Best Online Colleges in Alaska

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The best online colleges in Alaska offer multiple paths to degrees that prepare students to work in some of the state's top industries.

As the COVID-19 pandemic continues, online education offers new and returning learners flexibility while ensuring safety and health. In Alaska, organizations like the Society for Technology in Education support innovations and increased accessibility in online learning. The best online colleges in Alaska provide several ways for students to receive the training to pursue employment in the state.

This ranking lists programs using criteria like affordability, convenience, flexibility, quality of programming, and accreditation. This page explores some of the key benefits of online learning for Alaskans and highlights how earning online degrees in fields like business and science can prepare learners to land jobs after graduation.

The Best Online Colleges in Alaska

#1 Best Online Colleges in Alaska

The University of Alaska Fairbanks

  • Fairbanks, AK
  • 4 years
  • Online + Campus

The University of Alaska Fairbanks is a fantastic choice for online degree-seekers. Remote students at both the undergraduate and graduate level have 54 options through this public institution. Distance learners benefit from the school's track record in online education and its strong academic reputation.

Academic and career preparation services are available to all enrollees, even those outside of the Fairbanks, Alaska, campus. Degree-seekers connect with academic advisors and participate in virtual job fairs and career-planning events. The school facilitates internship opportunities that help students gain real-world experience. Completing all requirements results in graduates receiving an accredited degree.

Ask the school directly for more information about online degree options and how to apply.

The University of Alaska Fairbanks at a Glance:

Online Student Enrollment: 4,867

Online Bachelor's Programs: 13

Online Master's Programs: 9

Percent of Programs Offered Online: 28%

Admission Rate: 76%

Average Undergrad Tuition
In-state
$6,962
Out-of-state
$22,980
Average Graduate Tuition
In-state
$10,414
Out-of-state
$21,904
Retention Rate
73%
Admission Rate
76%
Students Enrolled
7,179
Institution Type
Public
Percent Online Enrollment
68% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.
Accreditation
Yes Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities

#2 Best Online Colleges in Alaska

The University of Alaska Southeast

  • Juneau, AK
  • 4 years
  • Online + Campus

Online degree-seekers should consider the University of Alaska Southeast. Those who enroll at the public institution remotely have 28 virtual degree opportunities to choose between at the both graduate and undergraduate levels. The school's proven track record in online education and reputation for quality academics leads many distance learners to apply.

The academic and career advisors located at the Juneau, Alaska, campus are also available to assist online enrollees. Degree-seekers can get help planning their academic and professional futures with offerings such as academic advising and virtual career fairs. Students also gain first-hand experience in their field through internship programs. Program graduates are awarded a bachelor's degree with full accreditation upon completing all requirements.

For more information on how to apply and what programs are available online, contact the school directly.

The University of Alaska Southeast at a Glance:

Online Student Enrollment: 1,423

Online Bachelor's Programs: 7

Online Master's Programs: 6

Percent of Programs Offered Online: 42%

Admission Rate: 61%

Average Undergrad Tuition
In-state
$6,888
Out-of-state
$22,736
Average Graduate Tuition
In-state
$11,132
Out-of-state
$23,414
Retention Rate
59%
Admission Rate
61%
Students Enrolled
2,150
Institution Type
Public
Percent Online Enrollment
66% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.
Accreditation
Yes Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities

#3 Best Online Colleges in Alaska

The University of Alaska Anchorage

  • Anchorage, AK
  • 4 years
  • Online + Campus

For many online degree-seekers, the University of Alaska Anchorage is an attractive choice. Those who choose to enroll at this public college can choose between 29 different programs at both the undergraduate and graduate level. The school has a track record in academic success through online coursework.

The academic and career advisors located at the Anchorage, Alaska, campus are also available to assist online learners. Degree-seekers benefit from virtual job fairs other career-planning services, as well as academic advising. Students also gain first-hand experience in their field through internship programs. Upon completion of all program requirements, graduates are awarded an accredited degree.

Contact the school directly to receive more information about online program opportunities and application procedures.

The University of Alaska Anchorage at a Glance:

Online Student Enrollment: 7,250

Online Bachelor's Programs: 2

Online Master's Programs: 8

Percent of Programs Offered Online: 18%

Admission Rate: 83%

Average Undergrad Tuition
In-state
$6,804
Out-of-state
$26,152
Average Graduate Tuition
In-state
$11,286
Out-of-state
$23,738
Retention Rate
66%
Admission Rate
83%
Students Enrolled
12,766
Institution Type
Public
Percent Online Enrollment
57% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.
Accreditation
Yes Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities
Best Online Colleges

Online Alaska Colleges Ranking Guidelines

We ranked these degree programs based on quality, curricula, school awards, rankings, and reputation.

Our Methodology

Here at TheBestSchools.org, we take the trust and welfare of our readers very seriously. When making our school and program rankings, our top priority is ensuring that our readers get accurate, unbiased information that can help them make informed decisions about online education. That's why we've developed a rigorous ranking methodology that keeps the needs of our readers front and center.

Our proprietary, multi-criteria ranking algorithm analyzes key data indicators — as collected by the federal government — for each school or program. What data we use depends on the focus of each specific ranking, but in all cases, our ranking methodology is impartial: Schools cannot buy better rankings at TBS.

While specific criteria under consideration can vary by ranking, there are a few data points that we value most highly. They are affordability, academic quality, and online enrollment. Below, we break down our algorithm to help you understand what you're getting when you use one of our rankings.

  • Academics
  • Affordability
  • Online Enrollment

Data Sources

The data used in TBS rankings comes primarily from the federal government, and much of it is provided by the schools themselves. We aggregate and analyze this data to build our rankings.

The Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System (IPEDS) is our primary source. Its data comes from annual surveys conducted by the U.S. Department of Education's National Center for Education Statistics (NCES). Every college, university, or technical school with access to federal financial aid must participate in these surveys, which include questions about enrollment, graduation rates, finances, and faculty qualifications. This is publicly available data, which you can access yourself through the College Navigator.

Additionally, because we value a personal touch and the professional experience of our staff and Academic Advisory Board, we vet all results and adjust rankings as necessary based on our collected knowledge of schools and degree programs. Depending on the ranking, we may obtain additional input from AcademicInfluence.com, subject matter experts, prior TBS ranking lists, or other sources we deem relevant to a particular ranking.

Breakdown of Our Rankings Methodology

About Our Ranking Factors

Here at TBS, we value what you value: quality education, affordability, and the accessibility of online education. These factors guide all of our program rankings.

Each of these factors are further broken down into weighted subfactors. For example, retention rates are weighted more heavily than availability of program options because they are a better indicator of student success.

We chose the following factors for our rankings because of their influence on learning experiences and graduate outcomes. However, students should always balance our rankings against their personal priorities. For instance, a learner who needs a fully online program may prioritize online flexibility more than our rankings do. Our rankings are designed to help you make a decision — not to make a decision for you.

Academics - 75%

Affordability - 15%

Online Enrollment - 10%

In all our school rankings and recommendations, we work for objectivity and balance. We carefully research and compile each ranking list, and as stated in our advertising disclosure, we do NOT permit financial incentives to influence rankings. Our articles never promote or disregard a school for financial gain.

If you have questions about our ranking methodology, please feel free to connect with our staff through contact page.

We thank you for your readership and trust.

Featured Online Alaska Colleges

Employment in Alaska

Major industries in Alaska include oil, fishing, and tourism, followed by other sectors like agriculture, mining, and timber. Several of the most common and highest-paying careers in the state are in these fields.

According to the U.S. Census Bureau, nearly 30% of Alaskans hold college degrees. As of May 2020, the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reports a mean annual wage of $61,760 for the state. This figure outpaces the national mean of $56,310 and correlates with the high cost of living index in Alaska, which is at 125.8. The national average cost of living index is 100.

The unemployment rate in Alaska is 6.6% as of June 2021, according to the BLS. Those numbers exceed the national unemployment rate for the same period by nearly one percentage point, but they reflect unprecedented conditions stemming from the COVID-19 pandemic.

The following information explores the highest-paying roles employing more than 1,000 individuals in Alaska. Salary information applies specifically to Alaska, while job growth data pertains to the entire United States.

Highest-Paying Careers in Alaska
Career Annual Mean Salary (2020) Projected Job Growth (2020-2030) Education Required
Airline Pilots, Copilots, and Flight Engineers $180,100 13% Bachelor's
Chief Executives $166,360 8% Bachelor's
Medical and Health Services Managers $122,430 32% Bachelor's
Lawyers $116,440 9% Law Degree
Financial Managers $111,200 17% Bachelor's
General and Operations Managers $110,170 8% Bachelor's
Construction Managers $103,570 11% Bachelor's
Source:Bureau of Labor Statistics

The following data reflects the highest-paying roles employing more than 1,500 professionals in Alaska. Salary figures apply specifically to Alaska, while job growth data pertains to the United States as a whole.

Most Common Careers in Alaska
Career Annual Mean Salary (2020) Projected Job Growth (2020-2030) Education Required
General and Operations Managers $110,170 8% Bachelor's
Registered Nurses $95,270 9% Associate
Elementary School Teachers, Except Special Education $74,720 7% Bachelor's
Project Management Specialists and Business Operations Specialists $86,700 6% Bachelor's
Accountants and Auditors $80,520 7% Bachelor's
Secondary School Teachers, Except Special and Career/Technical Education $75,790 8% Bachelor's
First-Line Supervisors of Construction Trades and Extraction Workers $88,420 -3% High School Diploma
Civil Engineers $100,160 8% Bachelor's
Source:Bureau of Labor Statistics

Online Associate Degrees and Community Colleges in Alaska

Alaska has two community colleges with options for online learning. Each school offers two-year programs in fields that align with some of the state's top industries. An online associate degree in hospitality or business, for example, could qualify students for entry-level work in the tourism or oil industries.

Online learning at this level continues to expand amid the pandemic, giving learners the opportunity to graduate, enter the workforce, and contribute to the state's economy. Individuals interested in further study or advancement can earn transfer credits to switch to four-year institutions throughout the state.

Online Graduate Degrees in Alaska

For students pursuing graduate-level study, the best online colleges in Alaska offer convenient pathways to further your career, especially in areas like science and engineering. Most schools deliver their coursework through learning methods that blend self-paced study with structured, interactive experiences with faculty and peers.

These schools feature several options for internships, practicums, and other capstone projects. Some may provide virtual lab experiences that simulate real-world work conditions, while others may work with students to identify work placements in their local areas.

Frequently Asked Questions About Online Colleges in Alaska

Is Online College Cheaper in Alaska?

Yes — in some cases. As an in-state resident, you may qualify for reduced tuition rates. Some of the best online colleges in Alaska offer flat-rate tuition for virtual programming.

How Long Does It Take to Get an Online Degree in Alaska?

Earning an online degree in Alaska takes less time than traditional, in-person instruction in most cases. You can earn an associate degree in about 18 months. Other degrees may take longer, but transfer credits can help you complete your studies faster.

What Is the Most Popular Degree in Alaska?

Business, science and engineering, and agriculture or environmental fields are some of the most common college majors in Alaska.

Portrait of Blake Huggins

Blake Huggins

Blake Huggins is a Boston-based writer and researcher with roots in north Texas and southern Oklahoma. He holds degrees in religion and philosophy and writes widely on higher education, healthcare, and the humanities broadly conceived. He earned a PhD from Boston University and has taught college courses in philosophy, writing, and composition.

Featured Image Credit: Patrick J. Endres | Corbis Documentary | Getty Images


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