What You Should Know About Graduating From College in Alaska
When selecting a college in Alaska, you should consider how the school’s degree program will prepare you for a future career in the state. As of October 2020, the five largest industries for employment in Alaska were government; trade, transportation, and utilities; education and health services; goods-producing; and retail trade.
For workers who hold a college degree, the five fastest growing careers in Alaska are farmworkers and laborers, home health aides, magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) technologists, chiropractors, and machine setters, operators, and tenders. Selecting a degree that’s relevant to one of these fields could make you competitive in a quickly expanding job market.
Many of Alaska’s major employers are in the above-mentioned industries and need workers qualified for those career paths. A few of the state’s top 50 employers are Elmendorf Hospital, Alaska Native Medical Center, Corrections Department, and Alyeska Resort.
As you research the best colleges in Alaska, take into account how you’ll pay for a degree. There are many financial aid opportunities that you may qualify for. Here are a few state and federal resources to help with your search for grants, scholarships, and other forms of financial aid:
- Alaska Commission on Postsecondary Education. The Alaska Commission on Postsecondary Education has a wealth of state-specific information available, including details about state grants, scholarships, and education loans.
- Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). Every year, the U.S. Department of Education gives out more than $120 billion in financial aid. These funds are primarily distributed via the FAFSA, which you can both check your eligibility for and apply for online.
- CareerOneStop. Sponsored by the Bureau of Labor Statistics, CareerOneStop provides information about scholarships and grants. The awards can be sorted by amount, deadline, and criteria, and you can browse ones that are available within Alaska.