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Latest Study from McClure Center Looks Deeper at Idaho’s Low ‘Go On’ Rate

January 30, 2017

BOISE — Why aren’t more Idaho students going on to higher education? The University of Idaho’s McClure Center for Public Policy is trying to find that answer through a new study, released today.

The study examines data collected from 385 young adults who graduated from Idaho high schools in spring 2015. The first set of findings were released in January 2016. This second report takes a deeper look at the same set of data.

One key finding: Males and females think differently about postsecondary education. Male respondents who placed a premium on having a job they love were less likely to go to college than females who felt the same way.

“These respondents were far less likely than young women with similar priorities to go to college, “said Jean Henscheid, the study’s co-author and a research scientist at the Boise-based McClure Center, a part of UI’s College of Letters, Arts and Social Sciences. “This despite the fact that just two of the 20 ‘hottest jobs’ in Idaho only require a high school diploma and the wage gap between diploma-only and degreed students is so wide. Even armed with these facts, young men may still reject college.”

The study also found finances were a bigger concern for Hispanic students than for non-Hispanic students. Parent education level had a greater influence on Hispanic students than on non-Hispanic students.

Several statewide policies have recently been put in place to address Idaho’s low “go on” rate, including expansion of dual-credit opportunities, a direct admissions process that proactively admits qualified seniors to state colleges and universities, state funding for increased career and academic counseling services to students, and increased scholarship opportunities.

This new McClure Center study suggests that policies are especially on target if they increase students’ understanding of the value of higher education and reduce financial barriers.

For more information or to download the full report, go to

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The University of Idaho, home of the Vandals, is Idaho’s land-grant, national research university. From its residential campus in Moscow, U of I serves the state of Idaho through educational centers in Boise, Coeur d’Alene and Idaho Falls, nine research and Extension centers, plus Extension offices in 42 counties. Home to nearly 12,000 students statewide, U of I is a leader in student-centered learning and excels at interdisciplinary research, service to businesses and communities, and in advancing diversity, citizenship and global outreach. U of I competes in the Big Sky Conference. Learn more at