Find the Best Colleges in Alaska
Alaska, “The Last Frontier,” is America’s largest state but has relatively few schools of higher education. Most Alaska colleges, community colleges and universities are located in or near Anchorage, which is home to about half the state’s population. These include the flagship campus of the University of Alaska. The University of Alaska also has campuses in Fairbanks and Juneau.
Since Alaska has so few physical campuses, and such expansive territory, online degree programs from community colleges and four-year schools are a popular alternative for state residents. Alaskans can also take advantage of tuition discounts (online or offline) in California, Colorado and other western states. See below for the full list.
Compare Alaska Colleges and Universities
How much do Alaska colleges cost? How can Alaskans study out-of-state without breaking the bank? Here are a few tips to guide your college search.
Merit scholarships are generous. Alaska has suffered from “brain drain,” or high achievers leaving the state after high school. Now the state and various Alaska universities and colleges are offering generous scholarships to encourage in-state study. A top example is the Alaska Scholars Program at the University of Alaska. This program awards partial four-year scholarships to top high school students. In 2015 the award was $12,000 ($1500 per semester).
Advertised prices aren’t for everyone. In any US state, advertised college tuitions and fees can be shockingly high — but most students aren’t expected to pay full price. The typical student receives financial aid. For example, attending the University of Alaska cost about $19,000/year for in-state students in 2014 before aid was applied. (That includes tuition, books, housing, food and fees.) The average student received more than $7500 in financial assistance.
Online learning lowers the price. Earning a degree online is generally more affordable than attending school in person. You can save on housing, food, commuting, childcare and more. Some colleges in Alaska charge less per credit hour for online learning too.
Alaskans get discounts in other states. Thanks to Alaska’s membership in the Western Undergraduate Exchange, Alaskans can get tuition discounts from more than 150 institutions in these 13 western states: Arizona, California, Colorado, Hawaii, Idaho, Montana, Nevada, New Mexico, North Dakota, Oregon, South Dakota, Utah, Washington and Wyoming.