Online Educator Western Governors University Reaches Milestone

Online Educator Western Governors University Reaches Milestone
  • Opening Intro -

    As far as major universities go, Western Governors University in Salt Lake City, Utah, isn’t a household name.


The school doesn’t have a huge research facility, active alumni or Top 25 football program. Heck, WGU doesn’t even have a campus unless you count its administrative building as part of that equation.

Online Education

Yes, WGU is an online university, its students are from all 50 states and from around the world. Though founded by 19 western governors, WGU is open to eligible students everywhere. Importantly, its tuition rates are much lower than the typical for-profit online university.

Did I say that WGU is a non-profit educational institution? That’s something worth noting given how expensive college is these days.

Enrolled Students

The milestone WGU has reached is 20,000 enrolled students. That’s significant as the school has grown by 30 percent in each of the past 5 years. The first student was enrolled in 1999 and tuition has only increased by $200 in the past four years.

Yes, dig a bit deeper and you learn that students are paying about $6,000 annually for their education, far off the $40,000 on up figure lots of colleges and universities are charging today.

“Today, more than 70% of college students are considered ‘non-traditional,’ meaning that they don’t live on a campus and that they work and have family responsibilities,” said WGU’s Vice President of Marketing & Enrollment Patrick Partridge. “WGU makes it possible for these non-traditional students to realize their dream of advancing their education by providing a flexible, affordable way to get an accredited degree online.”

Degrees Conferred

To date, WGU has conferred more than 7,000 degrees with that number expected to increase sharply as the current crop of students make their way through their classes.

Notably, big business is bullish on WGU, perhaps because the school makes it easy (and affordable) for their employees to further their education. WGU counts AT&T, Dell, the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, the Lumina Foundation, Hewlett-Packard, HCA, Microsoft, Oracle, Qwest, SunGard Higher Education, Sun Microsystems, American Express, and Zions Bank among the corporations and foundations who support the university.

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Categories: Online Education