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.

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.

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Rank School Name Ranking Score Relative Cost Graduation Rate Location Description
1 University of Alaska Southeast RANKING SCORE 81.67 COST GRADUATION RATE 17% LOCATION Juneau, AK

The University of Alaska Southeast (UAS) is headquartered in Juneau with extended campuses in Sitka and Ketchikan. Through its four schools--School of Arts and Sciences, School of Career Education, School of Education, and School of Management--UAS accommodates approximately 3,800 students with programming in a diverse range of disciplines.

UAS, one of Alaska’s online colleges, provides students with access to a variety of academic programs and career and technical education via e-learning. Bachelor’s degrees are offered online in education, social science, business administration, and library arts. Of note is the BA in Social Science which has several concentrations, including history, political science, and psychology. The school uses a blend of e-learning delivery systems, including web, satellite broadcast, audio, or video conference. The school has a full complement of student services for online learners, such as admission counseling, faculty advising, UA site coordinators, tutoring resources, and online library resources.

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2 University of Alaska Fairbanks RANKING SCORE 69.17 COST GRADUATION RATE 25% LOCATION Fairbanks, AK

The University of Alaska Fairbanks (UAF) is a public research university and a flagship campus of the UA system, with seven rural and urban campuses and online learning. UAF, with the beautiful last frontier as its backyard, serves about 11,000 students with its catalog of online offerings spanning the disciplines; the most popular undergraduate majors include general program/studies, biological sciences, petroleum engineering, and mechanical engineering.

UAF is one of the best online colleges in Alaska because of its extensive list of online bachelor’s degree offerings; these include the fields of accounting, business administration, education, interdisciplinary studies, and social work. Programs of note include the BA in Justice, in which students learn problem-solving conflicts regarding federal, state, and Native American issues; and the BA in Rural Development, in which students gain knowledge about the state’s cultural heritage, contribution to the global economy, and sustainable development strategies.

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3 Alaska Pacific University RANKING SCORE 59.17 COST GRADUATION RATE 48% LOCATION Anchorage, AK

Tucked away on 175 acres in the forest among Anchorage’s trail system, is Alaska Pacific University (APU), a small private liberal arts and sciences university emphasizing experiential, hands-on instruction. Among its notables are academic rigor, applied research projects, developing students critical thinking and problem-solving skills, and student engagement.

APU has fewer than 800 students and is one of the online colleges in Alaska offering bachelor’s degree options: an accelerated BA to MBA and the BA in Counselling Psychology. Of note is their Accelerated MBA, in which students move directly from the BA program directly into the MBA, and classes can be taken entirely online. The school is affordable having implemented a 34% reduction in undergraduate tuition in a bid to ease student debt. Pell-eligible students can attend APU for free or at a much reduced tuition.

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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 more and more 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.

NCES REPORT

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.

According to data from the 2016 IPEDS report (published in November 2017), most online bachelor’s degrees offered in 2016 in Alaska were in business administration and management:

Business Administration and Management

In Alaska, employment growth in this profession is poor. According to the Alaska Department of Labor and Workforce Development, long term projections show a decrease of 30% in the total number of jobs between 2014 and 2024. Wages increased by 15% from 2011-2016.

Top Careers in Business Administration and Management

In Alaska, what were the top careers in 2016 for people who had a degree in business administration and management?

Career Name Number of Jobs Average Annual Wage
General and Operations Managers 6,490 $107,320
Managers, All Other 1,460 $109,710
Construction Managers 960 $127,810
Chief Executives 760 $166,790
Management Analysts 670 $86,270
Transportation, Storage, and Distribution Managers 550 $89,210
Administrative Services Managers 530 $100,280
Sales Managers 400 $105,900
Social and Community Service Managers 380 $79,060
Business Teachers, Postsecondary 350 $86,550
Cost Estimators 320 $87,880
Industrial Production Managers 110 $117,370
Career Outlook for General and Operations Managers in Alaska

Data source: Alaska Department of Labor and Workforce Development, Bureau of Labor Statistics. Data may not be available for every year.

Wages - General and Operations Managers (2011 - 2016)

Data source: Alaska Department of Labor and Workforce Development, Bureau of Labor Statistics. Data may not be available for every year.

Best Schools for Business Administration

In Alaska, the best online business administration and management bachelor’s degrees are offered by:


Elementary Education and Teaching

Employment growth in this profession in Alaska is poor. According to the Alaska Department of Labor and Workforce Development, long term projections show a decrease of 20% in the total number of jobs between 2014 and 2024. Wages increased by 1% from 2011-2016.

Top Careers in Elementary Education

In Alaska, what were the top careers in 2016 for people who had a degree in elementary education and teaching?

Career Name Number of Jobs Average Annual Wage
Elementary School Teachers, Except Special Education 3,020 $73,050
Career Outlook for Elementary School Teachers, Except Special Education, in Alaska

Data source: Alaska Department of Labor and Workforce Development, Bureau of Labor Statistics. Data may not be available for every year.

Wages - Elementary School Teachers, Except Special Education (2011 - 2016)

Data source: Alaska Department of Labor and Workforce Development, Bureau of Labor Statistics. Data may not be available for every year.

Best Schools for Elementary Education

In Alaska, the best online elementary education and teaching bachelor’s degrees are offered by:


Special Education and Teaching

Employment growth in this profession in Alaska is poor. According to the Alaska Department of Labor and Workforce Development, long term projections show a decrease of 40% in the total number of jobs between 2014 and 2024. Wages increased by 18% from 2011-2016.

Top Careers in Special Education

In Alaska, what were the top careers in 2016 for people who had a degree in special education and teaching?

Career Name Number of Jobs Average Annual Wage
Special Education Teachers, Kindergarten and Elementary School 760 $76,930
Special Education Teachers, Secondary School 240 $74,630
Special Education Teachers, Middle School 200 $78,280
Special Education Teachers, Preschool 90 $66,150
Special Education Teachers, All Other 40 $55,880
Career Outlook for Special Education Teachers, Kindergarten and Elementary School in Alaska

Data source: Alaska Department of Labor and Workforce Development, Bureau of Labor Statistics. Data may not be available for every year.

Wages - Special Education Teachers, Kindergarten and Elementary School (2011 - 2016)

Data source: Alaska Department of Labor and Workforce Development, Bureau of Labor Statistics. Data may not be available for every year.

Best Schools for Special Education

In Alaska, the best online special education and teaching bachelor’s degrees are offered by:


Accounting and Business/Management

In Alaska, employment growth in this profession is poor. According to the Alaska Department of Labor and Workforce Development, long term projections show a decrease of 24% in the total number of jobs between 2014 and 2024. Wages increased by 16% from 2011-2016.

Top Careers in Accounting and Business Management

In Alaska, what were the top careers in 2016 for people who had a degree in accounting and business/management?

Career Name Number of Jobs Average Annual Wage
Accountants and Auditors 2,350 v
Financial Managers 870 $111,010
Financial Analysts 350 $98,120
Career Outlook for Accountants and Auditors in Alaska

Data source: Alaska Department of Labor and Workforce Development, Bureau of Labor Statistics. Data may not be available for every year.

Wages - Accountants and Auditors (2011 - 2016)

Data source: Alaska Department of Labor and Workforce Development, Bureau of Labor Statistics. Data may not be available for every year.

Best Schools for Accounting and Business Management

In Alaska, the best online accounting and business management bachelor’s degrees are offered by:

  • No schools in Alaska currently offer an online degree program in business or management.

Rankings Archive

Best Online Colleges in Alaska of 2017
Rank School Location
1 University of Alaska Fairbanks Fairbanks, AK
2 Alaska Pacific University Anchorage, AK
3 University of Alaska Southeast Juneau, AK

Best Online Colleges in Alaska of 2016
Rank School Location
1 University of Alaska Fairbanks Fairbanks, AK
2 University of Alaska Southeast Juneau, AK
3 University of Alaska Anchorage Anchorage, AK