Accredited Degree Programs, Scholarships and Resources for Top Schools
Alaska is home to several universities and colleges, many of which offer online distance education programs. While just over 4,000 students are enrolled in Alaska's private colleges and universities, almost 30,000 learners attend public and state schools. Thanks to online learning, prospective students from any state can explore these digital campuses as they search for the perfect place to obtain their higher education goals. This page includes information on Alaska's online college options and answers commonly asked questions about online degree programs in Alaska, including cost, transferring credits and accreditation.
Best Online Colleges in Alaska
Online schools and colleges in Alaska offer practical, ever-growing alternatives to on-campus learning. The number of students enrolled in online courses in Alaska outweighs the national average. Online degree programs often offer more flexible schedules and lower tuition costs than on-campus programs.
This guide covers important information for prospective online students, including tuition costs and other fees, financial aid opportunities, and student resources.
These rankings include
#1 Online Schools and Colleges in Alaska
University of Alaska Fairbanks
- 4 years
- Online + Campus
For a premier educational experience, online learners can attend University of Alaska Fairbanks. The public institution provides flexible enrollment options for its 4,867 online students. Learners in online programs can complete coursework at their convenience, from anywhere, eliminating the need to live near campus.
Many online courses feature opportunities to participate in discussions and develop professional connections with classmates. Learners receive academic opportunities such as research collaborations. Career services such as job boards and mock interviews help learners prepare to secure professional positions after earning their degree.
Degree-seekers can apply for institutional funding and external scholarships. Students can consult financial aid officers for information about institutional and outside funding options. Financial aid helps 88% of the school's enrollees cover their educational costs.
#2 Online Schools and Colleges in Alaska
Alaska Pacific University
- 4 years
- Online + Campus
Learners who need scheduling flexibility can consider Alaska Pacific University's online programs. Degree-seekers in many fields of study can find suitable options in the school's nine online programs. The institution's enrollment includes 174 online degree-seekers.
Students can access support and resources through the online learning community. During their program, participants can build their professional network. To contribute to the field and gain practical skills, students can complete original research under faculty supervision. To assist distance learners, the institution delivers resources including academic advising in a virtual format. Opportunities such as job fairs and career workshops help enrollees explore their professional options.
Many students apply for financial aid to reduce the financial burden of earning a degree. Learners can also apply for scholarships from third-party organizations. To fund their education, 100% of the institution's enrollees receive financial aid.
#3 Online Schools and Colleges in Alaska
University of Alaska Southeast
- 4 years
- Online + Campus
University of Alaska Southeast is a leader in online education. With 28 online programs, the school provides a variety of academic options for its 1,423 online enrollees. Learners from all walks of life can benefit from the flexibility guaranteed by an online education.
Distance learners can connect with peers and professors through forums and email. Research projects present opportunities for learners to bolster their resume while contributing knowledge to their field. Enrollees can use institutional resources, such as career guidance and resume assistance, to prepare to secure a position in their field. Students who are apprehensive about the interview process can take advantage of mock interviews to prepare for their job search.
Financial aid counselors help applicants explore funding options to reduce out-of-pocket costs. Enrollees can apply for both institutional funding and private scholarships. Of the school's student body, 75% of degree-seekers qualify for some form of financial aid.
#4 Online Schools and Colleges in Alaska
University of Alaska Anchorage
- 4 years
- Online + Campus
University of Alaska Anchorage's online offerings allow busy learners to earn a degree and prepare for careers according to their schedule. Degree-seekers in many fields of study can find suitable options in the school's 29 online programs. Of all enrollees, 7,250 benefit from distance learning opportunities.
Online students receive support and can form connections through the virtual learning community. Participants learn alongside colleagues in a virtual classroom environment. Some students complete original research in collaboration with professors, contributing to their field and gaining practical experience. Institutional resources including online academic advising to help distance learners select classes that match their professional goals. Networking opportunities and career services help enrollees prepare to succeed in the workforce.
Many students apply for financial aid to reduce the financial burden of earning a degree. The school's financial aid office provides information about scholarships, fellowships, and other financial aid opportunities. To help pay for their educational program, 82% of enrollees receive financial aid, according to the institution.
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Top Online Programs
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How Can I Find Which Online Colleges Offer the Degree I'm Looking for in Alaska?
Prospective students can use websites such as U.S. News & World Report to determine the best-ranked online schools and programs. The following link also provides information on accredited Alaska colleges and universities.
SEARCH ALL ACCREDITED SCHOOLS IN ALASKA
How Much More Do College Grads in Alaska Make?
Professionals with a postsecondary degree typically enjoy more employment opportunities and higher salaries than professionals without a degree. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, average salaries increase with a professional's level of education. The following table outlines average nationwide salaries for various education levels.
|LESS THAN A HIGH SCHOOL DIPLOMA||HIGH SCHOOL DIPLOMA||ASSOCIATE DEGREE|
|BACHELOR'S DEGREE||MASTER'S DEGREE||DOCTORAL DEGREE|
Paying for Online College in Alaska: Tuition and Financial Aid
Earning a degree requires a significant financial investment. However, students can take advantage of many financial aid opportunities to help offset the cost of a degree, such as loans, scholarships, and grants. Additionally, Alaska offers several opportunities for reduced tuition, including the Western Interstate Commission for Higher Education, which offers tuition discounts to out-of-state students from participating states and institutions.
The following tables outline average undergraduate tuition and fees for public and private universities in the U.S. and Alaska.
|IN-STATE TUITION||OUT-OF-STATE TUITION||NATIONAL AVERAGE|
|$7,924||$20,061||$9,037 (In-State)$25,657 (Out-of-State)|
|IN-STATE TUITION||OUT-OF-STATE TUITION||NATIONAL AVERAGE|
Source: National Center for Education Statistics
Cost Considerations for Online Students in Alaska
In addition to tuition, students should consider expenses like technology and textbook fees when weighing the overall cost of a degree. We highlight several of these expenses below.
- Technology Fees: Some online programs require students to pay fees for software access and new technology.
- Distance Education Fees: Online students may need to pay a distance education fee to support the costs of online course administration.
- Residency Costs: Many schools offer tuition discounts to in-state students, while others allow all online students to pay the same tuition rate regardless of residency.
- Travel Costs: Some online degree programs feature on-campus requirements, which may require students to pay for travel and room and board.
- Textbook Fees: Though many distance education programs use free online resources, students may need to purchase digital or physical copies of textbooks and other learning materials.
Qualifying for In-State Tuition in Alaska
Online schools and colleges in Alaska feature various qualifications for in-state tuition. Traditionally, in-state students include those who reside in the state. However, students may qualify for in-state tuition through other means, such as reciprocity agreements or regional exchange agreements. Additionally, some programs allow all online students to pay in-state tuition, regardless of where they live. Students should research each prospective school to determine tuition requirements.
Paying for College in Alaska: Scholarships and Financial Aid
Online learners can take advantage of several financial aid opportunities to offset education expenses, such as scholarships, grants, and loans. Scholarships and loans are ideal as, unlike grants, they do not require repayment. We cover several grant and scholarship opportunities for Alaska students below.
Scholarships for Alaska College Students
Alaska Performance Scholarship
Who Can Apply: High school seniors with a minimum 2.5 GPA and a minimum score of 1060 on the SAT or 21 on the ACT qualify for this award.
Amount: Up to $4,755 per year
JJ Klein Scholarship
Who Can Apply: Alaska high school students with demonstrable financial need who plan to attend an accredited university qualify for this award. Applicants with a GPA above 3.5 are ineligible for the scholarship.
Amount: Up to $10,000
Gary Martin Swim Scholarship
Who Can Apply: Students who participated in high school swim and hold a GPA between 2.5 and 3.5 qualify for this award. Applicants with demonstrable financial need receive preference.
William Hunt Scholarship
Who Can Apply: Students enrolled in an accredited hospitality, travel, or tourism program with a minimum 3.0 GPA qualify for this award.
BP Alaska Principal's Scholarship
Who Can Apply: High school principals in Alaska nominate one senior for this award each year. A committee selects 10 winners annually, with one awardee selected to receive an additional $10,000.
Grants for Alaska College Students
Alaska Education Grant
Who Can Apply: This grant awards money based on the highest financial need. Applicants must be taking at least 15 credits to receive the maximum award.
Alaska Space Grant Program
Who Can Apply: Undergraduate students engaged in aerospace engineering, earth science, or other STEM research may apply for this grant. Applicants must attend an accredited Alaskan university and be in good academic standing.
Amount: Varies annually based on NASA funding
Federal Pell Grant
Who Can Apply: Sponsored by the federal government, the Pell grant supports students with demonstrable financial need. Applicants must submit the FAFSA every year that they wish to be considered.
Academic Competitiveness Grant
Who Can Apply: Students in their first or second year at a college or university may apply for this need-based federal grant. Students must be in good academic standing.
National SMART Grant
Who Can Apply: This federal grant accepts applicants in their third or fourth year of study in a technical field, eligible foreign language program, or qualifying liberal arts program.
FINANCIAL AID FOR ONLINE SCHOOLS
The Importance of Accreditation for Online Colleges and Universities in Alaska
Students should consider accreditation status when researching prospective schools. Accreditation expands employment, education, and financial aid opportunities and indicates that a school meets high academic standards.
Regional and National Accreditation
Prospective students should look for a school's accreditation status when researching potential programs. Accreditation expands employment, education, and financial aid opportunities and indicates that a school meets quality academic standards.
The U.S. Department of Education recognizes certain nongovernmental agencies as accrediting organizations. The Council of Higher Education Accreditation (CHEA) also approves and monitors accrediting agencies.
Programs within a school may also receive accreditation. Programmatic accreditation indicates that a program meets high academic standards and adequately prepares students for the workforce. Students can research a program's accreditation status through CHEA's directory.
How to Know if Your School or Program is Accredited
Students can typically find a program or school's accreditation status through the school's website. Prospective students can also search CHEA's accrediting directory or the Department of Education's accrediting directory. Each of these organizations record accredited schools and programs, along with the corresponding agency.
Online College and Adult Education in Alaska
Online schools and colleges in Alaska offer a quality education in a flexible and accessible learning format, attracting many Alaska students to online programs, as the following table indicates.
By the Numbers: Adult Education in Alaska
Almost 22% of Alaska students took exclusively online courses in 2015.
Around 48% of Alaska students enrolled in at least one online course in 2015.
Business administration and management is the most common online bachelor's degree in Alaska.
Source: Online Learning Survey
Adult Education Programs for Alaska Students
- FAFSA Time Alaska: The FAFSA determines a student's eligibility for federal financial aid. This program provides distance and in-person FAFSA completion assistance to Alaska students.
- Apply Now Alaska: This program supports low-income and first-generation students in applying to college. Created by the Alaska Commission on Postsecondary Education, the program offers support from November through February.
- College Access Challenge Grant Program: The Department of Education partners with state and local governments to match grants for low-income students. This program also provides career and education advice to recipients.
Online College Resources for Alaska Students
Current and prospective online students in Alaska can take advantage of a variety of helpful resources, which offer information on topics like financial aid opportunities, program availability, and student services.
- Alaska Commission on Postsecondary Education: Designed to bolster college attendance rates in the state, the commission provides students with low-interest supplemental loans and information on financial aid, including scholarship and grant opportunities.
- BigFuture: Through this website, students can compare colleges and universities, explore various programs and majors, and learn about financial aid opportunities.
- Murkowski.senate.gov: Through this website, Senator Lisa Murkowski offers links to federal and state resources with information on financial aid opportunities, college planning services, and public service.
- Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities: The NWCCU accredits colleges and universities in Alaska, monitoring the standards of education in each school. Students can search for accredited online degree programs through this site.
- StudentLoans.gov: A federal website dedicated to helping students pay for college, visitors can access information on financial aid counseling, loan options, and federal grant opportunities.