The University of Idaho may be the furthest in-state school from Pocatello, but that doesn't stop hundreds of kids from choosing a future in Moscow over other higher education institutions in the gem state.
When you're in Moscow, you definitely know that you're in Vandal country. Although it is hundreds of miles away from home, it's a university that would like more east Idaho students to be a part of the family.
"It sounds a little corney but it's true, we really do welcome students to the Vandal family," says Jeff Dodge, Interim Assistant Vice President for Enrollment Management. "From the second they apply, to being admitted, we're all about immersing them into the University of Idaho culture and welcoming them to campus with open arms."
Melanie Martin joined that Vandal family a few years ago after graduating from Hillcrest High School in Idaho Falls.
"The people here are so nice," says Melanie Martin, Senior at the U of I. "They are willing to do anything for anyone, even if you're a stranger. They're just so kind compared to other places I've been."
Martin says that family atmosphere was a huge draw for her to come to the Univeristy of Idaho. Originally she planned on getting an education out of state but immediately fell in love with the Moscow campus.
As she nears graduation with a degree in Exercise Science, Martin says that choice to stay in-state, although a long ways from home, was the right one.
"Coming here I just realized I wanted to impact people more. I wasn't so worried about myself but it brought me to be more aware of those around me and what they need rather than what I wanted to be seen as which I couldn't be more thankful for."
The reality, though, is that only a small percentage of the U of I's studentbody is from eastern Idaho. Just five percent of the incoming freshman class for the fall semester lived in our area before moving to Moscow. It's a number Interim Assistant Vice President for Enrollment Management, Jeff Dodge, would like to see grow exponentially.
"I would absolutely love to see more students from eastern Idaho up at the University of Idaho and Moscow," Dodge says. "Our campus has a lot to offer students down there. it's something we're looking at very seriously since we do have a statewide mission."
It's with that mission in mind that Dodge extends this invitation to high school seniors in our area, "Come to the University of Idaho. Exciting opportunities await you and a bright future as well."