Idaho Opportunity Scholarship
The Idaho Opportunity scholarship is awarded to Idaho residents that have graduated, or will graduate, from an Idaho high school, Idaho home school, or who passes a GED/HSE test in Idaho. Applicants must have AT LEAST a 2.7 GPA. This scholarship is available to both new and renewal students.
Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) required by March 1.
- Application Opens: October 3, 2023
- Initial applications due: November 30, 2023
- Round 1 Contingent Offers sent via email* sent via email: December 31,2023
- Deadline to submit FAFSA: March 1, 2024
- Application closes: March 1, 2024
- Round 2 Contingent Offers* sent via email: March 31, 2024
- Official Offers sent via email: by mid-April 2024
*Contingent offers are NOT final until the State Board of Education:
- Verifies your 2024-25 FAFSA submission and;
- Ranks all applications based on need (FAFSA) and merit (GPA).
All offers, both contingent and official will be sent from Scholarship Idaho using the email you used during account creation.
Best practice recommendations to not miss emails (like an offer):
- Ensure email@example.com is set as a safe sender
- Make sure you set allow text messaging to your cellphone during the application process. This allows our team to let you know to check your email.
- Set calendar reminders on your phone to start checking your email and SPAM or junk folder one month prior to offer rounds listed above.
- Set calendar reminders to login to your Scholarship Idaho account on each of the offer round dates listed above to see if your status has changed to “offered”. If so, you must click either the “accept” or “decline” button available on your status card.
Text messages are only sent as courtesy reminders and do not constitute an official offer. Applicants MUST accept their official offer and verify their details by the date explicitly listed in their offer email. The Office of the State Board of Education is not responsible for applicants’ failure to check their email (including junk mail folders) in a timely manner. A failure to respond to any offer by the deadline will constitute an express rejection of the offer and is not appealable.
Complete Your General Application
Official Details & Rules
The Idaho Opportunity Scholarship awards up to $3,500 per academic year and is renewable for up to four years.
Community colleges in Idaho (including the College of Western Idaho, the College of Southern Idaho, the College of Eastern Idaho, and North Idaho College), will no longer be eligible institutions for NEW recipients of the Idaho Opportunity Scholarship.
*If awardees—PRIOR TO JULY 1, 2023—renewed at or indicated (during their initial application) that they will be attending an Idaho community college, the Idaho Opportunity Scholarship award will still be accepted at those institutions.
To qualify for this scholarship, applicants must meet all of the following criteria:
- Have an unweighted, cumulative GPA of at least 2.7
- Be an Idaho resident
- Graduated or will graduate from an Idaho high school, Idaho home school, or its equivalent (GED/HSE from Idaho)
- Must attend during the upcoming academic year (fall semester)
- Must pursue a certificate, associate’s degree, or first bachelor’s degree
- Complete a Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) by March 1
- Maintain satisfactory academic standing as specified in program rules
- Must Attend one of these eligible idaho colleges or universities (View Schools)
Is the 2.7 GPA requirement negotiable?
It is not. The GPA requirement is set in Administrative Code and exceptions cannot be made.
How do you decide which applicants get an Opportunity Scholarship?
The Opportunity Scholarship is need-based, which means 70% of the score given to students’ applications are based on the EFC (Expected Family Contribution) from the FAFSA and 30% is based on students’ GPAs. A final score is calculated based on the combined need score and the merit score. Applications are then ranked from highest to lowest, based on the final score. The number of scholarships offered is based on how much funding is available that year.
Why is my Opportunity Scholarship less than $3,500?
The Opportunity Scholarship is a “last dollars” award, meaning it is to assist in filling in the gap in your cost of attendance after other scholarships and grants. If you have other scholarships and grants that come close to meeting your cost of attendance, your Opportunity Scholarship will be reduced so you do not exceed your cost of attendance. Keep in mind that Northwest Nazarene University and College of Idaho are required to the state average cost of attendance when making awards, which is $22,100 for the 2020-21 academic year.
Can I take a leave from my scholarship?
How are my credits calculated while on LOA?
If you leave mid-year (spring), you are responsible for half of the credits (9 or 12 depending on the school). This means that you must have earned those credits before taking leave to be eligible to renew. If you return from the LOA and want to return to school for the mid-year (spring) semester you are responsible for half of the credits to be completed by Fall.
What do I need to know about renewal eligibility requirements?
In order to be eligible for renewal you must meet the following requirements:
- Credit requirement (18 credits for two-year institutions and 24 credits for four-year institutions)
- Maintain a minimum grade point average of 2.7 while receiving the scholarship.
- Be meeting satisfactory academic progress with your institution.
You must fill out the renewal confirmation/questionnaire no later than March 1 each year you wish to renew.
I am attending College of Idaho or Northwest Nazarene University. Why is my award $0?
These institutions are required to use the average cost of attendance of the four-year public institutions in Idaho when calculating award amounts, which can be significantly lower than their actual cost of attendance. Many students at these institutions have institutional aid and scholarships up to or even in excess of the cost of attendance they are required to use, which means they are required to reduce the Opportunity Scholarship to $0. You should still renew your award, since your situation could be very different next year.
How do I fill out a graduation plan?
When will I be awarded?
Is it possible to attend part-time in the summer and apply those credits towards the following fall semester?
Summer credits can be used to make up deficiencies from the previous fall and spring terms. You must complete the required number of credits for your post-secondary institution during the academic year, which runs from fall to summer. The required number of credits are as follows:
- 18 credits per year for College of Southern Idaho, College of Western Idaho, College of Eastern Idaho, and North Idaho College.
- 24 credits per year for Lewis-Clark State College, University of Idaho, Boise State University, Idaho State University, Brigham Young University-Idaho, Northwest Nazarene University, and College of Idaho.
- For Opportunity Adult Learner recipients, you must complete the number of credits you were awarded for:
- 6-8 credits: up to $875/semester
- 9-11 credits: up to $1,312/semester
- 12+ credits: up to $1,750/semester
- If you switched institutions mid-year, you are held to the number of credits at the institution you started at in the fall.
Can I receive a disbursement in the summer if I am not going to use all four years of the scholarship or if I did not receive the full $3,500 during the first two semesters?
You can receive a disbursement in the summer if you have not met your $3,500 maximum yearly amount.
How much is my award going to be?
Awardees will receive up to $3,500 each year for up to four years. The institution where the student attends will determine the actual award amount. The Financial Aid Offices at these institutions will look at your cost of attendance (or the state-set cost of attendance, whichever is lower) and whatever is left after grants and other scholarships is what awardees can be awarded, up to $3,500. If a student’s tuition and fees are less than $3,500 for the year, the funds awarded to them will be reduced to that amount.