Whether you live in Idaho or Iowa, it's a financial problem so big that every presidential cycle, this issue is brought up by Republicans and Democrats. Some lawmakers describe it as a threat to national our national security. If you go to college, it more than likely you use student loans to pay for your education. Student loan debt is a burden for most aspiring Americans for years and years. Loan debt is so bad that some folks are still paying for their college years while collecting social security.

How much is an Idaho college education?

Idaho is one of the most affordable states for a college education, says move.org. The average cost for in-state tuition is $11,077, out of state $16,256, which isn't bad compared to number one Rhode Island at $33,230 for in-state tuition and $36,601 for out of state. Interest and principal pile up over the years, limiting the graduates' ability to get married, buy a house, and have kids.

Boise State's tuition is $8,060 per year for instate and 24,980 for out of state students.  Idaho State charges $7,872 for instate tuition and $24,494 nor nonresidents.  Lewis and Clark State College's tuition is $6,982 instate and $20,238 for out of state.  To attend the University of Idaho it will cost instate students $8,304 and $27,540.

How much is too much?

Is there an affordable path to a college education? Can a student get an excellent education without a lifetime of debt? One university has developed a degree program that will cost a student $9,000. Nine grand a year or a semester is not a deal?

Southern Utah University is offering a bachelor's degree for $9,000, reports the Deseret News. It's an actual degree, however, in general studies, online only, and you can't change classes. Currently, 111 students are enrolled in the program.  We believe it's only for Utah residents at this time.

Why not Idaho?

Considering the high cost of a college in the Gem State, why not develop a similar program at Idaho's four-year colleges, Lewis and Clark, Idaho State, Boise State, and the University of Idaho? Instead of straddling students with years of debt, let us empower students of all ages with an affordable education.

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