions, such as general office managers; managers of sales, accounts, operations or marketing; human resources assistants; or small business developers. Working students can expect a flexible schedule to accommodate their existing jobs, and should gain broad-based knowledge that will help them to advance in their current field. Courses emphasize practical skills in accounting, finance, investments, human resources and marketing and advertising, as well as give students a foundation in general business principles that can be applied to future entrepreneurial endeavors. The degree has many different start dates throughout the year, letting students begin their education whenever they're ready, and the accelerated format is designed to be completed in just 3 years, since elective courses are not part of the curriculum (although general education courses are). Transfer students may bring in credit from previous coursework to complete the program in even less time. The total credit hours required are 182; however, many courses count for 4 credits each instead of the typical 3. IU also has relationships with several businesses and organizations - large and small - that help shape the curriculum, offer opportunities for students to connect, and possibly lead to future employment. Accreditation at Independence is through the Accrediting Commission of Career Schools and Colleges (ACCSC).

  6. University of Oklahoma-Norman Campus
    Location

    Norman, OK

    Tuition

    $$$$$

    Through the University of Oklahoma's Extended Campus option, students can earn a Bachelor of Arts in Administrative Leadership completely online. The human side of management is emphasized in the curriculum, which includes courses in areas such as business ethics, leadership principles, setting and achieving goals, resolving disputes, strategic planning, decision making, and cultural diversity. There are also classes in marketing, finance, technology and addressing environmental concerns in the business world. All students are assigned an adviser who will help them develop an individualized program track to meet their future career goals, whether that be in the corporate world, nonprofit management, or government services. Students may also tailor their courses to serve as the foundation for a graduate degree. The overall program is structured with courses offered in an intensive, accelerated format. All classes last for 8 weeks (half a semester), and most students enroll in 4 courses each semester, 2 in the first half and 2 in the second, for a total of 12 credits. There is also a single 8-week session over the summer. A total of 120 credits is needed to graduate, with at least 30 of those being earned from OU's Extended Campus. Credit from previously completed coursework from other schools (as well as military training) can be transferred in some cases to reduce the overall time needed to complete the degree; most students finish in 2 to 3 years. Courses are delivered asynchronously through the Canvas platform. The University of Oklahoma, including its online programs, is fully accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.

  7. The University of Alabama
    Location

    Tuscaloosa, AL

    Tuition

    $$$$$

    Preparing students for all aspects of careers in business is the goal of the University of Alabama's Bachelor of Science in Commerce and Business Administration program. Offered fully online through the university's Culverhouse School of Business on the Tuscaloosa campus, the program is designed to accommodate working students, allowing them to stay in their current jobs while pursuing a degree on their own schedule. Students can apply to the program whenever they're ready, at any point in the year, and can access course material around the clock. Coursework takes a broad-based approach so that students gain a thorough understanding of business fundamentals that will translate into a number of roles after graduation. Students take classes in subjects such as economics, accounting, data analysis, the legal environment of business, communications and marketing. The management option in the degree includes courses in specifics such as fraud risk, leadership and ethics, and world business. The wide-ranging curriculum produces students who end up in jobs as varied as product management and the hotel industry. The degree requires 120 credits, 61 of which are in general education and lower-division classes, which must be completed before moving into upper-level classes. Admission requirements vary depending on when students graduated from high school, but they must hold a minimum GPA and submit standardized test scores; students with 24 credits or more of college coursework are considered transfer students and must have a 2.0 overall GPA in their previous studies. Tuition is set at a flat rate for both in-state and out-of-state students, and the program is accredited by the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB).

  8. University of Alabama at Birmingham
    Location

    Birmingham, AL

    Tuition

    $$$$$

    Students at the University of Alabama-Birmingham can complete an online bachelor's degree in management from the Collat School of Business in a variety of ways. Courses are offered both entirely online through the Canvas platform, as well as through a hybrid format of Online; On-campus classes, letting students mix and match to best suit their preferences and schedules. Also, students are welcome to develop their own, individualized Online; Hybrid program, building a curriculum that combines existing classes and programs offered at UAB, as well as taking advantage of any transfer credits they may bring in. UAB's bachelor's degree in management is structured to give students a broad understanding of management fundamentals, so that they can transfer their skills into multiple businesses or industries upon graduating. Students will examine such things as theories of management, leadership strategies, organizational dynamics, communication, and employment law, gaining knowledge that can be adapted to multiple positions. Professional networking is also integral to the program, and after graduation, students go on to work in areas such as operations, purchasing, human resources and consulting. Students may also add a concentration in general management. The overall trajectory of study is similar to the regular degree, but it places more emphasis on courses with a wider scope, such as international business dynamics, and may appeal to students who are still deciding about their future career path. To enroll in the program, students must hold a 2.25 minimum GPA and are required to submit standardized test scores.

  9. Brigham Young University-Idaho
    Location

    Rexburg, ID

    Tuition

    $$$$$

    Brigham Young University-Idaho is tailored specifically toward nontraditional students, and is one of the country's largest online schools with more than 15,000 students working toward a degree. BYUI has adopted other nontraditional elements, such as an annual academic schedule that includes 3 semesters (14 weeks each) and a 7-week online summer session. Most students choose to enroll for 2 of the 3 semesters, but they can take courses throughout the full year if they want to accelerate their education or spread it out more evenly to accommodate work or family responsibilities. BYUI's online bachelor's degree in business management can be specialized to fit specific student needs, with 5 different emphases available: entrepreneurship, general marketing, social media marketing, supply chain management and finance. Each concentration is meant to teach the skills necessary in the modern workplace, in positions that are showing signs of growth, so that students will find it easier to get a job after graduation. Students complete 120 credits no matter which concentration they choose. Students that are interested in learning beyond their bachelor's degree can take advantage of BYUI's stackable program, which allows them to earn a certificate, associate degree and bachelor's degree at the same time, all while still staying on track to finish their degree requirements in 4 years. To be eligible for their online program, students are required to have earned 15 credits on-campus first, or to complete the PathwayConnect program with a 3.0 GPA.

  10. Minot State University
    Location

    Minot, ND

    Tuition

    $$$$$

    Minot State University has been offering online education for nearly 20 years in an effort to provide convenience and flexibility to students located in the state's remote areas as well as those out of state. Many of the school's online students are current workers who are looking to change careers or move up the ladder at their existing jobs, and Minot's Bachelor of Science with a major in management is an entirely online program designed to teach students the broad-based skills necessary to be effective managers in today's diverse workplaces. Students are expected to develop competency in leadership, communication, organization and problem-solving. Specific coursework also exposes them to financial principles in economics and accounting, as well as subjects such as marketing, legal issues, human resources, entrepreneurship, international business, organizational behavior and business strategy. Students will also have the opportunity to take part in internships (part time, full time, or project based) to gain real-world experience. Some internships may be paid, and some lead to job offers. Students are allowed to seek out their own internships (which must be approved by the department), but Minot State also endeavors to connect students with appropriate opportunities originating with individual employers. Students must have a minimum 2.75 GPA to be admitted to the program, and to earn their degree, they must earn a total of 120 credits, the majority of which are specific to the degree. This can typically be completed in 4 years. Transfer students can bring in some credits, but should expect to complete much of their upper-division coursework through Minot State.

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Explore Online Degree Programs in Idaho

2-Year Best College Rankings

Why Choose Idaho for Online Higher Education?

The Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System ( IPEDS) reports that Idaho colleges and universities enrolled 29,758 undergraduate students exclusively in their 22 online programs in 2016. Another 2,549 graduate students enrolled in some of these online programs. These figures include 5,077 international students. The accessibility and affordability of Idaho’s online programs expand educational opportunities to groups like single parents, professionals with full-time jobs, and underserved populations.

  • Number of Programs Offered Completely Online in Idaho 22
  • Undergraduate Students Enrolled Exclusively Online in Idaho 29,578
  • Graduate Students Enrolled Exclusively Online in Idaho 2,549
  • Total International Students Enrolled Exclusively Online in Idaho 5,077

Source: National Center for Education Statistics

Cost of Attending an Online College in Idaho

Like most states, Idaho’s public colleges and universities tend to charge higher tuition rates for out-of-state students. Idaho’s four-year public colleges charge an average of $7,005 annually for in-state tuition versus $21,370 for out-of-state tuition, according to the National Center for Education Statistics. However, private universities rarely follow this practice. Some public universities charge the same tuition price for online students, regardless of residency. Of Idaho’s public colleges and universities, Boise State University currently charges the same tuition fee to all online students. Out-of-state students enrolling in one of Idaho’s other public universities can reduce their tuition burden if they live in one of the 16 states that participate in the Western Undergraduate Exchange or the Western Regional Graduate Program.

Idaho’s public four year institutions charge about 80% of the national average for in-state tuition, and about 85% for out-of-state students. However, Idaho’s average tuition rates at public two-year colleges are parallel with the national average tuition rates for all students.

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Explore Online Degree Programs in Idaho

The following institutions boast the highest online enrollments in Idaho within their respective categories. The list specifies tuition costs for both on-campus and online students.

  • Public, 4-Year University:Boise State University, Both in-state and out-of-state online students pay the same tuition of $350 per credit as on-campus students, with slight variation for different programs.
  • Private, 4-Year University:Brigham Young University-Idaho, In-state and out-of-state online LDS students pay the same on-campus tuition of $172 per credit. Non-LDS students pay $344 per credit.
  • 2-Year College:College of Western Idaho, Online students pay the same tuition of $139 per credit as on-campus in-district students. Out-of-district students pay an additional $50 per credit, while out-of-state students pay $306 per credit.

LEARN MORE ABOUT HOW YOUR FAFSA WORKS IN IDAHO

Considering an Idaho School as an Out-of-State Student

According to the National Center for Education Statistics, 19,323 out-of-state undergraduate students studied exclusively online in Idaho. Another 1,118 out-of-state graduate students did the same. Idaho is part of the State Authorization Reciprocity Agreement (SARA) through the Western Interstate Commission on Higher Education (WICHE), which makes it easier for out-of-state students to earn their degrees through Idaho institutions.

Out-of-State Undergraduate Students Studying Exclusively Online in Idaho19,323

Out-of-State Graduate Students Studying Exclusively Online in Idaho1,118

Tuition Discounts:

Because of Idaho’s participation in the State Authorization Reciprocity Agreement, out-of-state undergraduate and graduate students benefit from tuition reductions at some Idaho colleges and universities. Students seeking bachelor’s degrees can find more information about these discounts through the Western Undergraduate Exchange. Similarly, graduate students can learn more about these discounts through the Western Regional Graduate Program. These discounts apply to those living in one of the 16 states that participate in the agreement. You will need to arrange for this through the registrar during the enrollment process. This option does not apply to online colleges in Idaho that do not charge higher tuition rates for out-of-state students.

State Authorizations For Online Learning:

Idaho’s participation in SARA allows out-of-state students attending online universities in Idaho to benefit from tuition reduction programs. Students from one of the 16 SARA states should inquire about potential savings when applying to any of Idaho’s 10 participating colleges and universities. Beyond offering tuition discounts, all institutions participating in SARA must agree to a comprehensive set of guidelines promoting and protecting the integrity of online learning and its management

Check with an admissions or financial officer.

Tuition rates are ultimately program- and institution-based. Ask someone from a prospective program about what rates apply to you specifically as a potential member of a specific program.

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Explore Online Degree Programs in Idaho

One-Stop College Research Resources for Idaho’s Online Schools

In addition to the rankings provided above, prospective students can find answers to frequently asked questions below. Review the linked resources for more detailed information.

Q: Do Online Credits Cost More or Less in Idaho?

Tuition varies by institution. However, among Idaho’s three public universities, the University of Idaho and Boise State University charge the same tuition for online students as they do for on-campus students. Idaho’s public two-year colleges charge extra for those students who live outside their district. Out-of-state students pay even more.

Among Idaho’s private colleges, Brigham Young University-Idaho and Northwest Nazarene University serve the most online students and do not charge online students more. Brigham Young University-Idaho charges higher tuition to non-LDS students, but makes no distinction between online and on-campus tuition. These tendencies reflect the trend to make online programs in Idaho more affordable and accessible.

Q: Which Idaho Schools Accept the Most Transfer Credits?

The Idaho State Board of Education encourages the transfer of credits to Idaho online colleges from any college or university accredited with the United States Department of Education or the Council for Higher Education Accreditation. The Idaho State Board of Education operates a CourseTransfer website, with information for those considering transferring credits to an Idaho college. The website allows you to select the online college in Idaho that interests you and enter information on the elective course or courses you would like to transfer. The tool gives you an idea of how many credits you can transfer. You’ll also learn how many general education courses you can transfer in each category. Finally, the CourseTransfer tool addresses the topics of dual credit courses, AP exams and International Baccalaureate exams.

Q: Will Any Online Colleges in Idaho Accept a GED?

Nationally, not all employers or college admissions officers welcome the General Education Development, or General Education Diploma (GED) with open arms. However, all online colleges in Idaho accept passing GED scores in lieu of a high school diploma. Despite that widespread acceptance, the University of Idaho specifies all GED scores will undergo special consideration by an admissions review committee. The committee reviews GED scores along with any high school work completed and either ACT or SAT scores. While the University of Idaho explicitly describes this GED review, all colleges review applicants in light of their completed application package and references. In the final analysis, a GED alone will not compromise an applicant’s chances for admission in Idaho.

Q: How Many Academic Terms per Year Do Online Colleges in Idaho Offer?

Currently, none of the online schools in Idaho offer classes or terms that begin every week or every month. Most colleges offer their online courses in terms that parallel the schedule for on-campus programs. Some of the schools structure their online programs according to a cohort model so students move through the program together. While that approach enhances networking opportunities among students and staff, it does not accommodate frequent start schedules. However, both Boise State University and Northwest Nazarene University offer some courses and programs with accelerated schedules; students move through these courses in eight-week terms, which have frequent start dates.

Q: Which Online Colleges Will Accept the FAFSA in Idaho?

All online colleges in Idaho accept the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). The FAFSA provides college financial aid offices with the information they need to process need-based financial aid requests. Many other scholarship sources request FAFSA information for merit-based aid. To make your Idaho online college experience as affordable as possible, you should complete your FAFSA early, usually as close to October 1 of the year prior to enrollment. You can submit the requisite tax information to FAFSA once it becomes available.

Q: Are There Any Free Online Classes I Can Take from Idaho Colleges?

Although no online colleges in Idaho offer free online courses for credit toward a degree, the human resources department at Brigham Young University-Idaho does list free educational resources that include free online courses. However, the free resources come from organizations outside Idaho. According to The Movement Backing Tuition-Free Community College by the Idaho State Board of Education, Idaho’s two-year colleges may eventually offer free online courses.

Q: How Can I Find the Online Program Options at Idaho Colleges?

Given the small number of colleges and universities in Idaho, both public and private, no independent state-approved clearinghouse lists the online program options in Idaho. In lieu of such a tool, the ranked list on this site will help you select the best college. Review the program options on a school-by-school basis. The evaluations can save you time in selecting the college that best meets your needs.

Idaho Scholarships and Grants

Attending even the most affordable college still stretches the budget beyond what most students can afford. The United States Department of Education offers the Pell Grant to undergraduate students with considerable financial need. Other sources of funding include loans and scholarships. Here are a few scholarships to help you start your search.

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Explore Online Degree Programs in Idaho

Idaho Governor’s Cup ScholarshipThe Idaho State Board of Education sponsors this merit-based scholarship to reward students who demonstrate a commitment to community service. Successful applicants may renew the scholarship for up to four years.

Scholarship Amount:$3,000 per year

Idaho Opportunity ScholarshipFocusing on need-based financial aid, the Idaho State Board of Education offers this scholarship option. Applicants must hold a 2.7 GPA or higher and demonstrate financial need. Successful applicants may apply for renewal for up to four years.

Scholarship Amount:$3,500 per year

Idaho Opportunity Scholarship for Adult LearnersThe Idaho State Board of Education created this need-based award to enable adult learners to pursue their college degrees. Applicants must have at least a 2.7 GPA and have been out of school for at least two years after high school. The scholarship can be renewed for up to four years.

Scholarship Amount:$3,500 per year

GEAR UP Idaho Scholarship 2High school graduates from one the 27 GEAR UP school districts may apply for this scholarship sponsored by the Idaho State Board of Education. Successful applicants can renew the scholarship for a total of four years.

Scholarship Amount:varies

Armed Forces/Public Safety Officer Dependent ScholarshipThis tuition waiver scholarship from the Idaho State Board of Education benefits dependents of fallen or permanently disabled members of the armed forces or public safety officers. The scholarship covers a maximum of 36 months.

Scholarship Amount:tuition and up to $500 per semester for books

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