University of Idaho

College Guide 2012

Don’t be fooled by those wheat fields. There’s plenty to do here. Set among the rolling hills of the Palouse, this campus and its old brick buildings seem sleepy at first glance, but you’ll forget that the first time you’re around on a football home game or the annual Lionel Hampton Jazz Festival.

MYTH EXAMINED: “This is Idaho, so I must be in an old-fashioned, conservative town.” Not only did the city vote for John Kerry in 2004 and Barack Obama in 2008, but there are plenty of crunchy, progressive things happening. There’s a thriving arts scene and local food movement, plus one of the region’s biggest and brightest farmers markets. Like students, twentysomethings are drawn to the town on the Palouse for its creative community, walkability and bike-ability. This summer, a group of them from around the country settled there for “Summer Commune,” a temporary intentional community focused on the arts.

Located in Moscow





KNOWN FOR: Idaho’s only law school. Also recognized by the Princeton Review as one of the best values in higher education.

Verdict: Busted. Our sources assure us that, unless you go looking for it, you won’t find that super-conservative pull the rest of North Idaho has.

MYTH EXAMINED: “That rivalry with Boise State is pretty nasty, isn’t it?” Back in 2010, the schools made big headlines when BSU President Bob Kustra called Vandal culture “nasty” and “inebriated” and said he didn’t want his school’s nationally ranked football team to keep making the trek north to play the Vandals. That certainly wasn’t the first time the schools have clashed. Over the years, the schools have competed for ever-shrinking state money, and as Boise State has grown, UI has seen enrollment tick down.

Earlier this year, the Idaho State Board of Education quashed a UI effort to call itself the state’s “flagship” university in its mission statement, sparking widespread Vandal outrage. The Board said it was just a wording issue, but faculty, students and supporters of the school said it was insulting and could mean less money from the state.

Verdict: Confirmed. Administration will tell you it’s just about friendly athletic competition, but it’s a little more than that.

Last year: The town made national news last fall when a professor killed a 22-year-old student with whom he’d been romantically involved, then killed himself. It later came to light that he’d been the subject of several student complaints to the university and had threatened to kill another woman during his time at the school.

Alums you’ve heard of: Sarah Palin (remember her?) graduated in 1987 with a journalism degree. Olympic cyclist Kristin Armstrong graduated in 1995 and won her second gold medal this summer in London. Matt Braley, who earned an engineering degree from the school in 2005, is now working for NASA’s latest mission to Mars, the Curiosity rover.

Legend has it: The school that lost the “Battle of the Palouse” football rivalry between Washington State University, and UI used to have to make “The Losers’ Walk” back to its home campus. In 1954, when WSU lost to Idaho for the first time in 29 years, some 2,000 WSU students made the trek with the team.

Free yoga: You will be stressed during finals week. But you can fight the caffeine and test jitters with a whole week of free yoga courtesy of school’s rec center. Check the or the school’s Facebook page for a schedule.

Reclaiming Culture: The Tlingit and Haida Tribes of Alaska Repatriation @ Northwest Museum of Arts & Culture

Tuesdays-Sundays. Continues through May 2
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About The Author

Heidi Groover

Heidi Groover is a staff writer at the Inlander, where she covers city government and drug policy. On the job, she's spent time with prostitutes, "street kids," marriage equality advocates and the family of a 16-year-old organ donor...