Plenty of people in Idaho are learning hard while they work. Others learn hard and then work hard. Neither is better than the other, it just depends on how people want to live, work, and pay in the Gem State.

How Does Idaho Measure Up Against Other States in Enrollment Stats?

So many things can happen in 20 years. Two decades is five terms of the United States Presidency, five Olympic summer or winter games, ten cycles of bourbon to age, two census assessments, three senate terms of office, Jupiter goes around the sun almost twice, music becomes ‘classic’, and Idaho has a 75% increase in college enrollment. From 2002 to 2021, enrollment was surpassed only by Arizona and West Virginia.

College is a fantastic learning experience, but that degree can come at a high price. That price is another reason Idaho is awesome. The Gem State managed to keep the cost of higher learning low, ranking 3rd in the lowest rise in room and board, fees, and tuition. But is that number misleading?

Is a College Degree Better for Every Person and Position in Idaho?

The 3rd lowest rise still amounts to 49.4% in 20 years. Has inflation expanded that far in 20 years, or have institutions of learning just managed to raise their bar? The price to attend an Idaho public college or university still increased by 130%. If Idaho has been grossly undervalued and is just trying to catch up, then it’s no wonder the debt to attend college is growing exponentially.

The student loan debt in Idaho is lower than the national average by a whopping 1%. Finishing college with $43,000 in the red is daunting. Are those degrees worth the cost? In some instances, absolutely. Medical fields and engineering require a substantial amount of additional learning. Perhaps not all entry-level openings should require a degree.

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There are some instances that college may not be required to learn what is necessary to perform certain jobs. Employers may soon realize that a college degree is costing them employable applicants and requiring higher wages. If a degree is to be required at entry level, be prepared to pay for it.

Trades usually involve some training classes for students and paid internships for employers. That may be the middle ground in this scenario. New employees can get the basics in college and attain mastery during employment to avoid overwhelming student debt.

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