Enrollment Reaches 36,000 Students, 10/18/12

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News Brief - 10/18/12

Now with More than 36,000 Students, Western Governors University Continues Strong Growth

Enrollment at nonprofit, online university up by nearly 35% over same time last year

SALT LAKE CITY — While enrollment at many universities serving nontraditional students has dropped by as much as 18% in the past year, Western Governors University (WGU), www.wgu.edu, surpassed another enrollment milestone in September—more than 36,000 students. The nonprofit university, which offers online, competency-based bachelor’s and master’s degree programs in business, K-12 teacher education, information technology, and health professions, including nursing, continues to grow by more than 30% per year.

WGU was created to expand access to quality higher education, particularly for nontraditional students whose job and family responsibilities make it difficult to attend “bricks and mortar” universities. The average age of WGU students is 37, and more than two-thirds of students work full time. Fully online, the university uses competency-based learning, which allows students to move quickly through material they already know so they can focus on what they still need to learn. Students may begin their WGU studies on the first day of any month, terms are six months long, and tuition is charged at a flat rate of about $3,000 per term for most programs.

“WGU’s affordability and flexibility, as well as its accreditation and reputation for academic rigor, make it an attractive choice for busy adults looking to advance their careers by completing a bachelor’s or master’s degree,” said WGU Chief Marketing Officer Patrick Partridge. “Our tuition hasn’t increased since 2008, and it’s roughly half the cost of most other online universities. A large percentage of our new students come to us as referrals from our current students and graduates—98% of our students tell us that they have or would recommend WGU to a friend or associate. The loyalty of our students and graduates shows that a degree from WGU is worth earning.”