I hate doing my kid's homework, a mom's blog

How have Idaho’s free programs helped your future college student?

September 30, 2019

The State Board of Education has spent over $130 million dollars on programs to encourage high school students to go to college and get a degree. Here’s how these dollars have affected my high school senior:

Before the beginning of my son’s freshman year, he met with his counselor and asked for help filling his schedule with concurrent credit classes. He knew the state offered each high school student over $4,000 in Advanced Opportunity funds to cover the cost of college courses, and he wanted to take full advantage of the free-to-him college money. The credits he has currently earned will cover more than one full year of college, essentially saving him $20,000+ in expenses (the cost to attend Boise State University, including room and board).

His sophomore and junior years he took the PSAT and later in the spring of his junior year, he took the SAT. If the state were not providing these tests for free, at the school, during a normal school day, our family would have had to cover the cost for him to take the PSAT ($17) and the SAT ($49.50). The state has been paying for students to take the PSAT and the SAT, since 2011, with the hopes of increasing the number of high school students who go on to college and get a degree.

And finally, in the mail this week, my son received a letter from the State Board of Education, informing him of all the Idaho public colleges and universities where he’s been accepted, without even applying. This is called the Direct Admissions Program. This program compiles every Idaho public school student’s GPA and SAT scores and pre-admits students, if they meet each school’s criteria.

If my son chooses to go to one of the listed schools, he can go directly to the Apply Idaho website and submit the necessary paperwork to finalize his acceptance to the school of his choice. The application process is also — you guessed it — free.

Each one of these programs has made it easier and much cheaper for my son to pursue his post-secondary education. They have saved him and our family tens of thousands of dollars and have made graduating from college a little bit easier.

Have these programs helped your future college student?