February 23, 2018


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School Profile: Alaska Pacific University

Alaska Pacific University was initially chartered by the Territory of Alaska in 1957, two years before the 49th State’s admission to the Union. Under President Dr. Donald F. Ebright’s leadership, it became the youngest university affiliated with the United Methodist Church as classes opened in 1960. Rooted in Judeo-Christian values, APU grew after 500 acres were purchased in Anchorage for a campus around Atwood Center, listed on the National Register of Historic Places. Endowed for $88.9 million, Alaska Pacific currently educates around 750 students in the Alaska Native Tribal Health Consortium and Eco League. The private, liberal arts college has produced notable alumni like Sharon Cissna, Kikkan Randall, and Katherine Gottlieb.

According to the U.S. News, Alaska Pacific University is the West’s 52nd best regional college with an average retention rate of 66 percent. On Niche, APU was graded B+ for diversity, A- for value, and A for campus safety. College Factual ranked Alaska Pacific in the United States’ top 5 percent for biomedical sciences and business management. PayScale placed APU 234th nationally with a 20-year Net ROI of $393,000 and annual ROI of 6.7 percent. Washington Monthly lauded Alaska Pacific University as the 55th best master’s-level institution for social mobility, service, and research. Anchorage itself was also picked as the 15th “Most Secure Mid-Size City” by Sperling’s Best Places.

Alaska Pacific University Accreditation Details

Recently evaluated in 2016, Alaska Pacific University is institutionally accredited with A-D status by the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities (NWCCU). This regional agency located in Redmond, Washington, oversees 162 institutions in the Pacific Northwest for the U.S. Department of Education. Since 2014, the APU Business Administration Department has also maintained approval from the International Assembly of Collegiate Business Education (IACBE) for 10 programs, including the Master of Business Administration’s Health Services Administration concentration.

Alaska Pacific University Application Requirements

Although Alaska Pacific University is classified as “less selective,” the acceptance rate in Fall 2015 was only 69 percent. Entering the IACBE-recognized MBA program will require finishing a four-year baccalaureate degree from a regionally accredited U.S. institution or foreign equivalent. International students on F-1 visas must submit Form I-20 and satisfactory TOEFL scores of 550 pBT or 79 iBT. Successful candidates typically have an undergrad GPA above 3.0 during the last 60 upper-division credits. Admission counselors could conditionally admit students with a 2.75 GPA or higher. On average, admitted MBA scholars score 510 on the Graduate Management Admission Test (GMAT). The Health Services Administration concentration also gives preference for 2+ years of clinical experience.

Prospective students wishing to study in “The City of Lights” can apply to Alaska Pacific University by making an online account for the MBA Application. For the Fall semester, the priority deadline is May 1st and the late deadline is August 1st. For the Spring semester, graduates can apply before the priority deadline of November 1st or late deadline of December 1st. Entering for the Summer semester requires applying by May 1st. Keep these dates in mind when scheduling an interview and submitting the following requisite materials:

• Payment for the $25 non-refundable fee

• Official financial transcripts from each college

• Original GMAT scores via reporting code 4201

• Verification of English fluency if applicable

• A professional curriculum vitae or resume

• Three current letters of recommendation

• Typed, 500-800 word statement of purpose

Tuition and Financial Aid

Alaska Pacific made national news in Kiplinger’s Personal Finance in 2014 for slashing tuition from $29,600 to $19,950 that Fall. Costs for full-time undergrads have dropped further to $19,900 per year with mandatory fees at $480. Graduate programs like the Master of Business Administration are priced even lower though! MBA students are billed $650 per credit, which equals $10,400 each year full-time. Master’s candidates add in mandatory fees for $410, textbooks for $1,220, transportation for $2,540, and personal expenses for $1,620. Living on-campus in Anchorage costs $11,200 plus $3,860 for room and board respectively. Total annual cost of attendance for MBA in Health Services Administration students is $31,250.

Statistics published by the NCES in 2015 show that 75 percent of full-time APU students receive financial assistance for a mean amount of $9,725. Institutional awards like the A.J. Alter Family Scholarship, Alyeska Native MBA Scholarship, Barbara Dadd Shaffer Scholarship, Chenaga Corporation Scholarship, Flint Hills Scholarship, and Ramona F. Sines Endowed Scholarship are open to MBA students. Although the Pell Grant or FSEOG Grant isn’t available for graduate study, some could earn the Iraq and Afghanistan Service Grant. “Last Frontier” residents may earn the AlaskaAdvantage Grant or Bureau of Indian Education Higher Education Grant. Local resources, including the Cook Inlet Region, Inc. Foundation, offer grants up to $4,500. MBA students could earn stipends with graduate teaching or research assistantships. Borrowing money from the Direct Unsubsidized, Grad PLUS, or private loans is another alternative.

Studying Healthcare Administration at Alaska Pacific

The Business Administration Department at APU offers a career-enhancing, cohort-based Master of Business Administration option for busy working adults to broaden their leadership skills in organizational operations. The 36-credit program offers a Concentration in Finance or Concentration in Health Services Administration. Graduates picking the latter will narrow their MBA knowledge to suit industry needs at public, private, or Native tribal health services facilities across Alaska. Admitting each term, the curriculum aims at producing competent, ethical healthcare administrators for an average annual salary of $109,370. Maintaining small classes with an 8:1 student-faculty ratio, the concentration draws on the expertise of MBA and PhD-level professors trained at National Louis, Colorado State, Kent State, and Alaska Pacific.

Available with a Thesis Option or non-thesis electives, the 12-course MBA curriculum weaves courses like financial statement analysis, managerial economics, marketing, business analytics, and strategic leadership with an emphasis on Methodist ethics. The Health Services Administration concentration specifically splashes in classes for healthcare finance, medical systems, telehealth, and healthcare law. APU students spend three full days on-site in Anchorage from Saturday to Monday, Tuesday to Thursday, or Friday to Sunday. Additional projects and discussions are conducted online asynchronously in six-week sessions. After the comprehensive exam, graduates achieve a mean 91 percent job placement rate and can qualify for FACHE credentialing from the American College of Healthcare Executives.

Similar programs to consider at Alaska Pacific University include the Accelerated BA/MBA in Business Administration, Graduate Certificate in Alaska Native Executive Leadership, Graduate Certificate in Investments, and Executive MBA in Strategic Leadership.

Related resource:

Top 20 Graduate Programs in Health Care Management in the West