Online Schools & Colleges in Alaska

Alaska is home to three public, four-year universities that fall under the umbrella of the University of Alaska System, as well as one private, nonprofit four-year university and some two-year colleges. Three of its five community colleges are affiliated with the University of Alaska at Anchorage campus. Of the state’s remaining two public community colleges, one is tribally controlled. To overcome the challenges posed by geography and diverse student needs and locations, many Alaska colleges offer convenient distance learning and flexible scheduling programs that serve attendees from all areas of the state and beyond. On the K-12 front, five virtual schools offer fully-online programs, as well as supplemental courses. The Alaska Learning Network, launching in 2011, brought together distance programs scattered around the state.

Alaska Online Colleges and Universities

At the post-secondary level, online education is offered through the University of Alaska System, as well as through smaller, private institutions. Students can find online programs ranging from an associate degree to a post-doctorate at Prince William Sound Community College, the University of Alaska at Anchorage, and Alaska Pacific University. Higher education schools dedicated to delivering online content include Ilisagvic College and the University of Alaska Online.

Public Colleges in Alaska

The majority of university students in Alaska attend publicly funded institutions through the massive University of Alaska System. In fact, 35,000 full- and part-time college students attend a branch of this public university network, which consists of three major campuses and various extensions, including the University of Alaska Anchorage, University of Alaska Fairbanks and University of Alaska Southeast campuses.

Each of the three main campuses of the University of Alaska System offer in-state tuition fees of roughly $5,000 per year. Academic programs range from two-year associate’s degrees to post-doctorate degrees.

Private Colleges in Alaska

Although there are few private universities in Alaska, and the majority of students attend one of the colleges in the public university system, there are options for students interested in very targeted learning experiences. Alaska Bible College, for example, is a very small and selective school with a Biblical, theological academic focus, preparing its graduates for a profession in ministry. Alaska Pacific University (APU) also has religious roots, originally operating as Alaska Methodist University until it restructured and changed its name in 1978. Today, APU’s coursework reflects the values of its Judeo-Christian heritage. APU also promotes Alaska Native educational topics and is a member of the Eco-League, a nationwide student exchange program of colleges offering strong programs in marine biology and environmental science.

Specialty Colleges in Alaska

Alaska’s Native population has fostered many college programs that educate both Native and non-Native Alaskans, with a focus on the state’s rich cultural history and the historical and contemporary issues facing residents. Alaska also has several Christian colleges, which cater to religious affiliations or ministerial academics. For example, Alaska Christian College offers associate degrees and certificate programs that prepare students for life in the seminary.

Best Online Schools in Alaska for 2017

Thanks in part due to the vast geographical region the state covers, online learning has taken off in a big way in Alaska. The option is a popular one not only for degree-seekers unable to attend a brick-and-mortar university, but for students looking to balance already busy lives and careers. Due to this increased popularity, potential students will find a majority of degrees available online as well as on-campus. Find the top options for online learning in Alaska with our ranking of the Best Online Colleges in Alaska for 2017.

University of Alaska Fairbanks
Net
Price
FINANCIAL
AID %
43%
TOTAL
PROGRAMS
174
STUDENT-TEACHER
RATIO
GRAD
RATE
33%
Ranking SCORE 99.73
Read more

The University of Alaska Fairbanks offers e-learning options for a full range of degree paths including certifications and professional development programs. Accredited through the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities to offer Associate, Bachelor's, and graduate degrees, the school provides distance learners with the flexibility needed to complete a degree online, as well as hybrid options for local students who wish to visit campus. Class content can be accessed through the Blackboard learning interface for the 350+ courses and are operated on a semester-based schedule. Academic advising is available to assist students with course choices and career path information.

  • Additional Benefits:
  • Placement ServicesYes
  • Counseling ServicesYes
  • Credit for ExperienceYes
University of Alaska Anchorage
Net
Price
FINANCIAL
AID %
44%
TOTAL
PROGRAMS
126
STUDENT-TEACHER
RATIO
GRAD
RATE
26%
Ranking SCORE 93.05
Read more

Students seeking programs for online degree completion through the University of Alaska - Anchorage have choices of undergraduate and graduate degrees, certifications, and programs catered to hone professional skills to apply to the career force. With over 100 varied degree and certificate choices, fully online degree completion offers flexible options for students at all stages of their academic journey. Occupational endorsement programs offer skill-centric courses designed to assist professionals in honing their current skill set or embarking upon new career paths without completing a degree program. The UA online portal offers a class search option to provide non-registered students with available course offerings.

  • Additional Benefits:
  • Placement ServicesYes
  • Counseling ServicesYes
  • Credit for ExperienceNo
Alaska Pacific University
Net
Price
FINANCIAL
AID %
100%
TOTAL
PROGRAMS
33
STUDENT-TEACHER
RATIO
GRAD
RATE
52%
Ranking SCORE 89.00
Read more

Providing both undergraduate and graduate level online courses, Alaska Pacific University primarily delivers online content through the Blackboard learning interface. Graduate certificate programs offer graduate level students an option to gain knowledge and experience to supplement a degree, or as a standalone option to simply increase knowledge and skills. The institution is accredited through the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities and offers small class sizes, flexible course schedules, and accelerated programs for working professionals and high-school students seeking to begin their higher education journey prior to graduation. An Associate degree option for Business Administration is also available.

  • Additional Benefits:
  • Placement ServicesNo
  • Counseling ServicesYes
  • Credit for ExperienceYes
University of Alaska Southeast
Net
Price
FINANCIAL
AID %
48%
TOTAL
PROGRAMS
42
STUDENT-TEACHER
RATIO
GRAD
RATE
10%
Ranking SCORE 86.73
Read more

The University of Alaska Southeast provides distance learners with online degree options such as certificate programs, professional development courses, and is accredited by the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities (NWCCU) to offer degrees at undergraduate and graduate levels. Associate, bachelor, and master's degree programs are available online, in addition to graduate certificate programs. Most class content is offered through the UASonline portal, which also allows students to upload content, connect with peers, and utilize digital tools for networking and academic development. Some programs are restricted to Alaska residents and specific admissions requirements vary by program and should be verified directly through the university.

  • Additional Benefits:
  • Placement ServicesYes
  • Counseling ServicesYes
  • Credit for ExperienceNo

Online Alaska Colleges

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Alaska K-12 Online Schools

Alaska offers numerous options for K-12 students who want to attend online school, including one statewide virtual school and one small state online school. There were also numerous stand-alone supplemental courses; the Alaska Learning Network (AKLN) offered 52 courses online in the 2013-14 year. The Alaska Virtual Academy, offered through the Wrangell Public School District, is a fully-online school open to students across the state. Other schools are more localized. Fairbanks B.E.S.T., for example, is a small school confined to one district, serving 290 students in K-12 during the 2013-14 year. Fourteen statewide programs offered correspondence courses to K-12 students.

Search School Name
City
School Type
Schedule
7 Results
SCHOOL NAME GRADE LEVELS CITY SCHEDULE TYPE PHONE NUMBER
Alaska Virtual Academy K - 8 Wrangell Both Live/On-Demand Public (907) 874-3397
Delta Cyber School K - 12 Delta Junction Both Live/On-Demand Public (877) 895-1043
Interior Distance Education of Alaska K - 12 Fairbanks Both Live/On-Demand Public (877) 582-4332
Raven Correspondence School K - 12 Fairbanks Both Live/On-Demand Public (907) 374-9400
Connections Charter School K - 11 Soldotna On-Demand/Asynchronous Private (907) 714-8880
Copper River School District Correspondence Program K - 12 Glennallen On-Demand/Asynchronous Public (888) 822-3234
Frontier Charter School K - 12 Anchorage On-Demand/Asynchronous Public (907) 742-1180

Alaska Post-Secondary Spotlight

University of Alaska, Anchorage

While the University of Alaska, Anchorage doesn’t offer full degree programs online, there are many online courses available in a variety of subjects, including financial accounting, anthropology, biology, personal finance, child nutrition and comparative education. Students also have the option of enrolling in blended classes, which combine online and on-campus instruction in subjects such as art, science, education and communication.

Whether fully online or blended, most of the courses at the University of Alaska, Anchorage require an in-person, proctored final examination. The university has 18 approved testing locations around the state, and students are allowed to request an alternate location and proctor if needed.

Learn more about online class options and requirements at http://www.uaa.alaska.edu/distanceeducation/index.cfm.

Prince William Sound Community College (PWSCC)

Although Prince William Sound Community College does not offer online degree programs, they do have a number of online and blended courses each semester. Students can enroll in classes such as cultural anthropology, solar system astronomy, human biology, physical geology and western civilization.

Online courses are managed through a variety of tools, such as Blackboard, Course Compass, and Pearson’s Reading, Writing and Econ Lab. Video conferencing, print materials and even phone calls with the instructor also help to facilitate communication. Each class requires a proctored final exam at the end of the semester.

Learn more about the distance learning options at PWSCC, visit http://www.pwscc.edu/academics/distance-learning/.

University of Alaska Online

The University of Alaska System, along with its affiliated campuses and community colleges, boasts a large, modern and comprehensive distance learning program. Students can choose a campus, with its own particular curriculum, and sign up for the corresponding semester. Once enrolled, students can buy and sell books online, download an app for either iOS or Android, apply for admission, track their grades and check the status of an application, all without ever visiting a campus.

Online programs vary widely, from certificates to undergraduate and graduate degrees. Occupational endorsement certificates include accounting and health care information technology, while online certificates are available in diverse fields like fisheries management or health care privacy and security. The University of Alaska offers distance learning programs at campuses such as the Anchorage main campus, Kodiak College, University of Alaska Southeast, Prince William Sound Community College and Kenai Peninsula College.

Visit the University of Alaska Online at https://uaonline.alaska.edu.

Alaska Pacific University (RANA)

With fewer than 1,000 students, Alaska Pacific University is the state’s only private, nonprofit, four-year institution. APU’s Rural Alaska Native Adult (RANA) distance learning program allows students to choose a structured synchronous program or a self-paced asynchronous program. APU’s online courses harness the power of two innovative Web-based applications. Conferencing app Elluminate, a live chat program, connects students with the virtual classroom. The second application, Moodle, is where students receive assignments, turn in work and check their grades.

Alaska Pacific University offers full degree programs in the categories of arts and humanities, business and MBAs, computers and IT, criminal justice, education and teaching, health and medicine, nursing, science and engineering, social sciences, and trades and careers.

For a breakdown of Alaska Pacific University’s distance-learning program, visit http://www.distancelearning.com/alaska-pacific-university/.

Ilisagvic College and Online Learning

Ilisagvic College is the country’s northernmost public college and its northernmost accredited college. Located in the Alaskan Tundra, the school sits on the coast of the Arctic Ocean in a region that is ice-locked for nine months of the year and not connected by rail or road. This college proves that distance learning can connect even the world’s most remote and isolated regions.

Recognizing the technological challenges that some of its students may face, Ilisagvic offers support for digital expertise and network connectivity. Those who can visit the campus can utilize its computer resources. Online courses include teleconference options as well as courses delivered via MyCampus, the college’s Web-based course management system. In addition to traditional course offerings such as arts, humanities and social sciences, MyCampus lists distinctive options such as Alaska Native studies, Inupiaq studies, math for carpenters and math for electricians.

Ilisagvik is one of Alaska’s “tribal-controlled colleges,” meaning they are formally controlled, sanctioned or chartered by the government body of an Indian tribe or tribes, according to the Tribally Controlled College or University Assistance Act of 1978.

Visit Ilisagvic College’s distance learning website at http://www.ilisagvik.edu/academic-degrees-and-certificates/distance-education/.

4 Year Online Colleges in Alaska

SCHOOL NAME TYPE ADDRESS CITY SEE PROGRAMS
University of Alaska Southeast Public 11120 Glacier Highway Juneau +

Alaska’s Best Online Colleges

Best for Future Service Members

Alaska is enormous, and so are the opportunities for Alaskan students who are interested in serving their country. While prospective students can choose from a multitude of degree tracks, many Alaskan undergraduate and graduate programs can also be combined with ROTC programs. Students can choose between the Army, Navy or Air Force ROTC. We’ve compiled this list of four-year degree granting, nonprofit colleges that offer at least two ROTC programs.

College
Name
Tuition City ROTC - Army ROTC - Navy ROTC - Air Force
University of Alaska Anchorage$5,475 Anchorage Yes No Yes

Best for Personal Attention

Alaska may be known as the Last Frontier, but it features colleges and universities that rival the lower 49 states. Students can choose between colleges offering broad degree programs and those with more specialized options. Many students who enroll in online schools in Alaska are seeking an education from a great college without feeling crowded by other students in every class. The Alaska colleges and universities below all maintain small, intimate classrooms averaging fewer than 20 students for every faculty member. Congratulations to these Alaska nonprofit four-year colleges with the best student-teacher ratios.

College
Name
STUDENT-TEACHER-RATIO UNDERGRADUATE STUDENTS TUITION TYPE CITY
University of Alaska Anchorage 15 to 1 26,030$5,475 Public Anchorage
University of Alaska Southeast 13 to 1 5,787$5,475 Public Juneau
University of Alaska Fairbanks 12 to 1 14,850$5,475 Public Fairbanks
Alaska Pacific University 7 to 1 620$29,700 Private not-for-profit Anchorage
Alaska Bible College 4 to 1 46$6,840 Private not-for-profit Glennallen

Best for Women in Technology

Women are often underrepresented in technology majors, but these Alaska schools boast higher-than-average female representation. Mentorship programs and women-only housing are just two reasons more women are pursuing male-dominated technology degrees at these colleges. Through specialized programs and support systems, women receive a quality education in a positive, comfortable environment. Women will help grow the technology field even further at these online schools in Alaska.

College
Name
TUITION + FEES CITY WOMEN IN TECH DEGREES AWARDED TOTAL ENROLLMENT TYPE
University of Alaska Anchorage$5,726 Anchorage 79 8,322 Public
University of Alaska Fairbanks$5,898 Fairbanks 27 4,506 Public

Best Schools Fighting for Families

For many, supporting children and families is a dream job that can be realized with a degree in social work. Counseling, psychotherapy and public administration are just a few careers that graduates of a quality social work program may pursue. At these online schools in Alaska, students receive a quality education that allows them to work in a school setting, hospital, private practice or for a government entity, contributing to the well-being of others. The programs you’ll find in these Alaska schools offer the hands-on learning students need to achieve their dreams while positively impacting our nation’s future.

College
Name
CITY SOCIAL DEGREES AWARDED WOMEN MEN TUITION & FEES TOTAL ENROLLMENT
University of Alaska Anchorage Anchorage 46 38 8 $5,726 8,322
University of Alaska Fairbanks Fairbanks 26 21 5 $5,898 4,506