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Idaho Scholarships and Financial Aid

Grants, Student Loans, & Fellowships

Idaho has three state universities, five state colleges, six private colleges, and four private universities. Whether you choose to attend Boise State University in the state’s capital and largest metropolitan area, Idaho State University in the hills of the Rocky Mountains, or the University of Idaho near the rivers and lakes in northern Idaho, you can find the funds to take you where you want to go. Idaho students may have the choice of grants, scholarships, and loans to help them pursue post-secondary degrees.

Four of the Best Places to Find Idaho Scholarships and Financial Aid

  • Federal government
  • Idaho state government
  • Individual Idaho universities and colleges
  • Idaho residents, organizations, and corporations

Federal Financial Aid for Idaho Students

Students pursuing a post-secondary degree in Idaho may be eligible for federal financial aid. Federal financial aid is based on need. To see if you qualify, submit a Free Application for Federal Student Aid. The deadline for FAFSA applications is usually June 30 the year you are using the aid. Although FAFSA applications are open until late in the school year, students are encouraged to apply as early as possible because federal financial aid is offered on a first-come, first-served basis. The FAFSA application opens January 1 the year prior. Idaho does not have a state deadline for the FAFSA, so make sure you find out your university or college’s FAFSA deadline.

Idaho financial aid packages include federal grants, which do not have to pay back, and federal loans, which do have to be paid back. Loans are offered to supplement costs that are not covered by grants. Because government loans have low interest rates, students are recommended to borrow from the government first before looking into private loans. Even if you do not receive a financial aid package, you may still qualify for a loan from a private lender.

To learn more about federal grants and student loans, see the Guide to Federal Grants and Guide to Student Loans.

Idaho Financial Aid for Students

The state of Idaho offers financial assistance programs to students in the form of scholarships. Here’s a list of them:

Idaho Opportunity Scholarship
This scholarship is available to Idaho residents pursuing a post-secondary degree. Qualified students must submit their FAFSA by March 1, the prior year, to be considered.

Governor’s Cup Scholarship
This $3,000 scholarship is available to high school seniors who are planning to attend an Idaho university or college. The scholarship is renewable up to four years depending on what the student is studying. Eligible students must show proof of public service. The deadline is usually in January. Check the website for current application.

Robert R. Lee Promise Category A Scholarship
This $3,000 scholarship is available to Idaho high school seniors who are pursuing post-secondary degrees. The scholarship is renewable up to four years depending on the program of study. See the website for specific requirements and current application. The deadline is usually in January.

Robert C. Byrd Scholarship
This federally funded scholarship offers up to $1,500 to students who excel in academics. The deadline is usually in January. Click here for more information.

Freedom Scholarship
This scholarship is offered to children of Idaho citizens who were missing in action, prisoners of war, or injured or killed in Southeast Asia, including Korea. The scholarship covers tuition and on-campus board and offers $500 a semester for books. For more information on this scholarship, call the Idaho State Board of Education at 208-332-1574.

Idaho University and College Scholarships

Idaho financial aid programs also include scholarships from individual universities and colleges. Idaho university and college scholarships may be offered based on academic achievement, major, leadership/community involvement, special ability, and a combination of these things. An example is the Childs Family Medical Center Scholarship offered by the College of Agricultural & Life Sciences of the University of Idaho to students who are studying biology or microbiology. Another example is the Roy and Leona Nelson Foundation Scholarship offered by North Idaho College to students from Eastern Washington or Northern Idaho.

Application procedures for scholarships may be different depending on the university or college. Some merit scholarships are offered through a university or college’s admissions office, like at the College of Idaho. This means that all you have to do is submit your application for admission on time and you will be considered along with other students. Scholarships based on other criteria may require you to request an application or fill out an application online. For example, at North Idaho College students are required to submit the NIC Scholarship Application. Most department-supported or major-specific scholarships are offered through departments and usually require you to submit an application to their office. The Fine Arts Department at the College of Southern Idaho, for example, requests a Fine Arts Application for its scholarships. Check with your financial aid/scholarship office to learn more about these scholarships and their application procedures.

Outside scholarships for Idaho Students

If you still need money, one of the last places to look for scholarships may be your local community. Many organizations and individuals in the state of Idaho offer scholarships to students. Here’s a list of a just a few Idaho scholarships available to students:

Betty Schmidt Memorial Scholarship
Idaho’s Association of Public Accountants (IAPA) offers $1,000 scholarships in honor of former IAPA president Betty Schmidt. Download an application here or call 1-888-866-2160 to request an application.

American Fisheries Society Scholarship
The Idaho Chapter of the American Fisheries Society offers several grants to Idaho students. Please refer to the website for individual requirements and applications.

Idaho Medical Association Scholarships
Scholarships from the Idaho Medical Association are available to Idaho residents attending medical school anywhere in the U.S. Download an application here. Applications are accepted from August 31 to October 31.

Idaho State Broadcasters Association (ISBA) Scholarship
Two ISBA scholarships of $1,000 each are available to students attending Idaho colleges and universities. Students must be majoring in a field related to broadcasting. Please refer to the website for an application.

Idaho Saber Foundation Scholarship
The Saber Foundation is committed to developing leadership and higher education prospects for Hispanic/Latino students. This full scholarship offers an award of $5,000 a year to an Idaho student of Hispanic/Latino heritage. Students must be enrolled at an accredited Idaho university or college and must show experience with leadership and community service.

Idaho Community Foundation
Many scholarships are offered by the Idaho Community Foundation. Click here to see a list. Please refer to the website for individual applications and requirements.

Three Things to Remember About Idaho Scholarships and Financial Aid

  • The state of Idaho does not have a state FAFSA deadline, but your individual university or college may have a priority deadline. Talk to financial aid officers at your school to make sure you meet the priority deadline.
  • Many of Idaho’s state scholarships are due in January the year before you need them. Because each scholarship has detailed requirements, make sure you read them carefully before applying for them.
  • Although outside scholarships are a great source of financial aid, be aware that some scholarships may have many applicants. Look locally first before pursuing competitive state-wide or nation-wide scholarships.

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