Colleges By Location

Online Colleges in Alaska

Search Colleges

While relatively isolated from the remainder of the United States, due to its size and widespread population, four-year schools in Alaska have plenty of reason to offer online courses as an alternative to on-campus enrollment. The sole provider of such online offerings is the University of Alaska system; split up into three campuses (Anchorage, Fairbanks and Southeast), each with their own distance programs and resources, the school’s network of online learning is refreshingly robust.

But before we take a more detailed look at online colleges in AK, let’s start with the overall state of higher education and online education in the state today.


A Brief Overview of Higher Education in Alaska

In 2013, the National Center for Education Statistics reported that Alaska had 9 degree-granting institutions, broken down as follows: 5 public schools, 2 nonprofits and 2 for-profits. The total number of bachelor’s degrees awarded in the ’12-’13 school year at these schools was: 1,757 at public schools, 76 at private nonprofits and 62 at private for-profits.

Tuition-wise, the College Board found that, in the ’15-’16 school year, the average in-state tuition and fees for four-year public schools was $6,570, while the out-of-state average was $20,550.

As for the state’s financial aid efforts, the National Association of State Student Grant & Aid Programs (NASSGAP) reported that Alaska awarded $3.89 million in need-based grants and $7.82 million in non-need grants for the ’13-’14 school year. Grants make up 3.0% of the state’s total fiscal support for higher education. Over the same period, the state also awarded $4.59 million in loans, $770,000 in loan assumption/forgiveness and an additional $1.16 million in conditional grants. According to a CollegeBoard report on college pricing trends, Alaska had the highest state appropriations 2013-2014; the state spent $18,857 per full-time equivalent student.

According to an economics report conducted by the state government, at least 23 prominent occupations in the state require a minimum of a bachelor’s ― each of those positions, barring one, had average wages in the highest quartile of Alaskan salaries. When you consider then that Alaska is one of two states to increase higher education funding from 2013 to 2014, by 4.6% no less, it is clear that Alaska is committed to awarding more degrees and maintaining a well-educated workforce.


The State of Online Higher Education in Alaska

The NCES estimates that at least 16.4% of students enrolled in Alaska’s Title IV institutions are in fully online programs. Of those, 82.3% were reported to be undergraduates and 91.3% were found to be living in Alaska.

Alaska is also part of the SARA regional education compact known as the Western Interstate Commission for Higher Education (WICHE). The WICHE Internet Course Exchange (ICE) offers opportunities for state residents, through their local college or university, to access high quality distance programs offered at out-of-state WICHE institutions, often at greatly reduced rates.


Best Online Colleges in Alaska

Below, you will find our rankings of the best online four-year programs in Alaska. Our profiles look at how schools approach online education and then list out their services for distance students and their popular, fully online degrees. After reviewing our best of Alaska, explore our state resources, like a database of every college and university in Alaska or our index of popular in-state scholarships.

Want to know what it takes to make our rankings? Check out our distinct approach.

Methodology

To determine the best online colleges in each state, we examined the factors most important to prospective students: Academic quality and reputation, online program strength, and cost and student aid. At the most basic level, we use the following formula to determine the best online colleges: Academic Quality + Online Offerings + Cost and Student Aid = Final Score. Of course, there's more to these calculations than meets the eye. Visit our methodology page to discover the data points that shape our formula and to learn more about the process we use to rank schools.

Get Seal

University of Alaska Fairbanks

1
University of Alaska Fairbanks
Fairbanks
$4,984
$15,560

An Online Education at University of Alaska Fairbanks

UAF's online degree programs offer asynchronous courses through the Blackboard learning system. Select courses are also available using audio and video conferencing, or a hybrid model of online and classroom interactions. UAOnline is designed for the working adult, and offers completely online learning graduate, bachelor and associate degrees, as well as a number of certificates and occupational endorsements. Some courses require prerequisites like placement exams and credit hours, which are listed in the course descriptions and must be fulfilled before students enroll in any online colleges in AK.

UAF offers a number of resources to students, including the UAF Off Campus Library, elearning academic advising, writing center tutoring and a math lab with free tutoring and problem solving services. There is also a variety of open courseware available to all UAF distance learning students. Tuition waivers are granted to UA employees and their dependents for elearning courses, and UAF supports the Defense Activity for Nontraditional Education Support (DANTES) programs for active military members. Veterans educational benefits are also available, as well as scholarship options awarded for merit, academic excellence, and volunteer experience.

Online Undergraduate Degrees

  • Business Administration B.A.
  • Emergency Management B.A.
  • Justice B.A.
  • Applied Accounting A.A.
  • Applied Business A.A.S.
  • Associate of Arts A.A.

UAF also offers a wide range of individual online courses in fields like Applied Science, Education, Business, and Human Relations. Individual Graduate courses are also available online, and require prerequisites clearly listed in the course descriptions.

Online Graduate Degrees

  • Online Innovation and Design M.E.D.
  • Administration of Justice M.A.
  • MBA

UAF's online programs are accredited by the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities.

Contact Information

505 South Chandalar Drive
Fairbanks, AK 99775-7500
(907) 474-7211

University of Alaska Southeast

1
University of Alaska Southeast
Juneau
$5,693
$16,269

An Online Education at University of Alaska Southeast

UAS offers the most expansive selection of online courses among all the University of Alaska branches, including undergraduate and graduate degree programs and certificates. UAS courses are operated on the Blackboard platform (also referred to as Elluminate or Webmeeting), and many courses use both online and video conferencing facetime interactions. Lab courses are available online, and students receive all the tools they'll need to complete assignments by mail, including microscopes, molecule kits and DNA kits. Some e-learning courses require students to login and meet at designated times, while others have a flexible schedule. Assignment due dates, exams, and meetings are set by instructors and outlined in the course syllabi.

UAS has many resources available to e-learning students, like access to the Egan Library, Student Health 101, a disability resource center, and a student helpdesk with access to IT support for Blackboard, computer software downloads, and support video tutorials for UAonline. Most financial aid options require students to be enrolled in at least six credits to qualify, and UAS also offers Veterans benefits for tuition costs for active military members, veterans and their dependents.

Online Undergraduate Degrees

  • Associate of Science A.S.
  • Bachelor of Arts in Elementary Education
  • Liberal Arts B.L.A.
  • Human Resource Management B.B.A.
  • A.A.S. law Enforcement
  • Bachelor of Business Administration Accounting Emphasis
  • A.A.S. Fisheries Technology

UAS offers a number of e-learning Graduate degrees, mainly in the field of education. Several upper level programs require prerequisites like minimum credit hours, minimum GPA or General Education requirements, which are outlined in the degree program requirements section.

Online Graduate Degrees

  • M.E.D. Educational Leadership
  • Elementary Education M.A.T.
  • Mathematics Education M.E.D.
  • Public Administration M.P.A.
  • Reading Specialist M.E.D.
  • Science Education M.E.D.
  • Special Education M.A.T.

Besides online undergraduate and graduate degree programs, certificates are also available, including titles for Fisheries Technology, Accounting Technician, Healthcare Privacy and Security and Small Business Management.

Contact Information

11120 Glacier Highway
Juneau, AK 99801-8697
(877) 465-4827

University of Alaska Anchorage

1
University of Alaska Anchorage
Anchorage
$5,147
$15,206

An Online Education at University of Alaska Anchorage

UAA offers asynchronous undergraduate and graduate programs through the Blackboard platform. UAA maintains both entirely online programs and blended programs, which require students to come in 50% of the time for meetings, labs and exams. Individual distance courses are available, as well as occupational endorsement, baccalaureate and graduate certificates in areas like Corrections, Children's Behavioral Health and Medical Office Coding. Students are encouraged to work at their own pace, but weekly or biweekly deadlines may be set for assignments, exams or papers. Consult class syllabi or course instructors for specific online course requirements.

UAA students have access to a number of resources, like the UAA Consortium Library and the online resource center, which hosts helpful links to Blackboard tutorials, the online tutoring center, disability support services and academic advisors. Several distance education courses require students to sign up for proctored exams; request forms can be submitted online, well in advance. Financial aid and scholarships are available to distance learning students, including scholarships for Alaskan natives.

Online Undergraduate Degrees

  • A.A.S in Digital Art
  • A.A. General Program
  • A.A.S in Occupational Safety and Health
  • B.S. Nursing - Registered Nurse Option

Online Graduate Degrees

  • M.S. in Arctic Engineering
  • M.E.D. in Early Childhood Special Education
  • M.E.D in Educational Leadership
  • M.P.H. in Public Health Practice
  • M.S.W.
  • M.E.D. in Special Education

Contact Information

3211 Providence Drive
Anchorage, AK 99508
(907) 786-1800


Most Affordable Online Colleges in Alaska

Below you’ll find Alaska’s online undergraduate programs sorted by affordability.

Want to know what it takes to make our rankings? Check out our distinct approach.

Methodology

Our list of the most affordable online colleges is based on in-state yearly tuition, or annual tuition rates if a school does not differentiate between in-state and out-of-state students. Tuition rates are based on a full course load each semester or term. All colleges on the list offer at least one bachelor's degree completion program available entirely online. Those institutions with the lowest tuition are ranked highest, providing prospective students with a true list of the most affordable online colleges in their state.

Get Seal

University of Alaska Fairbanks

1
University of Alaska Fairbanks
Fairbanks
$4,984
$15,560

University of Alaska Anchorage

2
University of Alaska Anchorage
Anchorage
$5,147
$15,206

University of Alaska Southeast

3
University of Alaska Southeast
Juneau
$5,693
$16,269


Scholarships and Financial Aid in Alaska

David E. Knox Memorial Nursing Fellowship

Deadline: April 15, 2016
Scholarship Amount $2,500 See Scholarship

For Alaska students enrolled in an RN or BSN nursing program. A minimum GPA of 3.0 is required. Recipients must commit to 1 year of service practicing nursing in a small Alaska community. Preference is given to students with financial need. Funded by the Alaska Community Foundation.

Dr. Merritt Olson Scholarship

Deadline: April 30, 2016
Scholarship Amount $10,000 See Scholarship

For graduating seniors from West Anchorage High School. Applicants must demonstrate academic merit, leadership or community involvement, and financial need. A GPA of 3.0+ is required. Preference is given to students pursuing a career in education. Funds provided by the Alaska Community Foundation.

Melissa Faye Pike Scholarship

Deadline: April 1, 2016
Scholarship Amount $3,000 See Scholarship

For graduates of Diamond High School or students of Alaska Dance Theatre who are pursuing advanced study of dance. Average award is $3000; amounts vary depending on availability of funds. Funds are provided by the Alaska Community Foundation.

Neal O. Thorpe Memorial Scholarship

Deadline: May 22, 2016
Scholarship Amount $37,500 See Scholarship

For Alaska residents who are graduates of high school or an equivalent program in Alaska. Applicants must be the first in their family to pursue a college degree. This scholarship is administered by the Alaska Community Foundation.

Pinkerton Orchestral Scholarship

Deadline: May 1, 2016
Scholarship Amount $1,500 See Scholarship

Awarded to Alaska students who demonstrate a dedication to music and a commitment to pursuing advanced music education at a postsecondary institution. Special preference is given to students interested in music teaching. Minimum GPA 3.0. Students of violin, viola, cello and string bass are eligible. Funds provided by the Alaska Community Foundation.

Red Boucher Scholarship

Deadline: January 27, 2017
Scholarship Amount $1,000 See Scholarship

For outstanding Alaska students pursuing a career in a technology-related field. Applicants must demonstrate academic success and/or leadership qualities, have financial need, and maintain a GPA of 3.0+. This scholarship is provided by the Alaska Community Foundation.

Richard D. Johnson Memorial Post-Secondary Scholarship

Deadline: March 30, 2016
Scholarship Amount $1,000 See Scholarship

For graduating seniors in Alaska with a GPA of 2.0 to 3.0. Applicants must have participated in community service or American Legion activities, and demonstrate financial need. A personal essay required. Funding is provided by American Legion of Alaska.

Shelly Szepanski Memorial Flight Scholarship

Deadline: June 15, 2016
Scholarship Amount $5,000 See Scholarship

This award is intended to help female Alaska students earn their private or commercial flight license. Applicants must pass an FAA written flight test and medical; be enrolled in a science-related degree program; and be pursuing flying as part of science-related career goals. Preference given to students enrolled at the University of Alaska. Funds are administered by the Alaska Community Foundation.

Sven E. & Lorraine Eriksson Scholarship

Deadline: May 1, 2016
Scholarship Amount $10,000 See Scholarship

This award is granted to incoming freshman at the University of Alaska who plan to study electrical engineering, mechanical engineering, civil engineering, or music. Applicants must demonstrate academic success, leadership qualities, and financial need. Minimum GPA 3.0; applicants must be graduates of an Alaska high school.

Wrangell and Stika Scholarship

Deadline: March 26, 2016
Scholarship Amount $20,000 See Scholarship

For high school seniors graduating from Sitka High School. Applicants must demonstrate outstanding academic merit or special talent. The scholarship is awarded to three students per year. Provided by the Alaska Community Foundation.


Higher Education Resources in Alaska