2- & 4- Year Colleges

When you consider what college has to offer, you may think there is only one route to a degree (through a 4-year program at a university) but really, that’s just one option. Community colleges offer 2-year academic degrees and even shorter career training programs that might be a good fit for your career goals.

Community Colleges (2-Year)

Community colleges offer academic programs covering a wide variety of topic areas from art, English, and history to business administration, nursing, and para-legal subjects. Coursework in these academic areas most often leads to an associate degree. For some, taking lower-level language, math, and science courses at a community college can also satisfy some of the requirements for pursuing a degree at a 4-year college while saving on the cost. Oftentimes, community colleges have fewer requirements for admission and are less expensive than 4-year colleges.

Idaho’s Community Colleges

  • North Idaho College (Coeur d’Alene)
  • College of Western Idaho (Nampa)
  • College of Southern Idaho (Twin Falls)
  • College of Eastern Idaho (Idaho Falls)

Community colleges in Idaho also house Workforce Training Centers, which provide skills development for specific industries and careers. Many of these programs result in industry-recognized credentials that can make you more competitive for jobs.

4-Year Colleges

Four-year colleges and universities offer bachelor’s degrees (B.A. or B.S.), a more general course of study, and a wide range of subject options. A four-year degree can provide a lot of career flexibility and is a starting point for many careers in business, education, law, healthcare, technology, and more. These institutions also offer master’s and doctoral degrees for additional mastery of your chosen field.

Most public four-year colleges in Idaho require a minimum GPA and college entrance exam scores.

Idaho has four, four-year public colleges and universities located throughout the state.

Idaho’s Four-Year Public Colleges & Universities

  • University of Idaho (Moscow)
  • Lewis-Clark State College (Lewiston)
  • Boise State University (Boise)
  • Idaho State University (Pocatello)

College Options – in IDOC Facilities

There are opportunities for you to take some college courses while you are a resident of an IDOC facility. Independent Study in Idaho (ISI) was created by the State Board of Education to deliver college-level education courses remotely and the coursework (through the University of Idaho) can be accessed at any IDOC facility.

Please note: ISI and University of Idaho fees are paid by residents who choose to pursue this opportunity.

Paying for College

The cost of college varies greatly depending on what you plan to study, where you’ll be studying, and whether or not you will need housing and/or materials for your selected program. Financial aid and scholarships help many students pay for college and are available through a variety of sources. Once you’ve identified a college you’re interested in attending, the first step is to reach out to the school’s financial aid office to explore the opportunities and get answers to your questions. Chances are, the next step will be to fill out the FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid), which helps determine your eligibility for scholarships and financial aid.