Top 15 Best Colleges In Alaska | 2022 Ranking

The state of Alaska is stunningly gorgeous. It blends an unbridled vitality with contemporary comforts in its major cities.

Studying in Alaska is a dream come true for many students as the state provides a distinctive college experience. Additionally, the state has excellent institutions with outstanding academic programs. 

Alaska may not be the first state that comes to mind when considering where to go to college, but with tuition costs far cheaper than those of most other states, it becomes a very practical alternative.

Students interested in Alaska have over fourteen colleges, universities, and other post-secondary institutions to choose from.

This article covers all helpful information on the best colleges in Alaska. This will help you determine which one is right for you.

Is Alaska a good place to attend college?

Alaska offers interested students superior options for higher education. The educational system of the University of Alaska has three independently recognized urban institutions in Fairbanks and Juneau. The top colleges in Alaska provide high-caliber education.

The Anchorage School District typically achieves higher average SAT and ACT college admission exam scores than the national average and public schools throughout the state. They rank among the best not just in the state but in the country. 

Alaska has long been at the forefront in leveraging computers and online learning to increase educational possibilities. Many students take part in distance learning courses and classroom activities on global computer networks, and most schools teach computer technology.

The largest institution in the state, the University of Alaska Anchorage (UAA), trains students in everything from medicine to construction.

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What is the cost of studying in Alaska?

The cost of attending some of the Top colleges in Alaska is frequently ranked among the lowest in the nation. The best colleges in Alaska cost about $9,800 for residents. This includes tuition and some extra fees. Non-residents of the state will need about $26,730 for these schools.  

Although actual costs may vary depending on the program, course level, amount of credits taken, residence, living arrangements, and lifestyle. The cost of attending the best colleges in Alaska often varies by institution and campus. The cost of on-campus housing and food ranges from $10,000 to $12,500 depending on the location, room type, and meal plan.

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Best colleges in Alaska

Despite Alaska having a few colleges and universities, several of these institutions nonetheless offer high-quality education. Below are some of the Top colleges in Alaska.

#1. University of Alaska Anchorage

Alaska’s metropolis of Anchorage is home to the University of Alaska. The four community colleges it oversees—Kenai Peninsula College, Kodiak College, Matanuska-Susitna College, and Prince William Sound College—are dispersed throughout Southcentral Alaska.

At UAA, there are now about 15,000 undergraduate, graduate, and professional students enrolled between the community and the main Anchorage campuses. It is both the largest university in the University of Alaska System and the largest higher education institution in Alaska.

The University of Alaska Anchorage supports research, education, public service, and other initiatives for northern people. It also supports local and regional economic growth as a center of study and knowledge. The state’s abundant resources heavily influenced these funded initiatives and specialized research.

According to Forbes, the University of Alaska Anchorage ranks 116th in the West and 635th overall out of 650 colleges and institutions in 2019.

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#2. University of Alaska Fairbanks

The College of Alaska Fairbanks is a suburban public land-grant research university. It was founded in 1917, and courses began there in 1922. It is one of the “R2: Doctoral Universities – High Research Activity institutions. The college is home to several significant research facilities.

Arctic biology, Arctic engineering, geophysics, supercomputing, ethnobotany, and Alaska Native studies are among UAF’s most well-known scientific specialties. It holds more than 90% of the UA system’s research, which serves as Alaska’s main research institution. 

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#3. University of Alaska Southeast

With its main campus in Juneau and satellite campuses in Sitka and Ketchikan, the Alaska Southeast public university is one of the best colleges in Alaska. UAS has accreditation from the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities.

The School of Arts and Sciences, the School of Career Education, and the School of Education are the three academic divisions that make up the University of Alaska Southeast. It also sponsors several joint research projects, including collaborations with the Alaska Coastal Rainforest Center, Alaska Experimental Program to Stimulate Competitive Research, Alaska Climate Science Center, and many more.

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#4. Alaska Bible College

Located in Palmer, Alaska Bible College is a private Christian university. Alaska bible college has an accreditation with the Association for Biblical Higher Education.

The institution opened its doors in 1966 with courses concentrating on preparing people, notably Alaska Natives, for rural ministry in the Far North. This quickly became one of its main distinguishing features.

The mission at the college is to glorify the Lord Jesus Christ and grow His church by educating believers in the Bible to be servant leaders who reflect the character of Christ.

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#5. Alaska Pacific University

The Private Alaska Pacific University (APU) is located in Anchorage. It is one of the few colleges in Alaska that offers an early honors program. The Early Honors program serves as an alternative to high school senior year. 

Alaska pacific university also has programs in liberal arts and sciences for undergraduates. The academic year at Alaska Pacific University runs in block sessions of four weeks. This coexists with the session of eleven weeks that makes up a semester.

The University offers one doctoral degree, eight master’s degrees, and nine graduate programs. Additionally, there are several graduate certificate choices. Alaska Pacific University also provides professional studies programs for international students. 

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#6. Wayland Baptist University

 Wayland Baptist Institution is a branch of the private, coeducational Baptist University. It is fully accredited by the Commission on Colleges of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools.

Wayland aims to provide students with rigorous academic programs that prepare them for the workforce and lifelong learning. The school’s Plainview site has about 1,100 students enrolled, bringing the total number of students to almost 4,000 when you account for all extension campuses.

The evening and weekend sessions offered by WBU’s extension campuses have working people in mind.

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#7. Saint Herman Theological Seminary

St. Herman Orthodox Theological Seminary is an orthodox school of theology. It is part of the Diocese of Sitka and Alaska, which are all governed by the Orthodox Church in America. Its main goal is to provide lay church leaders and aspiring clergy members with proper education.

The curriculum specializes undergraduate general education, Orthodox theology, and specific abilities required for Church ministry in the Diocese of Alaska. The seminary accomplishes its fundamental goal while staying faithful to its illustrious missionary tradition. 

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#8. Iḷisaġvik College

In Alaska, Iisavik College is a public tribal community college that offers land grants. It is the only tribally administered college in Alaska and the most northerly recognized community college in the United States.

The North Slope Borough runs the college via an Inupiat home rule government. The institution is also situated on the North Slope in an area of Arctic tundra covering 89,000 square miles.

Iḷisaġvik College aims to meet the needs of American Indians and Alaska Natives in higher education. Ilisgavik often provides higher education to remote communities with no other way to do so.

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#9. Kodiak College

With about 1,000 students, Kodiak College employs a hands-on method of teaching. The public, two-year satellite college is one of the Top Colleges in Alaska Anchorage. The Carolyn Floyd Library makes the university a little bit more special.

The school sits on 50 acres about two miles outside of Kodiak. Each semester, the college employs about 50 faculty members. There are several associate degree possibilities; the sole bachelor’s degree offered by Kodiak College is in education.

Through creative teaching, customized assistance, and attentive response to community needs, Kodiak College, UAA, prioritizes its students.

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#10. Kenai Peninsula College

A University of Alaska Anchorage division, Kenai Peninsula College (KPC) has four locations in Anchorage, Alaska, and on the Kenai Peninsula. By providing accessible opportunities in a welcoming environment, Kenai Peninsula College is one of the best colleges in Alaska.

The school aims for excellence in education, training, and lifelong learning. The school takes great satisfaction in its welcoming environment, convenient locations, and capacity to provide quality academic programs at a reasonable price.

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#11. Matanuska–Susitna College

The University of Alaska Anchorage system includes Matanuska-Susitna College in Palmer, Alaska. About 1,650 people are currently enrolled in Matanuska-Susitna College overall.

Students can pursue an Associate of Arts or an Associate of Applied Science degree in fields such as human services, accounting, and computer systems technology, among others.

The school seeks to transform lives through training, research, community involvement, and creative expression in a multicultural and inclusive setting.

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#12. Prince William Sound College

Prince William Sound College is a university in Valdez, Alaska. It has an extension campus in Glennallen and one main campus in Valdez.

Prince William Sound College has received accreditation from the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities through the University of Alaska Anchorage.

In addition to a general studies degree, PWSC provides associate degrees and professional certifications that aren’t commonly found elsewhere, such as an Associate of Applied Science in Outdoor Leadership and an Occupational Endorsement Certificate in Millwright.

Prince William Sound University is the college of your choice for several reasons. It offers a distinctive learning experience through small class numbers, a tight-knit campus community, and one-on-one interactions with staff and instructors. PWSC is one of the top colleges in Alaska.

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#13. Charter College

Charter College is a network of for-profit private colleges and universities. The College provides veterinary science, business, healthcare, computer technology courses, and a few trades. It also offers associate’s, bachelor’s, and certificate degrees. Certain programs provide entirely online options.

The Accrediting Bureau of Health Education Schools (ABHES) has granted accreditation to Charter College so that it may grant bachelor’s degrees in science, associate’s degrees in applied science, certificates, and non-credit courses.

The Associate of Applied Science in Nursing program at Charter College is also programmatically accredited by the Accrediting Commission for Education in Nursing.

While assisting graduates to advance, enrich, or choose their careers, Charter College aspires to be a leader in private postsecondary, career-focused education. It serves a diverse population in a student-centered and collaborative learning environment.

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#14. Alaska Career College

Alaska Career College was initially a modest travel school for the burgeoning tourism sector, but rapidly became recognized as a major educational hub for the State of Alaska. The school took off by providing instruction in fields including medical assisting and business & computer technology, as new sectors grew.

This Alaskan-born organization has developed into a reputable college. The Alaska Career College, which now offers both degree and certification programs, has served as a launching pad for professionals in several fields across the world.

The ambition and passion of its students, who serve as its fundamental inspiration, are visible in ACC after 26 years of phenomenal progress.

With day, evening, and weekend programs, ACC provides top-notch education that accommodates real-world demands. It is one of the best colleges in Alaska.

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#15. Alaska Christian College

Alaska Christian College focuses on equipping Alaska Natives for excellence in character, study, and service as followers of Christ via biblically-based higher education and Christian formation.

The goal is to be the top institution for Alaska Native students so that they can follow Christ and serve him in the church and society at large. 
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Points to note before deciding to study in Alaska

Glacier cruises, the Northern Lights, and moose may immediately come to mind when you think of Alaska.

However, you should consider the points listed below before choosing to study in Alaska.

Cost of living

Alaska’s high cost of living is partially due to the state’s size; it is larger than both California and Texas put together. Alaska ranks as the sixth most costly state to live in. This implies that building infrastructure and shipping food, fuel, and other store supplies can be expensive.

A house in Alaska will likewise be expensive to buy. Compared to the average house value in the United States, which is around $298,000.

According to Smart Asset, utility costs in Alaska are 33 percent more than the national average. Because there is no state income tax or sales tax for residents, which is a fantastic benefit, you might be able to defray some of these expenses.

Job Opportunities

You’re in luck if you’re relocating to Alaska hoping to find employment. Many of the jobs available in Alaska pay well enough to keep up with the state’s high cost of living.

The current minimum pay is $10.34 per hour, which is more than the $7.25 federal minimum wage. There are perfect opportunities for students to work while in school; this will help them settle any debt they might incur from school.


Alaska is the state for you if you’ve ever wanted to see a moose up close and personal. The biggest member of its species, the Alaska-Yukon moose is usually seen in several locations around the state.

Beware of some species, such as the more than 30,000 grizzly bears that live in Alaska. Preparing for Alaska’s busy wildlife will be wise if you plan to enroll in some of the best colleges there.

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Is it worth moving to Alaska?

Alaska is a terrific spot to settle down. Yes, Alaska will pay you to migrate there through its established Permanent Fund Dividend Program, which may seem unbelievable to you. Alaskans who live there full-time are usually entitled to royalties on the Permanent Fund’s investment gains.

The State of Alaska also takes pride in having the nation’s lowest tax rates. They do not mandate both state income tax and sales tax for full-time inhabitants of this wonderful state. Residents can save on state income and sales tax while still paying other taxes, such as property taxes.

Although it may be chilly, life in Alaska is everything from mundane. You can anticipate lots of adventure in America’s final frontier with its breathtaking natural beauty, boundless recreational activities, and plenty of animals.

There are many different types of adventures you can go on, such as whale watching in Juneau, husky dog sledding, exploring ice caves, whitewater rafting through one of Alaska’s many rivers, or taking a flightseeing tour of glaciers. Make sure to take advantage of the opportunity because there are practically many outdoor activities in Alaska.

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Frequently Asked Questions

Are there any good colleges in Alaska?

Yes, the beautiful state is home to the University of Alaska, which ranks high as one of the best colleges in the country.

How many colleges are in Alaska?

Alaska is home to over 10 colleges and universities.

Is Alaska good for international students?

Yes, the natural serenity of Alaska is one of the attractive features for International students in Alaska.

What are Alaska colleges known for?

Most of the colleges in Alaska are well-known for their research activity, usually focusing on Arctic biology and engineering.

Is Alaska expensive to live in?

Yes, the state of Alaska has a high cost of living.


Universities like the University of Alaska Fairbanks rank nationwide as one of the best colleges in the country. Alaska has over 10 colleges and institutions with 24,470 students enrolled.

The colleges and institutions spread across the state of Alaska all aim to provide students with the relevant education needed to compete in the labor sector.

This review of the best colleges in Alaska provides a thorough overview of the state’s higher education alternatives, whether you’re looking for a reputable public, private, or community college.



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