Updated: August 1, 2017
Education in Alaska has always been a challenge, for a number of reasons.
Firstly, it’s the biggest state in the Union. In fact, if you superimposed Alaska on a map of the continental United States, the Aleutian islands would reach California, while the southernmost tip of the state would touch Florida, and the farthest north of Alaska would almost cover Minnesota. Big doesn’t even begin to comprehend it all – so trying to gather everyone together in schools is already difficult.
Add to that mix the brutal winters, and the task looks almost insurmountable. Traveling long distances is hard enough, but when you have huge glaciers and consistent subzero temperatures, it’s another story entirely.
Nevertheless, Alaska has managed to produce some outstanding institutions of higher education. And now, online education is changing the way people get degrees – a development that is especially useful in Alaska, and a development that the public university system has adopted.
What are the best online colleges in Alaska?
The University of Alaska system is comprised of three separate universities: Fairbanks, which is the flagship institution; Anchorage, which is the biggest; and Southeast. Each one offers online programs, but at the moment there is only enough data to report on the eLearning program at University of Alaska Fairbanks. Hopefully we’ll be able to update our ranking to include more online options soon.
University of Alaska Fairbanks
College Choice Score: 100
Average Net Price: $8,741
The University of Alaska was founded in 1915 in Fairbanks, Alaska, as part of the Land-grant college initiatives. The University of Alaska Fairbanks has a well-established online program known as UAF eLearning. Students will be using Blackboard and Elluminate Live software to interact with coursework and their peers and the faculty while pursuing their coursework.
UAF eLearning offers over 19 degree and certificate programs, along with a handful of occupational endorsements. Most of the degrees are completely online. However, there are a few online programs that have periodic residency requirements during the program. Currently, the average class size is 24 students. They offer five bachelor’s degree through the eLearning program:
- Interdisciplinary General Studies
- Business Administration
- Homeland Security and Emergency Management
Courses in the UAF eLearning program can be taken as part of a degree or certificate program, or they can just be taken individually. Besides degrees, certificates, and occupational endorsements, UAF eLearning also offers over a dozen minors that can be paired with a major if you’re studying at the undergraduate level.