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10 Best Boarding Schools in Alaska | Cost, Types

One of the most important decisions you can make is where to send your child to school, but you’re not the only one who has to make that choice. 


Each year, thousands of Alaskan parents choose their children’s schools. Keep in mind that every child is different. As a result, your child’s “best” school might not be the same as that of your neighbour’s child.

Are you thinking about which boarding school to send your kids to? Are you unsure or lacking in information?

This article is for you. Whether you reside in Alaska or not, and are deciding what kind of K–12 education your child will receive in a boarding school, read this article on the best boarding schools in Alaska 2023.

Are There Boarding Schools in Alaska?

In the past, boarding schools for Alaskan natives and communities had negative long-term effects in the state. Despite this, there has been a major improvement in the quality and safety of schools in recent years. In and around Alaska, boarding schools are getting more popular among parents.

Many Alaskan school districts are under the administration of the Alaska Department of Education and Early Development.

The state operates a boarding school, Mt. Edgecumbe High School in Sitka, and provides partial support for other boarding schools, such as the Nenana Student Housing Center in Nenana and The Galena Interior Learning Center in Galena.

There are other boarding schools around the Alaska area within proximity.

Some of these boarding schools are:

  • Whytecliff Agile Learning Centres,  BC
  • Annie Wright Schools, Seattle 
  • Glenlyon Norfolk School, Victoria 
  • The Northwest School, Seattle 
  • Brentwood College School, Victoria 
  • St. Margaret’s School, Victoria 
  • Forest Ridge School of the Sacred Heart, Seattle 
  • Alexander Academy, BC
  • West Sound Academy, Seattle 
  • St. George School, Vancouver
  • Unisus School, BC
  • Bodwell High School Private School, North Vancouver 

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How Much Do Boarding Schools Cost In Alaska Area?

In Alaska, the cost of public education is free, and this includes Mt. Edgecumbe High School, Nenana Student Housing Center and Galena Interior Learning Academy, which are funded by the state.

The average tuition cost for other boarding schools in cities near Alaska such as Vancouver, Victoria, Edmonton and Seattle ranges from $35,000 – $71,900. Despite their high costs, the majority of these institutions provide financial aid to students based on their needs.

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What Is The Requirement For Getting Into A Boarding School in Alaska Area?

Admission requirements for boarding schools in and around the Alaska area are quite similar. It is the responsibility of the applicant to ensure they compile all required information prior to the school’s admissions commencement to avoid delay.

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These requirements include:

  • Student Statement 
  • The parent or Guardian Statement 
  • Educators’ Recommendation Letter- at least two from their home/previous school
  • School Records’ Grades/Transcript 
  • Academic Testing such as the ACT, SSAT, SAT or MAP. This is essential for 11th and 12th-grade applicants. 

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What Are The Best Boarding Schools In Alaska 2023?

The limited number of boarding schools in Alaska has in no way waned the desire of most parents to enrol their children in boarding schools. This is because there are many options for Alaskan residents in her neighbouring cities, such as Seattle, Edmonton, Vancouver and Victoria. 

These schools are also within relatively close range, from 1000 miles to 2000 miles. Home is thus never too far away.

Below is a list of the best boarding schools within Alaska and close to Alaska:

#1. Mt. Edgecumbe High School 

This is the only public boarding school in Alaska.

Joining Mt. Edgecumbe High School is choosing to become a lifelong member of a family. Teachers and residential staff develop close relationships with pupils and help them thrive. The residential program offers a wide range of novel experiences that challenge students both within and beyond the classroom. 

Students come from all across the state, and the school’s faculty is appreciative of the varied familial and cultural backgrounds that every kid brings to Edgecumbe High.

A student who wants to be challenged enjoys trying new things, and wants to live with and learn from others might consider Mt. Edgecumbe. Students at Mt. Edgecumbe join an extended family network made up of parents and former students from all throughout the state.

Visit school here

#2. Galena Interior Learning Academy 

Alaska’s largest and oldest residential vocational school, Galena Interior Learning Academy, has been in operation for many years.

For Alaskan high school students looking for a special educational experience to be best equipped for college and/or a profession, Galena is the school of choice.

Any Alaskan high school student has the chance to earn industry-recognized certificates at the approved Galena Academy. To do this, they recruited educators from fields such as drone piloting, applied mechanics, the construction industry, health science, journalism, and information technology.

Since this is a public vocational institution, there is no tuition.

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#3. Glenlyon Norfolk School

This private school is situated less than 1,500 miles from Alaska, in Victoria- British Columbia.

As one of only 8% of International Baccalaureate (IB) schools in Canada allowed to provide the complete spectrum of IB programs,  Glenlyon Norfolk School is proud of its distinctive ‘IB Competitive edge’: a 21st-Century approach that fosters global thinking in students. For students who don’t live in Victoria, such as students from Alaska, Glenlyon offers boarding choices.

The tuition cost for residential students is between $42,445- $43,930 for British Columbia residents and $55,065- $56,545 for international applicants.

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#4. The Northwest School 

In Seattle, there is a well-regarded private boarding school called The Northwest School. This is a 3-hour, 11mins flight time from Alaska or a 42 hour drive through Yukon Territory.

With a student-teacher ratio of 7 to 1, it has 452 pupils in grades 6 through 12. The cost of tuition for the top grade available is $67,190, with an average financial aid of $29,202.

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It exposed students at The Northwest School to the thrilling chemistry between academic subjects and the arts. They gain an understanding of how interconnected all facets of life are in the actual world. The greater picture becomes clearer. Less separate subjects are covered during the school day and more dynamic, related concepts and ideas are.

The general tuition cost for boarding students is $49,765. While some extra expenses are mandatory for all students, others will depend on the extracurricular activities that the students will take.

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#5. Bodwell High School Private School 

At a stunning seaside site in the town of North Vancouver, Bodwell has provided a stimulating curriculum for students in grades 8 through 12 for both boys and girls. 

A 6hr flight from Alaska, over 40 different nations are represented in the student body, which is an excellent representation for students from Alaska. This offers students the chance to learn from one another and develop into well-rounded, considerate, and accountable participants of a global community.

Bodwell offers a considerable sum of $52,225 (CAD) for two semesters to pay in tuition which includes a full youth development program based on the Life Skills Development Curriculum, supervision, professional guidance, study hall, opportunities for leadership and service, shared housing (3–4 students/room), daily buffet breakfast and dinner, set lunch, after-school snack, bedding and linens, and laundry facilities.

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#6. St. George School 

St. George’s School is a boys-only institution, also situated in Vancouver.

In order to produce young people with a global perspective who are capable and eager to face a complex and constantly changing world. It focuses on addressing the learning needs of foreign students through creative programs and approaches that represent the brilliance of boys’ learning. Every boy’s life experience includes core ethics, integrity, honesty, respect, responsibility, and resilience.

The educational institution places equal emphasis on art, sports, leadership, volunteer work, and outdoor events in addition to academics. Its distinctive boy-centred approach and comprehensive, inclusive educational experience distinguish the education at.

Tuition cost: $71,490 (CAD)

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#7. Brentwood College 

Brentwood is a co-ed boarding school for students in grades 9 through 12. This school’s unique approach, university preparation programs, and breathtaking coastal location attract prospective students, including students from Alaska.

The pursuit of academic achievement is one of the school’s primary goals as a university preparatory institution. They work hard to support students in achieving levels of proficiency that accurately represent their aptitude, outlook, and effort.

They give children access to the necessary technologies, maintain small class sizes, and maintain low student-teacher ratios to foster the best learning environments. 

Brentwood also put students into groups based on their aptitude when it makes sense. The academic program supports prep school objectives and complies with the provincial learning outcomes established by British Columbia (BC).

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#8. Forest Ridge School of the Sacred Heart 

Forest Ridge is an educational and inspirational centre for girls and young women in grades the Religious of the Sacred Heart established 5 through 12 in 1907. 

The first and only Sacred Heart school in the Pacific Northwest, Forest Ridge is a private day and boarding school in Bellevue that is nearly 1,200 miles from Alaska. 

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Forest Ridge is a Catholic, independent college preparatory school that was a pioneer in all-girls middle and high school education. The students excel in the school’s challenging, globally-focused curriculum and feel encouraged to take calculated risks and push themselves to accomplish far more than they ever imagined they could.

Tuition for boarding students for the 5-Day Program: $62,700; 7-Day Program: $72,400 

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#9. St. Margaret’s School 

St. Margaret’s School (SMS) is Vancouver Island’s only all-girls school as well as Canada’s first all-girls STEM school. 

It has been committed to the education, growth, and welfare of girls since 1908. From preschool through graduation, they provide empowering education for all ages. In addition, they have a fantastic boarding program for grades 7 through 12 that draws top students from around the globe.

Are you in Alaska and seeking a safe and nurturing environment for your girl-child? St. Margaret’s School gives girls a specialized educational experience in a setting where they can feel confident and find their passions. 

The programs offered to give girls the skills, mindset, and courage they need to succeed in their studies, careers, and personal lives.

Additionally, those who can’t pay the average cost fee of $66,800 can receive tuition assistance. However, this cost varies depending on the place of residence. 

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#10. Unisus School 

At Unisus, they encouraged critical thinking and global citizenship in students, by focusing on academic excellence, student empowerment, and global citizenship. Unisus is honoured to be one of only two IB World Boarding Schools in Central British Columbia. 

Students from 17 nations reside in the specially constructed boarding house. All boarding students come from various age groups and cultural backgrounds, and they all share the special opportunity to form friendships, live in a multicultural community, and learn in a setting that goes beyond the classroom.

An essential component of education in Unisus is student empowerment. The boarding program gives students the independence and self-reliance they need to succeed in school, form relationships, and get involved in the community. Students who live on campus are at the heart of the school’s community and have the opportunity to develop a perspective on the world that is only possible through boarding.

Tuition alongside all boarding costs amounts to $68,200. Note that this fee is for the highest grade qualification. 

Visit the school’s website for further details. 

Visit school here

Frequently Asked Questions 

Is Alaska’s education system effective?

Yes, it is.
However, despite the fact that most children receive a high-quality education, Alaska historically has some of the greatest feat gaps in the nation.

Is it always cold in Alaska?

Contrary to popular assumption, Alaska’s winters are generally quite warm (May to September). Depending on the region, temperatures can rise from 70°F (21.1°C) to 100°F (37.8°C).

Are Alaska’s public schools good?

The Anchorage School District typically achieves higher median SAT and ACT college admissions exam scores than the national average, and public schools throughout the state are among the best in the country.

Is it compulsory to take the SAT or ACT before applying?

Academic testing is an essential requirement for admission into high schools, and most importantly, for international applicants. 


The high schools in the Alaska region provide students with practically endless options for artistic and physical growth.

The vast majority of the time, boarding schools provide better living and studying facilities than public ones, both in areas such as infrastructure (some educational institutions have their own swimming pools and some even ice rinks) and in terms of academic teaching (through the involvement of experienced teachers)



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