Idaho vs. MSU

Should I go to University of Idaho or Montana State University? Compare the two schools' costs, SAT, ACT, GPA, admissions criteria and outcomes to help you determine if Idaho or MSU is the better college for you.

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University of Idaho vs. Montana State University comparison
University of Idaho Montana State University College 3 College 4
University of Idaho Montana State University
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Location Moscow, ID Bozeman, MT
Setting Rural Fringe Remote Town
Students 10,791 16,218
Type Public 4 Year Public 4 Year
Religious Affiliation - - - -
Status Non-profit Non-profit


Tuition (In State) $6,182 $5,654
Tuition (Out of State) $25,418 $25,084
Room & Board $9,080 $10,400
Avg Net Price $14,929 $17,656
Avg Grant Aid $10,483 $7,100
% Receiving Grant Aid 98% 91%

Admission and Academics

Acceptance Rate 74.4% 80.8%
Avg High School GPA 3.44 3.6
Admissions Standards Average Difficult
Applicant Competition Low
ACT Range 20/26 21/28
SAT Range 990/1220 1090/1320
Application Deadline May 1, 2022 May 15, 2022


Graduation Rate 51% 51%
Median Earnings (After 10 years) $46,900 $45,800
Making Student Loan Payments 61% 71%
Median Student Loan Debt $24,279 $24,000
Median Loan Payment $251 $248
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Comparable Facts

  • Montana State University is larger than than Idaho based on total student enrollment (16,218 students vs. 10,791 students)

Idaho vs. MSU Cost Comparison

Which college is more expensive, Idaho or MSU?

  • University of Idaho is 9.3% more expensive to attend than MSU for in-state tuition ($6,182.00 vs. $5,654.00)
  • Out of state tuition is 1.3% higher at Idaho than Montana State University ($25,418.00 vs. $25,084.00)
  • The typical actual cost that students pay to attend (average net price) is less at University of Idaho than MSU ($14,929 vs. $17,656)
  • Living costs (room and board or off-campus housing budget) at University of Idaho are 14.5% lower than costs at Montana State University ($9,080 vs. $10,400)
  • More students receive financial grant aid at University of Idaho than Montana State University (98% vs. 91%)
  • The average total grant financial aid received by University of Idaho students is 47.6% larger than aid received Montana State University ($10,483 vs. $7,100)

Idaho vs. MSU Admissions Difficulty Comparison

Which college is harder to get into, Idaho or MSU? Average SAT and ACT scores plus acceptance rates offer good insight into the difficulty of admission between MSU or Idaho .

  • The average SAT score at Montana State University (1131) is 70 points higher than at Idaho (1061)
  • Incoming MSU students have a 2 point higher average ACT score (25) than students at Idaho (23)
  • MSU has a higher acceptance rate (80.8%) than Idaho (74.4%)

Idaho vs. MSU Graduation Outcomes Comparison

Which is better, Idaho or MSU? Graduation rate, salary and amount of student loan debt are indicators of a college which offers better outcomes for its graduates. Compare the following outcomes facts between MSU and Idaho.

  • The graduation rate at Idaho is the same as at Montana State University (51% vs. 51%)
  • Graduates from University of Idaho earn on average $1,100 more per year than MSU graduates after ten years. ($46,900 vs. $45,800)
  • Montana State University students graduate with a $279 lower median federal student loan debt than Idaho graduates. ($24,000 vs. $24,279)
  • MSU graduates are paying $3 less per month on federal student loans than Idaho graduates. ($248 vs. $251)
  • More MSU graduates are actively paying back their federal student loan debt than former Idaho students, three years after graduation. (71% vs. 61%)

Sources: U.S. Department of Education IPEDS and College Scorecard