Meridian, ID (population: 73,202) has two dental assistant schools within a 100-mile radius of its city center. Boise State University, the highest ranked school in this group with a dental assistant program, has a total student population of 18,933. It is the 448th highest ranked school in the USA and the 3rd highest in the state of Idaho (#1 is University of Idaho).
Dental Assistant students from Meridian schools who go on to become dental assistants, dental hygienists, dental professionals, etc. have a good chance at finding employment. For example, there are 294,020 people working as dental assistants alone in the US, and their average annual salary is $34,000. Also, Dental hygienists make on average $67,860 per year and there are about 173,900 of them employed in the US today. In fact, in the Boise City-Nampa area alone, there are 640 employed dental hygienists earning an average salary of $65,140. Dental assistants in this area earn $31,160/yr and there are 830 employed.
Meridian lies in Ada county, which is one of the 33 counties in Idaho. Overall, the Boise City-Nampa area has 264,010 total employed workers according to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, with a 1% unemployment rate, $19/hr average worker wage, and a $39,600 average annual salary. Thus, about 3 out of every 1000 jobs in Meridian are held by dental assistants, and 2/1000 are held by dental hygienists.
Of the 2 dental assistant schools with a 100-mile radius of Meridian, only 1 has a student population over 10k. After taking into account tuition, living expenses, and financial aid, Milan Institute comes out as the most expensive ($20,061/yr) for dental assistant students, with Boise State University as the lowest, reported at only $11,811/yr.