Sunday, May 29, 2016


Boise District graduates choose universities and college spread across the United States. However, the majority of grads stay in-state and attend the University of Idaho, Boise State University, or Idaho State University.

But recently, a trend has been developing.  A number of Boise District grads are choosing to attend the University of Utah or Utah State University. Though the Utah/USU connection only accounts for about 3% of students who "go on" the number has been climbing for several years.

For the class of 2015, 33 students enrolled at the University of Utah, while 25 enrolled at Utah State. Throw in the typically annual enrollment at two popular private schools, Westminster College and Brigham Young University, and the total for the class of 2015 was about 80, over double the total for the class of 2008.

Utah and Utah State are part of the public university system in the state of Utah. A Utah legislature code provision provides the rules by which a non-resident student can qualify for resident tuition at Utah public universities after the first year of college at those institutions.

Furthermore, multiple scholarship opportunities are available for non-resident students, and can be seen here and here.

So what types of students are choosing the two public Utah universities? Well, it turns out that the Utah enrollees are highly-qualified and highly capable students from all four comprehensive high schools in Boise.

Enrollment at the two institutions is not evenly split among District high schools. In 2015, 27 Timberline students enrolled at Utah and USU. From Borah and Capital, it was 9 each. From Boise High, 13 students enrolled, all at the University of Utah.

Enrollment at out of state institutions typically ebbs and flows among popular schools. The University of Oregon and the University of Puget Sound were both very popular in 2008, but enrollment has fallen off somewhat since then.

However, the attraction of in-state tuition at the two Utah schools is strong, and most of the class of 2015 students received some form of merit aid, we assume. Additionally, a five-hour freeway drive (and one-hour flight) to Utah may be preferable for some students to the seven hour drive up U.S 95 to Idaho. 

If the talk among students at last week's graduations is any indication, the number of students headed to Logan and Salt Lake City is going up, not down, for the class of 2016.