Potatoes are a very versatile type of food. In fact, you’re probably a huge fan of a food that’s potato-based. But did you know, the leader of potato production in the United States is Idaho? In fact, in 2021 alone, Idaho produced approximately 129 million CWT of potatoes (1).

Now that you know for certain there are a lot of potatoes in Idaho, you’ll be thrilled to hear the 43rd state is also home to multiple helpful college financial aid programs. These programs are administered by the Idaho State Board of Education and include the Idaho Opportunity Scholarship, the Idaho Postsecondary Credit Scholarship, the Idaho Governor’s Cup Scholarship and the Tschudy Family Scholarship.

Idaho Opportunity Scholarship

The Idaho Opportunity Scholarship was created by a former governor and the Idaho legislature to help Idaho students afford a college education and, therefore, be able to enter the workforce after graduation (2).

To be eligible for the Idaho Opportunity Scholarship, you must:

  • Be an Idaho resident
  • Either be graduating from or have graduated from an Idaho high school
  • Earn an unweighted, cumulative 2.70 GPA or higher
  • Complete the initial Idaho Opportunity Scholarship application by March 1
  • Complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) by March 1
  • Maintain yearly satisfactory academic progress in college
  • Attend one of these eligible Idaho postsecondary institutions:
    • Boise State University in Boise (public, four-year university)
    • Brigham Young University in Rexburg (private, four-year university)
    • College of Idaho in Caldwell (private, four-year college)
    • College of Southern Idaho in Twin Falls (public, four-year college)
    • College of Western Idaho with main campuses in Boise and Nampa (public, two-year community college)
    • College of Eastern Idaho in Idaho Falls (public, two-year community college)
    • Idaho State University in Pocatello (public, four-year university)
    • Lewis-Clark State University in Lewiston (public, four-year university)
    • North Idaho College in Coeur d’Alene (public, two-year community college)
    • Northwest Nazarene University in Nampa (private, four-year university)
    • University of Idaho in Moscow (public, four-year university)
    • Western Governors University (nonprofit, online university which Idaho students are now eligible to use Idaho financial aid to help pay for online class as of June 2021 [3])

Applications for this scholarship open annually on October 1. The award is renewable for up to four academic years and you could receive up to $3,500 per academic year to put towards your college education.

Idaho Opportunity Scholarship for Adult Learners

The Idaho Opportunity Scholarship for Adult Learners is a similar scholarship to the other Idaho Opportunity Scholarship, though it has a few different criteria you must meet to be eligible for it (4). The majority of the eligibility criteria is the same except you must:

  • Earn an unweighted, cumulative 2.50 GPA or higher
  • Be working on earning your first undergraduate/bachelor’s degree or certificate
  • Have previously earned at least 24 credit hours before you stopped being enrolled in a postsecondary education program
  • Not currently be enrolled in a postsecondary program, though you must have plans to enroll in the next eligible term
  • Not have completed more than two college courses in the past 24 months
  • Be set to attend one of the above eligible Idaho postsecondary institutions on at least a part-time basis

The applications for the Idaho Opportunity Scholarship for Adult Learners have varying deadlines based on which semester you’re applying for, but applications for the Fall 2022 semester must be submitted by July 1, 2022. The award amount is the same as the original Idaho Opportunity Scholarship.

Idaho Postsecondary Credit Scholarship

The Idaho Postsecondary Credit Scholarship is geared towards students who have already begun to earn college credit during their time in high school (5).

To be eligible for the program, you must:

  • Be attending, be graduating from, or have graduated from an accredited, eligible Idaho high school (starting with the class of 2016)
  • Have earned 10 or more postsecondary semester credits or your associate degree at the time of your high school graduation
  • Obtain a matching, academic scholarship from a business or a specific field you’re studying/going into such as:
    • Nursing, teaching, engineering and so on
    • A group such as a specific location’s Chamber of Commerce
      • Matching scholarships cannot be funded by an Idaho college and they must be for the current academic year
    • Be set to attend an eligible Idaho postsecondary institution

The Idaho Postsecondary Credit Scholarship has no designated award amount as the scholarship will match what the matching academic scholarship is, though you must submit a renewal application annually.

Idaho Governor’s Cup Scholarship

The Idaho Governor’s Cup Scholarship has been around for almost 50 years and was set up by a former Idaho governor to help Idaho students pursue a higher education in the state (6). Originally, the former governor set up a small golf tournament to help raise funds for the scholarship back in 1974 (7). Since then, the event has blossomed into hosting approximately 600 people that participate in various sports, in addition to golf, to help raise money for the scholarship fund.

To be eligible for the Governor’s Cup Scholarship, you must:

  • Be an Idaho resident
  • Be a graduating high school senior from an eligible Idaho high school or be a first-year student in a career or technical education (CTE) program
  • Enroll as a full-time student in either a traditional academic program or a CTE program at an eligible Idaho postsecondary institution
  • Earn a cumulative 2.80 GPA or higher
  • Be set to attend your first semester of college immediately following your high school graduation
  • Write a 500-word personal essay about your academic goals and interests
  • Document your volunteer work, leadership activities and public service acts

You can use this scholarship for traditional academic ventures at a four-year university. You can also use it to help you afford to receive a career or technical education, though the duration varies on each version of the award.

A student can renew the traditional academic version of this scholarship for up to four years and up to three years for CTE programs.

You can receive up to $3,000 per academic year from the scholarship. Around 25 scholarships are handed out annually to Idaho students, depending on the funding received in a given year.

Tschudy Family Scholarship

The Tschudy Family Scholarship was set-up by the estate of Alene M. Swindler, who was a long-time resident of Emmett, ID (8). It was her wish to help high school students in her hometown afford to receive a higher education from an Idaho postsecondary institution.

To be eligible for the scholarship, you must:

  • Be an Idaho resident
  • Graduate from Emmett High School or have graduated within the last seven years from the school
  • Have earned a cumulative 2.60 GPA or higher
  • Enroll as a full-time academic student (meaning you take at least 14 credit hours per semester) at one of the following eligible Idaho postsecondary institutions:
    • Boise State University
    • Idaho State University
    • Lewis-Clark State University
    • University of Idaho
  • Comply with all the scholarship’s rules and regulations
  • Submit a scholarship application by February 15
  • Submit a FAFSA application by February 15

If you’re selected as a recipient of the Tschudy Family Scholarship, you can receive $2,500 per academic year and you can renew the scholarship for up to five years of undergraduate study, plus an additional two years of graduate study.

If you’re an Idaho resident or know someone who is looking to further their education in Idaho, let them know about these helpful Idaho college financial aid programs.

Additional Resources

(1)Statista 

(2)Idaho Opportunity Scholarship

(3)Western Governors University’s Press Release of Expansion into Idaho

(4) Idaho Opportunity Scholarship for Adult Learners

(5)Idaho Postsecondary Credit Scholarship

(6) — ­­Idaho Governor’s Cup Scholarship

(7)Idaho Governor’s Cup Event

(8)Tschudy Family Scholarship