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Frequently Asked Questions

GETTING STARTED

Is it required for first-year students to live on campus?
It is not required; however, we strongly encourage it. Students living on campus have a great support structure available to help them transition to and through college. University Housing has trained staff to help students navigate the campus including assistance with speaking with professors, offering programs and activities to foster academic and interpersonal success, and learning how to live with a roomate. Residence halls offer a strong, community-centered atmosphere where students can meet people through educational, social, and cultural programs. More information is available on the Housing website.

Does my student need a car?
No. Having a car is convenient, but not necessary. Pocatello's regional transit system (PRT) transports students in Pocatello at half-fare (student ID required) and provide free fares on campus (Routes H and J) during the academic year. City bus schedules are online at pocatellotransit.com. ISU’s Commuter Express bus service is available for Idaho Falls and Blackfoot students.You may also call Parking Services (208) 282-2625 or Transportation Services (208) 282-4460 for information.

Does my student need a computer and a printer?
No. ISU has several computer labs available at many campus locations including; eight on the Pocatello campus, three on the Idaho Falls campus, and two on the Meridian campus. If your student does have a personal computer, Information Technology Services technicians are available to offer support and provide technical assistance to students using software, hardware, and other IT systems. IT staff can provide guidance or troubleshoot problems through diagnostic tests and remote access to a student’s computer. Contact the IT Service Desk by phone at (208) 282-4357 (HELP) or visit their information and service request system, TigerTracks.

Should my student purchase a meal plan?
Some campus housing contracts require the purchase of a residential meal plan. For the most part, meal plans include both meals and Flex Dollars. Flex Dollars are used like a debit account or pre-paid card at all Dining Services locations. The balance of Flex Dollars on a meal plan carries over from fall to spring semester if your student purchases a meal plan for the spring semester. Unused meals expire at the end of each semester. However, both Flex Dollars and Meal Plan Meals expire at the end of the spring semester. If a student moves from 'on campus' housing to 'off-campus' during a semester, their meal plan will expire. 

Students who do not live on campus may purchase a Commuter Meal Plan. They may also add Flex Dollars to their Bengal ID card account. Most students add money to their account at the Chartwells Dining Services office in the Pond Student Union or online to pay for food on campus. Commuter Meal Plans do not expire.

 To speak with someone in person, you may call Chartwells Dining Services (208) 282-2120 or University Housing (208) 282-5831.

What do you recommend for airport transportation?
If you fly into the Salt Lake City (SLC) International Airport, you may need a rental car or shuttle service to bring you from Salt Lake to Pocatello. If you use the shuttle, you can call a taxi to travel from the local drop-off location to the ISU campus. The drive from the Salt Lake City airport to Pocatello is a scenic 2 ½ hours.

You may also fly into Pocatello (PIH) Regional Airport or the Idaho Falls (IDA) Regional Airport. The Idaho Falls Regional Airport is approximately an hour drive north of Pocatello.

Salt Lake Express is the main shuttle company offering transportation between the Salt Lake International Airport and Pocatello. You can find information online or call (800) 356-9796 to make a reservation.

Pocatello offers taxi and Uber services to transport you from the local airport or regional shuttle stop to your local destination.

How much does it cost to attend ISU?  
Information on tuition and on-campus housing options is available online.

STUDENT RESOURCES

Are student resources free?
No...and yes. There are a variety of student resources funded by student fees which are free or discounted to students with their Bengal ID card. Your student receives information about these services during New Student Orientation (NSO). These include, but are not limited to, admission to Student Activity Board and Union Program Council events, Bengal Theater admission, discounted Games Center pricing, Student Recreation Center membership, discounted Outdoor Adventure Center trips and gear, use of the University libraries, and more.

Where should my student go if they get sick? Is medical insurance required?
The ISU Health Center offers free office visits for students with advance or same day appointments! Students can call (208) 282-2330 or log in to the Patient Portal to schedule an appointment or ask any questions.  Students are not required to have health insurance to use the services or receive prescriptions. If you are worried about paying for health insurance, contact the Financial Aid Office at (208) 282-2756.

For information about student health at ISU and insurance policy requirements, visit the ISU Health Center.

What if my student needs to take a leave of absence or a deferment?
Your student can complete an online Leave of Absence/Deferment request form. For information regarding a leave of absence/deferment and other questions, contact the Office of the Registrar at (208) 282-2661.

My student has a learning disability. How do we receive additional assistance?
ISU’s Disability Services provides a variety of services to help your student. Their mission is to increase access to all programs and services sponsored or funded by Idaho State University. If you prefer to speak with someone in person, contact them at (208) 282-3599.

TUITION, FEE PAYMENT & FINANCIAL AID

How do I pay my student’s bill?
ISU does not send a paper bill to students (or parents). Electronic bills can be accessed through your student’s BengalWeb by going to the Student Finances tab located on the left hand side of the screen. If you have any questions, please contact our Financial Aid office at (208) 282-2756.

What payment methods are accepted?
Payments types accepted on campus: 

  • Visa and Mastercard
  • Cash
  • Personal check

How does my student obtain residency for tuition purposes?
Residency requirements and specific residency questions can be answered by the Office of the Registrar at (208) 282-2661.

What scholarships are available to incoming students?
Several scholarships are available to incoming students including, Automatic Scholarships, Idaho Resident Awards, Step Ahead Scholarship Program (SASP), and others listed in the Bengal Online Scholarship System (BOSS).

We also have incoming freshman awards that are based on leadership, talent, and extracurricular involvement. We will look at all of these criteria when we consider your student for incoming freshman scholarships. For more information please contact the Scholarship office at (208) 282-3315.

Who can help us apply for financial aid and assess different payment options?
Contact the Financial Aid office at (208) 282-2756 to help you and your student navigate the process of paying for college.

I’m worried about student loans. Will my student be able to pay it back?
Most students take out student loans to help pay for college. Loans can be a great tool to help students graduate in a timely manner and pay for all expenses you’ll need while at ISU. They can also allow students to work less, freeing up valuable time to focus on studying and homework, join in our variety of activities, and socialize on campus. It is important to borrow wisely, however. The Financial Aid office, (208) 282-756 is the best resource for making sure you and your Bengal are taking the best loan options available as far as interest rates and repayment terms. 

ACADEMICS

What degrees are offered at Idaho State University?
ISU has more than 250 programs of study ranging from certificates to doctorates. The ISU campus provides many academic services and resources to help students be successful during their time here. The Central Academic Advising office at (208) 282-3277 is great place for students to find out more information on fields of interest and requirements.

My student wants to major within the medical field. What options are available?
ISU offers degrees to prepare students for a wide variety of health professions. ISU also has one of the top ranking Pharmacy Programs in the nation.

How does my student find his or her academic advisor?
Academic advisors provide guidance, information, and referrals to help students discover and clarify career and educational goal. Students should meet with their primary advisor each semester and any other time as needed. Students can find their primary advisor’s name in Bengal Web, Academic Tools tab, Student Records channel, General Student Information link. New students in academic programs are initially assigned to a team of professional advisors in Central Academic Advising (CAA).

How does my student change his or her major?
To change a major, declare a dual major, or declare a minor, your student should contact the academic advisor for the new major or minor. Advisors can be found through Central Academic Advising (CAA) or though the department in which the major is being declared. The new advisor will discuss degree requirements and help your student complete the necessary paperwork to officially change their major at ISU.

IDAHO STATE UNIVERSITY

921 South 8th Avenue
Pocatello, Idaho, 83209
(208) 282-4636

Discover opportunity at Idaho State University