Best Online Colleges in Alaska

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Alaska, the largest and most sparsely populated state in the U.S., incorporated technology into their education system decades ago. Since 1981, the state has utilized the Alaska Society of Technology in Education (ASTE) to promote access to technology for all students in Alaska. The remote nature of the state encouraged the creation of this program and others, such as Alaska’s Learning Network (AKLN), to connect learners from all areas of the state.

One of the best online colleges in Alaska is provided through the University of Alaska. This large, multi-campus university offers 106 online degree programs and counting. This university, like others in Alaska, facilitates online courses with the Blackboard learning management system. Many other schools in Alaska are encouraged to use this system, which creates a strong and streamlined online learning infrastructure across the state.

Another source of regulation and compliance to online education standards comes from Alaska’s membership in the Western Interstate Commission for Higher Education. The state joined in 1955 and since then has participated in the State Authorization Reciprocity Agreement (SARA). In doing so, Alaska demonstrated a commitment to making online education courses more accessible to students across state lines, in turn making online education a valuable and pragmatic option for students in Alaska.

Rank School Name Ranking Score Relative Cost Graduation Rate Location Description
1University of Alaska Fairbanks 1/532.24%Fairbanks, AK

The University of Alaska Fairbanks is one of three Alaska colleges in the University of Alaska system offering online undergraduate and graduate degrees, certificates, and occupational endorsements. UAF’s eLearning and Distance Education also offers core courses for an associate or bachelor’s degree, including courses in communication, perspectives on the human condition, library and information skills, mathematics, and natural sciences.

UAF’s online instruction and degree programs enable working professionals and full-time students to complete their coursework at anytime, anywhere in the world. Some eLearning courses utilize audio or video conferences, while hybrid courses include a blend of online and in-person instruction.

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2University of Alaska Southeast 2/516.88%Juneau, AK

Distance learning has become an essential part of education for many Alaska colleges, including the University of Alaska Southeast. In fact, UAS has the largest selection of online courses and degrees among colleges in Alaska. The university’s online offerings include undergraduate and graduate degrees and certificates in education, business, public administration, career education, social sciences, and liberal arts.

Students can search and enroll in online courses using the UAS website. Advisors and reliable online resources are also available to help students get the most out of eLearning.

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3University of Alaska Anchorage 2/525.04%Anchorage, AK

Among the best in the state for an online education, the University of Alaska Anchorage offers a truly comprehensive selection of online courses. Students can easily search for eLearning courses on the university’s website. UAA also offers blended courses, which require students attend class labs on campus for up to 50% of the course. All UAA students, including eLearning students, have access to an academic advisor.

While students can complete eLearning classes off campus, some courses may require proctored exams. A proctored exam is a supervised exam taken at a location approved by the UAA eLearning office.

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More About Online Colleges in Alaska

Over the past five years, four-year college tuition in Alaska has risen by 30.1%, though tuition rates are still relatively low. State spending on education is up, and with over 80% of postsecondary institutions now offering online courses, now is a great time to pursue an online degree through an Alaskan college.

Browse our list of the best online colleges in Alaska for more insight into distance learning programs in this state.


According to a recent NCES report, 16.4% of students enrolled in Title IV institutions in Alaska (5,553 students) were in exclusively online programs.

  • 91.7% were in public 4-year institutions
  • 3.6% of students at for-profit four-year institutions studied entirely online
  • 91.3% were living in Alaska
  • 7.9% were living elsewhere in the United States

One of only two states to increase public spending on higher education since the economic downturn in 2008, Alaska has invested significantly in distance learning programs. Many Alaska natives are familiar with online learning, as the sheer size of the state requires plenty of students to take distance courses. As online programs become a more prominent part of higher education in general, students in Alaska should expect to see schools in their state continue to develop their own programs. Already, the University of Alaska offers 112 distance-learning degrees, and many other schools offer some form of online education as well.