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Online Colleges in Alaska

Most Affordable Online Colleges

Residents of this northernmost state appreciate the beauty and isolation that is their unique heritage. On the other hand, local options for higher education are extremely limited. Distance learning programs may be the ideal solution for students in this secluded state. Online colleges in Alaska serve students who want to increase their educational options, despite their remote location.

Although Alaska is the largest state in the U.S., it is only the 47th most populous. As such, college degree programs in Alaska are quite limited; the state offers the fewest options in the country. That said, there are still 10 colleges in Alaska that offer a total of 1,805 associate degree programs, 2,033 bachelor's degree programs and 707 master's degree programs.

There are 710, 231 people who live in the state of Alaska. Of those aged 25 and older, 17.7 percent have a bachelor's degree and 9.8 percent have a graduate or professional degree. About half of the population of Alaska, 324,970 people, is employed, and in 2014 they collectively made a mean annual wage of $54,040, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS).

Affordable Online Colleges in Alaska

Whether you live far from urban centers or are a resident of Fairbanks or Anchorage, you're probably looking for affordable and flexible degree program options. The following colleges offer students just that. This list of affordable online colleges in Alaska includes information on tuition as well as the number and type of online programs offered.

Affordable Two-Year Online Colleges in Alaska

1

Ilisagvik College

Accredited
 
Tuition/Year Tuition per year refers to the average in-state tuition for full-time undergraduates and, if applicable, graduate students as of 2014, according to the National Center for Education Statistics
$3,000
Distance Education Participation Distance Education Participation refers to the percentage of students taking either some or all of the courses via distance education, according to the National Center for Education Statistics.
36.79%
Institution Type
Public

About

Ilisagvik College offers distance education courses via teleconference and the online course management system MyCampus. These courses may be applied toward earning a degree in one of the many subject areas available, including Iñupiaq studies, allied health, business, information technology, emergency services, vocational trade, heavy equipment operations, foundation studies, and the teacher preparedness program known as Teachers for the Arctic.

School Website: 
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Affordable Four-Year Online Colleges in Alaska

1

University of Alaska Anchorage

Accredited
 
Tuition/Year Tuition per year refers to the average in-state tuition for full-time undergraduates and, if applicable, graduate students as of 2014, according to the National Center for Education Statistics
$5,656
Distance Education Participation Distance Education Participation refers to the percentage of students taking either some or all of the courses via distance education, according to the National Center for Education Statistics.
42.98%
Institution Type
Public

About

The Anchorage campus of the University of Alaska offers online degree programs that can be completed entirely online or in a hybrid format. UA Anchorage students use Blackboard technology to receive course materials and communicate with their teachers.

School Website: 
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2

University of Alaska Fairbanks

Accredited
 
Tuition/Year Tuition per year refers to the average in-state tuition for full-time undergraduates and, if applicable, graduate students as of 2014, according to the National Center for Education Statistics
$5,656
Distance Education Participation Distance Education Participation refers to the percentage of students taking either some or all of the courses via distance education, according to the National Center for Education Statistics.
45.90%
Institution Type
Public

About

All three campuses of the University of Alaska, including the campus in Fairbanks, offer online degree programs that can be completed entirely online or in a hybrid format. The online degree programs offered at Fairbanks include associate degree programs in applied accounting, applied business, early childhood education and information technology specialist, as well as an Associate of Arts degree program. Online bachelor's degree programs are offered in business administration, homeland security and emergency management, and justice. Online graduate degree programs are offered in online innovation and design, administration of justice, MBA, and security and disaster management.

School Website: 
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3

University of Alaska Southeast

Accredited
 
Tuition/Year Tuition per year refers to the average in-state tuition for full-time undergraduates and, if applicable, graduate students as of 2014, according to the National Center for Education Statistics
$5,656
Distance Education Participation Distance Education Participation refers to the percentage of students taking either some or all of the courses via distance education, according to the National Center for Education Statistics.
65.71%
Institution Type
Public

About

At the University of Alaska Southeast, like all the campuses that are part of the University of Alaska system, eLearning courses are delivered via Blackboard technology. Fully online associate and bachelor's degree programs are offered in the following subjects: accounting, business, education, health information, human resource management, law enforcement, liberal arts, management, management information systems and public administration.

School Website: 
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4

Alaska Pacific University

Accredited
 
Tuition/Year Tuition per year refers to the average in-state tuition for full-time undergraduates and, if applicable, graduate students as of 2014, according to the National Center for Education Statistics
$19,500
Distance Education Participation Distance Education Participation refers to the percentage of students taking either some or all of the courses via distance education, according to the National Center for Education Statistics.
N/A
Institution Type
Private

About

Select online courses are offered to Alaska Pacific University students each semester. Though created primarily for professional studies students, eLearning courses are available for undergraduates as well. Students must attend either a face-to-face or an online training session to learn the online platform, provided by Blackboard. Each course has a weekly eLearning live chat session, usually scheduled for the evening.

School Website: 
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5

Charter College-Anchorage

Accredited
 
Tuition/Year Tuition per year refers to the average in-state tuition for full-time undergraduates and, if applicable, graduate students as of 2014, according to the National Center for Education Statistics
$20,137
Distance Education Participation Distance Education Participation refers to the percentage of students taking either some or all of the courses via distance education, according to the National Center for Education Statistics.
96.04%
Institution Type
Private

About

Charter College-Anchorage offers four online degree programs: an MBA, a bachelor's in accounting and two associates in paralegal studies and computer networking systems. Course materials for all of these degree programs are delivered entirely online.

School Website: 
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College Accreditation in Alaska

Checking a school's accreditation is an important step in finding the perfect college or university. It's especially crucial for those who may need financial aid. Federal assistance programs are only available to students enrolled at schools with an accreditation recognized by the U.S. Department of Education.

There are nationally recognized accrediting agencies, but they typically only apply to a specific type of school or degree program. However, each state also has a regional accrediting body. This organization offers voluntary accreditation to all postsecondary institutions in the state. For Alaska, the Department of Education recognizes the following regional accrediting body:

  • Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities (NWCCU)

To learn whether other accreditations listed by colleges in Alaska are approved by the government, check the Council for Higher Education Accreditation or Department of Education websites.

Source: Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities (Accessed January 2017), http://www.nwccu.org/

Financial Aid in Alaska

Alaska Loans

Alaska offers its students two supplemental education loan options through the Alaska Commission on Postsecondary Education. The state is committed to providing rates exactly as they are advertised and promises to lower costs whenever it is possible. They also pride themselves on their customer service, provided by Alaska-based agents, and the fact that their loans have a lower interest rate than the Federal PLUS loan.

The ASEL is a low-cost loan for both in-state and out-of-state students, as well as those in career training institutions that are not covered by federal loans. Eligible students must be enrolled at least half-time, and have a qualifying credit score (or apply with a cosigner who does). Students are not required to make any payments while enrolled full-time, though there is no penalty for paying off the loan early.

  • Application deadline:  Up to $14,000 per year for undergraduates
  • Award amount:  Not specified
The FEL offers an opportunity for a family to help cover the cost of a student's education. The borrower may be a spouse, parent, stepparent, foster parent, or grandparent. Both the borrower and the student must be residents of Alaska, and the student must be enrolled full-time. There is no credit score requirement, but the borrower must have an acceptable credit history.

  • Application deadline:  Up to $14,000 per year for undergraduates
  • Award amount:  Not specified

Learn more about student loans of all types in the Ultimate Guide to Student Loans.

Additional Resources for Financial Aid in Alaska

Featured Cities In Alaska

Data on the following cities of Alaska is sourced from the 2015 American Community Survey (census.gov).

Anchorage, AK Metro Area

Total Population

395,285

Median salary for high school grads

$37,230

Median salary with a bachelor's degree

$55,487

% of the population enrolled in college or grad school

28.1%

Median rent

$1,181

Fun Facts

From the Chugach Mountains to the sparkling waters of Cook Inlet, Anchorage offers a beautiful, natural landscape in which to work and study. In addition to outdoor activities such as dog sledding and fishing, Anchorage offers several cultural and sporting events, such as the Anchorage International Film Festival and the college basketball tournament known as the Great Alaska Shootout.

Fairbanks, AK Metro Area

Total Population

99,705

Median salary for high school grads

$35,210

Median salary with a bachelor's degree

$51,745

% of the population enrolled in college or grad school

38.5%

Median rent

$1,216

Fun Facts

Fairbanks enjoys a rich tradition of ecotourism, which includes viewing the Northern Lights, dog mushing and epic fishing. Fairbanks also boasts a symphony orchestra and a wide selection of galleries showcasing indigenous and contemporary art.

 
Article Sources

Sources :

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  20. Family Education Loan (FEL), Accessed April 2017, http://acpe.alaska.gov/FINANCIAL_AID/Loans/Family_Education_Loans
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