3 Best Colleges in Idaho – 2024

May 15, 2024

best colleges in idaho

If you’ve never been to Idaho, you’ve probably at least heard of their famous potatoes. If you’re from Idaho, you’re probably thinking, “You couldn’t write one line of this article without mentioning the damn potatoes!” If you are a potato, you are not sentient and are therefore unlikely to be reading this blog. Okay, now that we’ve addressed each potential groups of readers, let’s get into the core of what we came here to talk about–the meat and potaaaa…I mean, the college part. The following list of the 3 best colleges in Idaho is meant to give you a sense of the high-quality higher education options in the state. The data in each profile card is intended to give you a better sense of the academic offerings and outcomes at each institution.


Click here to read our methodology for the Best Colleges in Idaho. As you’ll see, some schools with spectacular (and deserved) reputations simply do not happen to fare well on metrics such as student-to-faculty ratio or spending per student. We understand that a list based solely on prestige/general reputation would look different than what you will find below.

Best Colleges in Idaho

Here’s a quick preview of the 3 Idaho-based institutions that made our list. Detailed profiles and stats can be found when you scroll below.

1) University of Idaho

2) Boise State University

3) College of Idaho

All of the schools profiled below have a history of sending graduates to the most desirable employers and graduate schools in the country. College Transitions will provide you with—when available—each school’s:

  • Enrollment
  • Cost of Attendance
  • Acceptance Rate
  • Median SAT
  • Median ACT
  • Retention Rate
  • Graduation Rate

We will also include a longer write-up of each college’s:

  • Academic Highlights – Includes facts like student-to-faculty ratio, average class size, number of majors offered, and most popular majors.
  • Professional Outcomes – Includes info on the rate of positive outcomes, companies employing alumni, and graduate school acceptances.
#1 Best College in Idaho
University of Idaho

University of Idaho

  • Moscow, ID

Academic Highlights: The University of Idaho offers more than 200 programs for undergraduate and graduate students and sports a 17:1 student-to-faculty ratio. Overall, roughly two-thirds of its undergraduate course sections enroll 19 or fewer students. Business and marketing is the most popular major, attracting 16% of students. This is followed by engineering (10%), the social sciences (9%), psychology (8%), agriculture (7%), biology (6%), and education (6%).

Professional Outcomes: Graduates of this university find employment or their next educational step within six months at an 86% clip. Impressively, 91% state that they are satisfied with their post-graduation occupation. Just over half continue to live in Idaho after graduation and the average salary earned is $48,000. Major employers of alumni include KPMG, Micron, Bliss Architecture, METER Group, 360 Immersive, Lamb Weston, and Fortis Construction.

  • Enrollment: 8,809
  • Cost of Attendance: $22,952 (In-State); $42,188 (Out-of-State)
  • Median SAT: 1120
  • Median ACT: 24
  • Acceptance Rate: 74%
  • Retention Rate: 74%
  • Graduation Rate: 61%

#2 Best College in Idaho
Boise State University

Boise State University

  • Boise, ID

Academic Highlights: There are more than 200 areas of study available to students at Boise State and the student-to-faculty ratio is 20:1. As such, classes vary in size: 38% of sections enroll fewer than 20 students and 10% enroll more than 50 individuals. 26% of the degrees conferred in 2022 were in health professions and related programs. The next most common majors at Boise State are business (19%), interdisciplinary studies (7%), and biology (6%).

Professional Outcomes: Six months after graduating, alumni find their next destination at an 81% clip. Of those grads, 67% were working in Idaho and 89% stated that their current job was related to their career goals. Some of the companies employing a significant number of Boise State alumni include Micron Technology, St. Luke’s Health System, HP, Clearwater Analytics, Amazon, Microsoft, Kount, and Engineered Structure, Inc.

  • Enrollment: 22,962
  • Cost of Attendance: $25,392 (In-State); $43,586 (Out-of-State)
  • Median SAT: 1070
  • Median ACT: 23
  • Acceptance Rate: 84%
  • Retention Rate: 79%
  • Graduation Rate: 59%

#3 Best College in Idaho
The College of Idaho

The College of Idaho

  • Caldwell, Idaho

Academic Highlights: The College of Idaho utilizes the PEAK curriculum, a unique approach to liberal arts education where students choose one major and three minors. Students can choose from 25 majors and 38 minors. Popular majors include business administration and management (21%), biomedical sciences (14%), psychology (12%), exercise science and kinesiology (8%), and digital marketing (7%). With a 10:1 student-to-faculty ratio, students will enjoy small classes and individualized attention.

Program Outcomes: The College of Idaho graduates work in many industries, with education, operations, community & social services, administration, and research comprising the top five. Graduates tend to settle in Idaho, concentrating in the Boise Metropolitan area. Top employers include The College of Idaho, The Davis UWC Scholars Program, Boise State University, Dutch Bros Coffee, and Saint Alphonsus.

  • Enrollment: 1,052
  • Cost of Attendance: $51,365
  • Median SAT: 1160
  • Median ACT: 26
  • Acceptance Rate: 46%
  • Retention Rate: 76%
  • Graduation Rate: 60%

We hope you have found our list of the Best Colleges in Idaho to be useful and informative as you continue your college search process. We also invite you to check out some of our other resources and tools including: