Online Colleges in Alaska

Most Affordable Online Colleges

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Methodology

Using the National Center for Education Statistics’ Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System (IPEDS), we generated a list of colleges and universities that met the following criteria:

  1. Level of institution is either "Four or more years" or "At least 2 but less than 4 years"
  2. Data is reported for all 11 ranking variables listed in the Methodology section
  3. At least 1% of students are taking at least some of the classes via distance education
  4. "Number of programs offered via distance education" was an integer greater than 0

We ranked the resulting 1,813 colleges on 11 criteria, using 2016-17 data from IPEDS:

  1. Number of programs offered via distance education
  2. Ratio of students participating fully or partially in DE to Total Enrollment
  3. Average in-state tuition for undergraduates
  4. Total electronic library collections, including digital books, databases, and media
  5. Graduation rate
  6. Retention rate
  7. The availability of any tuition plans (Payment, Guaranteed, Other)
  8. Services (Academic/Career, Placement for Completers)
  9. Credit offerings (Dual, Life, AP, Military)
  10. Percent of undergraduate students awarded federal, state, local, institutional or other sources of grant aid
  11. Average amount of federal, state, local, institutional, or other sources of grant aid awarded to undergraduate students

All schools were scored on a 10-point scale for each of the points listed above. Individual data point scores were then multiplied by their respective weights, and the scores were added together, for a maximum possible score of 10 points.

Methodology Sources

  • Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System (IPEDS) 2016-17, National Center for Education Statistics, http://nces.ed.gov/ipeds/

Sources :

  1. Alaska Pacific University, http://catalog.alaskapacific.edu/content.php?catoid=6&navoid=140
  2. Alaska Statistical Areas, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Alaska_statistical_areas
  3. American Fact Finder, Educational Attainment: Alaska, U.S. Census Bureau, accessed November 2015, http://factfinder.census.gov/faces/tableservices/jsf/pages/productview.xhtml?src=CF
  4. Charter College Anchorage, http://www.chartercollege.edu/news-hub/are-these-online-degrees-right-me
  5. Explore Fairbanks Alaska, http://www.explorefairbanks.com/go/explore/arts-and-culture/37
  6. Ilisagvik College, http://www.ilisagvik.edu/departments/online-learning/
  7. IPEDS Data Center, National Center for Education Statistics, accessed November 2015, http://nces.ed.gov/ipeds/datacenter/CDSPreview.aspx?stepId=4
  8. Juneau, Alaska, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Juneau,_Alaska
  9. Labor Force Data, Bureau of Labor Statistics, accessed November 2015, http://www.bls.gov/news.release/metro.t01.htm
  10. Occupational Employment Statistics, Alaska, Bureau of Labor Statistics, accessed November 2015, http://www.bls.gov/oes/current/oes_ak.htm
  11. Occupational Employment Statistics, Anchorage, Bureau of Labor Statistics, accessed November 2015, http://www.bls.gov/oes/current/oes_11260.htm
  12. Occupational Employment Statistics, Fairbanks, Bureau of Labor Statistics, accessed November 2015, http://www.bls.gov/oes/current/oes_21820.htm
  13. Occupational Employment Statistics, Southeast Alaska nonmetropolitan area, Bureau of Labor Statistics,  accessed November 2015, http://www.bls.gov/oes/current/oes_0200001.htm
  14. TravelJuneau, http://www.traveljuneau.com/index.php
  15. University of Alaska Anchorage, https://classes.uaa.alaska.edu
  16. University of Alaska Fairbanks, http://elearning.uaf.edu/degrees/
  17. University of Alaska Southeast, http://www.uas.alaska.edu/apply/programs/index.html
  18. Visit Anchorage Alaska, http://www.anchorage.net/event/great-alaska-shootout/32024/
  19. Alaska Supplemental Education Loan (ASEL), Accessed April 2017, http://acpe.alaska.gov/FINANCIAL_AID/Loans/Alaska_Supplemental_Education_Loan
  20. Family Education Loan (FEL), Accessed April 2017, http://acpe.alaska.gov/FINANCIAL_AID/Loans/Family_Education_Loans
  21. Alaska Commission on Postsecondary Education, Accessed April 2017, http://acpe.alaska.gov/
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    Alaska is a state known for its vast expanses of wilderness and nature that go largely untouched by humans; to call the scenery of this state "beautiful" is frankly an understatement. It's therefore no surprise that Alaska is an amazing place for individuals interested in outdoor activities, from hunting to fishing to hiking. The Alaskan city of Fairbanks is often cited as the best place in the United States to see the aurora borealis, a marvel that descriptions cannot do justice.

    Unfortunately, given the fact that Alaska is the largest US state by area and the smallest US state by population, it's not always easy for Alaska's population to have access to the same resources that individuals in the contiguous 48 states have. Education is one of the resources affected by this dilemma. The vast distances students would have to cover merely to attend an instate school can be prohibitive, so online education options are widely available. In such a situation, it's not surprising that 33.6% of Alaskan college students enrolled in Title IV educational institutions are taking at least one distance education course.

    While Alaska may not have the same number of schools as other states in the US, that doesn't mean the quality of its fine institutes is inferior. Let's take a look at some of the options for students looking to take college courses online in Alaska, whether for a graduate certificate or a full undergraduate or graduate degree.

    Best Online Colleges in Alaska for 2018-19

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    When you have distance learning available to you, any college, no matter how far away physically, can be within your reach. Of course it's wonderful to have such freedom, but it can also make it difficult to decide which school to pick. To help with your decision, we have ranked the five best online Alaska colleges offering online programs, using data from the National Center for Education Statistics and our unique methodology (details at the bottom of this page). What constitutes "best" depends on the needs of each specific student (and our Top Colleges Tool can help you with that), but to start off your research, we offer you our list of the best online colleges in Alaska.

    1

    University of Alaska-Fairbanks

    Tuition & Fees/Year Tuition and fees per year refers to the average in-state tuition and required fees for full-time undergraduates and, if applicable, graduate students as of 2016, according to the National Center for Education Statistics.
    $5,976
    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.
    52%
    Number of Programs Offered Number of programs offered refers to the count of degrees and certificates offered via distance education at any level as of 2016, according to the National Center for Education Statistics.
    46
    School Type
    4-year

    The University of Alaska-Fairbanks has five community and regional campuses spread out across the state, as well as six community centers. As Alaska's only land, sea and space grant university, UAF's dedication to research is clear. The university is, in fact, widely known for its research in climate change and arctic research.

    Online students at UAF can choose from a variety of program options. Undergraduates can pursue a certificate, an occupational endorsement, an associate degree, a bachelor's degree or a bachelor's degree completion program. Graduate students may be interested in one of the school's online master's programs, such as business administration, security and disaster management, and administration of justice.

    2

    University of Alaska-Southeast

    Tuition & Fees/Year Tuition and fees per year refers to the average in-state tuition and required fees for full-time undergraduates and, if applicable, graduate students as of 2016, according to the National Center for Education Statistics.
    $8,415
    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.
    72%
    Number of Programs Offered Number of programs offered refers to the count of degrees and certificates offered via distance education at any level as of 2016, according to the National Center for Education Statistics.
    29
    School Type
    4-year

    As its name suggests, the University of Alaska-Southeast is part of the University of Alaska System. Its main campus is located in Alaska's state capital, Juneau. Recognizing the need to make its courses and programs accessible to students all across Alaska, UAS offers multiple online learning possibilities and makes no distinction between on-campus and online coursework in terms of academic credit.

    UAS's online programs run the gamut from vocational endorsements and certificates all the way up to master's degrees. Specific programs include an occupational endorsement program in marine transportation, an associate degree program in fisheries technology, a bachelor's degree program in social science and a master's degree program in special education. Some of UAS's programs are available to Alaska residents only, but many are available to out-of-state students, although an out-of-state surcharge may apply.

    3

    University of Alaska-Anchorage

    Tuition & Fees/Year Tuition and fees per year refers to the average in-state tuition and required fees for full-time undergraduates and, if applicable, graduate students as of 2016, according to the National Center for Education Statistics.
    $5,784
    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%
    Number of Programs Offered Number of programs offered refers to the count of degrees and certificates offered via distance education at any level as of 2016, according to the National Center for Education Statistics.
    21
    School Type
    4-year

    Alaska's largest post-secondary institution, the University of Alaska-Anchorage began as Anchorage Community College in 1954. In 1970, the school had grown to became the University of Alaska, offering both graduate and undergraduate degree programs for a state full of interested students. By 1992, UAA awarded 61 percent of all degrees in the UA system.

    Though most of the university's online courses are taken by on-campus students as part of a more traditional classroom education, some fully online programs are available, such as the master's in education. UAA's online courses operate on a semester schedule, with regular deadlines for turning in work or completing tests. Speaking of tests, some require proctoring; prospective students should look into where in their local area they could take a proctored test before enrolling in a UAA course.

    Affordable Online Colleges in Alaska for 2018-19

    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 costs as well as the number and type of online programs offered.

    To rank the quality online colleges of Alaska based on other factors, try our Top Colleges search tool.

    Affordable Two-Year Online Colleges in Alaska

    Affordable Four-Year Online Colleges in Alaska

    Arranged by tuition, here are the five most affordable four-year online Alaskan colleges.

    College NameTuition & Fees/Year
    Tuition and fees per year refers to the average in-state tuition and required fees for full-time undergraduates and, if applicable, graduate students as of 2016, according to the National Center for Education Statistics.
    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.
    Number of Online Programs Offered
    Number of programs offered refers to the count of degrees and certificates offered via distance education at any level as of 2016, according to the National Center for Education Statistics..
    School Type
    University of Alaska Anchorage$5,78445%214-year
    University of Alaska Fairbanks$5,97652%464-year
    University of Alaska Southeast$8,41572%294-year
    Alaska Bible College$9,30010%14-year
    Alaska Pacific University$20,31023%84-year

    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 Resources in Alaska

    Tuition cost and affordability is a concern for students all over the United States, and Alaska is no exception. Fortunately, financial aid can help to ease the price of college, especially in the form of grants -- which are awarded based on need -- and scholarships -- which are awarded based on merit. It's important to seek out and apply for financial aid that could be of use to you, in order to mitigate the net costs of your education as much as possible.

    Alaska Gift Aid: Grants & Scholarships

    Browse some of the financial aid options for students studying in Alaska in the tables below. For more information on how to apply to grants or scholarships, see our articles the Ultimate Guide to Grants and the Ultimate Guide to Scholarships.

    1.Alaska World Affair Council
    Type : Scholarship
    Criteria:
    Applicants must be current Alaskan high school seniors planning to attend a post-secondary institution in Alaska in Fall 2017. Students must demonstrate community involvement, leadership, character, academic ability and financial need.
    Award Amount
    $2,500
    Application Deadline
    April 1
    Renewable
    Yes
    Repay Required?
    No
    School Specific Scholarship?
    No
    Application URL
    2.Richard D. Johnson Memorial Post-Secondary ...
    Type : Scholarship
    Criteria:
    Applicant must be a resident of Alaska who is a major participant in community service, activities, and/or American Legion Post involvement. Applicant must have an improving versus declining academic outlook; selection will be made in favor of the student that normally would not receive an academic scholarship.
    Award Amount
    N/A
    Application Deadline
    March 30
    Renewable
    No
    Repay Required?
    No
    School Specific Scholarship?
    No
    Application URL
    3.Nordic Skiing Association of Anchorage(NSAA) ...
    Type : Scholarship
    Criteria:
    Applicant must be a resident of Alaska who was a member of the NSAA and their high school cross-country ski team during their junior and senior years. Minimum 2.7 GPA required.
    Award Amount
    $1,500
    Application Deadline
    March 31
    Renewable
    No
    Repay Required?
    No
    School Specific Scholarship?
    No
    Application URL
    4.Wrangell and Stika Scholarship
    Type : Scholarship
    Criteria:
    Applicant must be a graduating senior from Sitka or Wrangell High School who will pursue post-secondary education.
    Award Amount
    $5,000
    Application Deadline
    March 31
    Renewable
    Renewable for up to four years.
    Yes
    Repay Required?
    No
    School Specific Scholarship?
    No
    Application URL

    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

     
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