Are you looking for the best small colleges in Alaska?

A state like Alaska is one of the states in the United States with the fewest schools. This is so because of the coldness of the region, which makes it one of the most inhabitable places for most residents.

However, nestled amid the rugged landscapes and pristine wilderness of the far north, Alaska boasts a selection of exceptional small colleges that offer a unique blend of personalized education, diverse academic programs, and a close-knit community.

These institutions provide students with an opportunity to explore their academic passions while being surrounded by the breathtaking natural beauty that defines the Last Frontier.

In this article, we will delve into the top small colleges in Alaska, each with its own distinct features and offerings. Whether you’re drawn to Arctic research, sustainability, theological studies, or simply crave an intimate educational experience, Alaska’s small colleges have something extraordinary to offer.

Alaska’s best small colleges might be your perfect fit!

If not, check out others by exploring our archive of the best small colleges in other states of the US.

How many colleges are in Alaska?

Alaska is home to ten accredited universities, offering a wide range of academic programs and degrees.

In addition to these universities, the state boasts numerous technical and vocational colleges, catering to a diverse array of career-focused education and training, ensuring that students have a variety of educational options to choose from.

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What makes small colleges a good option?

There are a lot of reasons why many 21st-century parents or students prefer small colleges. From an intimate and personalized learning environment to strong connections with professors and peers, there is a lot to love about small colleges.

Here are other reasons why small, populated colleges are a good option:

1. Intimate Learning Environments

Small colleges are prized for their small class sizes, which nurture strong student-faculty bonds. This personalized approach enhances the learning experience by allowing professors to engage with students individually and foster comprehensive understanding.

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This also helps students build intimacy with their fellow students, making learning interactive and engaging. This makes small colleges ideal for students who are not quite swift in learning and those who learn better through one-on-one engagement.

2. Close-Knit Community

The close-knit community found in small colleges is a cornerstone of their appeal. Unlike larger institutions, where students may feel like just another face in the crowd, small colleges offer a warm and welcoming atmosphere where students and faculty often know each other by name.

This creates a supportive environment in which students can easily connect with peers who share similar interests and goals. The bonds formed in such institutions can last a lifetime, enhancing the overall college experience with a network of individuals who offer not just academic support but also emotional encouragement.

3. Unique Academic Programs

Small colleges frequently stand out by offering academic programs that are distinct and well-aligned with the region’s unique attributes. For instance, in Alaska, where the environment and indigenous cultures play a significant role, small colleges often tailor their offerings to reflect these local influences.

The unique academic programs not only set small colleges apart but also provide students with the opportunity to explore subjects that are deeply relevant to their geographic and cultural context, enriching their educational journey with a localized and meaningful approach to learning.

What are the best small colleges in Alaska?

We at Ziiky understand how daunting finding the perfect school fit is; hence, we have taken our time to curate a list of some of the top and best schools for your choosing. Here you will find a list of the best small colleges in Alaska and their unique features.

1. University of Alaska Southeast

  • Tuition: $7,428
  • SAT range: N/A
  • Duration: 4 Year
  • Enrollment: 1,997
  • Acceptance rate: 56%
  • Telephone: (907) 796-6100
  • Address: 11066 Auke Lake Way, Juneau, AK 99801

The University of Alaska Southeast, located in Juneau, stands out as one of the best small colleges in Alaska. With its stunning waterfront location and a strong focus on marine and environmental sciences, it offers a unique educational experience.

Small class sizes allow for personalized learning, making it an ideal choice for students seeking a close-knit academic community. UAS is full of passionate people who care about the student’s education, and there are also lots of opportunities for on-campus jobs and research.

Keep in mind that the University of Alaska Southeast is a public university with its main campus in Juneau, Alaska, and extended campuses in Sitka and Ketchikan.


2. University of Alaska Fairbanks

  • Tuition: $9,379
  • Duration: 4 Year
  • Enrollment: 6,826
  • Acceptance rate: 65%
  • SAT range: 1110-1360
  • Telephone: 907-474-7034
  • Address: 1731 South Chandalar Dr., Fairbanks, AK 99775

The University of Alaska Fairbanks, situated in Fairbanks, is another standout institution among Alaska’s small colleges. It is renowned for its world-class research opportunities, particularly in Arctic studies.

The university’s small class sizes enable students to build strong connections with professors and engage in cutting-edge research, making it a top choice for those interested in the unique challenges and opportunities of the Arctic region.

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At the University of Alaska Fairbanks, students master their fields of study, make lifelong friends, explore an environment like no other, and contribute to research that will change lives everywhere.


3. Alaska Pacific University

  • Tuition: $19,830
  • Duration: 4 Year
  • Enrollment: 732
  • Acceptance rate: 96%
  • SAT range: 830-1115
  • Telephone: 180-025-27528
  • Address: 4101 University Dr, Anchorage, AK 99508

Alaska Pacific University, located in Anchorage, is celebrated for its emphasis on experiential learning and sustainability. Its small size ensures that students receive personalized attention and actively engage with their studies.

With a focus on ecological issues and sustainability, APU is an excellent choice for those passionate about environmental concerns and hands-on education. A great perk is that Alaska Pacific University offers programs and class trips that introduce its students to the people and destinations across the vast Alaskan wilderness.

Keep in mind that Pell Grant-eligible students can now attend Alaska’s only private, non-profit, fully-accredited university for free or less than what it would cost to attend nearly any other public or private university in Alaska or in the US.


4. Alaska Career College

  • Tuition: $15,912
  • SAT range: N/A
  • Duration: 2 Year
  • Enrollment: 634 
  • Acceptance rate: 100%
  • Telephone: 907-563-7575
  • Address: 1415 E TUDOR RD., ANCHORAGE, AK 99507

Alaska Career College in Anchorage is a private, not-for-profit school and a top choice for career-focused education and vocational training.

With its small class sizes, it provides students with personalized instruction and hands-on experience in various technical and healthcare fields. This college equips students with practical skills and knowledge to excel in their chosen careers.

Popular majors at Alaska Career College include Medical Assistant, Massage Therapy and Bodywork, and Medical Insurance Coding. Also, note that Alaska Career College graduates earn a starting salary of $25,300.


5. Alaska Vocational Technical Center

  • Tuition: $12,365
  • SAT range: N/A
  • Duration: 2 Year
  • Enrollment: 518 
  • Acceptance rate: 37%
  • Telephone: +1 800-478-5389
  • Address: 809 Second Avenue, Seward, AK 99664

The Alaska Vocational Technical Center, situated in Seward, is one of the small colleges in Alaska. The school focuses on providing technical education and vocational training.

Its smaller class sizes and specialized programs make it an excellent choice for individuals seeking practical skills and certifications. Whether in fields like welding, construction, or marine technology, this college prepares students for success in their careers.

If you are looking to attend a trade school, AVTEC is an excellent trade school in Alaska that should top your list.


6. Alaska Christian College

  • Tuition: $6,215
  • SAT range: N/A
  • Duration: 2 Year
  • Enrollment: 74
  • Acceptance rate: 100%
  • Telephone: +1 907-260-7422 
  • Address: 35109 Royal Pl., Soldotna, AK 99669
If you are looking to enroll in a faith-based small college, Alaska Christian College should be the first school on your list.  Alaska Christian College offers a unique faith-based education in Soldotna.
The mission of Alaska Christian College is to empower Alaska Natives through biblically-based higher education and Christian formation to pursue excellence in character, learning, and service as followers of Christ. With its small and close-knit community, it provides a supportive environment for students pursuing theological studies and personal growth. This college fosters a strong sense of belonging and encourages both academic and spiritual development.

Some of the school’s academic programs emphasized Christian ministry, behavioral health, paraprofessional education, and general studies.

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7. Ilisagvik College

  • Tuition: $13,750
  • SAT range: -N/A
  • Duration: 2 Year
  • Enrollment: 1,741
  • Acceptance rate: 96%
  • Telephone: 1-907-852-3333
  • Address: 100 Stevenson Street, Utqiavik, Barrow, Alaska 99723
Next on our list of the top small colleges in Alaska is Ilisagvik College. Ilisagvik College, located in Barrow, focuses on serving the educational needs of Alaska Native communities.

Its founders intended to provide an education based on the Iñupiaq cultural heritage. The basis for all Iḷisaġvik’s educational programs is the rich foundation of a subsistence culture in harmony with the land and seas that give it sustenance.

Its small size and culturally sensitive approach make it an ideal choice for students interested in indigenous studies and preserving Native cultures. The college’s commitment to these values creates a meaningful educational experience.


8. Alaska Bible College

  • Tuition: $11,480
  • SAT range: -N/A
  • Duration: 4 Year
  • Enrollment: 37
  • Acceptance rate: 100%
  • Telephone: +1 907-745-3201
  • Address: 248 E Elmwood Ave., Palmer, AK 99645
Alaska Bible College in Palmer is a dedicated institution for those seeking theological education in a faith-based community. Its small classes ensure personalized attention for students pursuing biblical studies. The college provides an environment where both academic and spiritual growth are nurtured.

Alaska Bible College is great because it’s a local Christian school that helps develop servant leaders for Christ. It has classes for music leadership, youth leadership, mission work, and pastoral studies.

Frequently Asked Questions On The Best Small Colleges In Alaska

What are the advantages of attending a small college in Alaska?

Small colleges in Alaska offer intimate learning environments, close-knit communities, and unique academic programs, providing a distinct educational experience.

How can I finance my education at these colleges?

You can explore scholarship opportunities, federal aid, and grants to make your education more affordable.

Are there opportunities for outdoor activities in Alaska?

Yes, Alaska’s breathtaking landscapes provide numerous opportunities for outdoor activities, such as hiking, skiing, and wildlife exploration.

What is the specialty of Alaska Pacific University?

APU focuses on experiential learning and places a strong emphasis on sustainability and environmental stewardship.

Is theological education available in Alaska?

Yes, Alaska Bible College and Alaska Christian College offer theological education in a faith-based community.


Each of these small colleges in Alaska offers unique educational opportunities and experiences, catering to a wide range of academic interests and career goals.

Small class sizes, personalized attention, and a strong sense of community characterize these institutions, making them stand out as the best small colleges in the Last Frontier.




Grace Iroh
Grace Iroh
Articles: 162

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