Press Release: Milestone Enrollment

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News Brief - 2/6/06

Enrollment at Western Governors University Reaches 5,000 Milestone

SALT LAKE CITY -- Western Governors University (WGU) today announced that enrollment in degree programs has exceeded 5,000 students in the nation's first online competency-based university, up from 500 students three years ago when the university received regional accreditation. WGU currently offers bachelor's and master's degrees in information technology, business and education.

Earlier this month, 243 students were awarded degrees from WGU, bringing the total number of graduates to 655, representing all states and several foreign countries. The average WGU student is 38 years old, and approximately 70 percent work full-time.

In the past year, WGU introduced its first two MBA degree programs which have been well received with more than 150 students already enrolled. The university has also become one of the largest providers of K-12 teachers in the country with 3,400 teachers and prospective teachers currently enrolled in the Teachers College which was launched in 2003. Significantly, more than 800 are enrolled in math and science programs, making WGU the largest provider of math and science educators in the country. Recently, WGU introduced a master's degree program for teachers of English Language Learning.

Through the generosity of private donors, the university has provided over $3 million of scholarships for students, primarily to enable K-12 teachers to pursue master's degrees. Approximately $1 million in scholarships have been provided for Utah teachers from companies including American Express, Cache Valley Electric, Citigroup, Fidelity Investments, GE Capital, Merit Medical, Merrill Lynch, Morgan Stanley, Pacificorp, Questar, and Zions Bank. Scholarship funds are still available at

Other notable milestones of the past year include:

  • The Department of Defense approved tuition assistance for active duty servicemen and women seeking degrees at WGU
  • Texas and California became states with the highest WGU enrollment, followed by Utah, Georgia, Washington, and Florida
  • Students living in 11 different countries are enrolled at WGU
  • Net tuition revenue increased 132 percent, and
  • Governors Janet Napolitano (AZ) and Jon Huntsman, Jr. (UT) became WGU trustees, along with former President of McGraw-Hill Education Robert Evanson, and three prominent educators, including Dr. Carl Cohn, superintendent of the San Diego School District; Dr. Mark Milliron, executive director, Education Practice, SAS Institute, Inc.; and Dr. Jerry Wartgow, former superintendent, Denver Public Schools.