Press Release: Online U Rankings, 1/27/09

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News Brief - 1/27/09

Western Governors University Ranks 11th Among Online Universities

Nonprofit University Continues to Move Up in Online Education Database's Annual Online College Rankings

Salt Lake City, Utah - Western Governors University (WGU) (www.wgu.edu), has been ranked 11th out of 44 online colleges and universities in the Online Education Database (OEDb) 2009 College Rankings. WGU continues to move up in these rankings, and this year earned the distinction of being the highest ranked online-only school.

WGU is on a non-profit, online university founded by 19 U.S. governors to expand access to quality higher education for working adults. The university, which offers undergraduate and graduate degrees in Education, Information Technology, Business and Healthcare, serves more than 11,000 students in all 50 states.

OEDb's rankings are based on the following metrics: acceptance rate, financial aid, graduation rate, peer web citations, retention rate, scholarly citations, student-faculty ratio, and years accredited. This is the third year that OEDb has published these rankings.

"Western Governors University's continued improvement in this ranking demonstrates our commitment to transparency and academic excellence," said Patrick Partridge, Vice President of Enrollment. "In his inauguration speech, President Obama said, 'We will transform our schools and colleges and universities to meet the demands of a new age.' At WGU, we exemplify this transformation by providing access to high quality, flexible and affordable higher education."

WGU's unique advantage is its rigorous "competency-based" model that focuses on demonstrating knowledge rather than time spent in course work. The approach relies upon challenging assessments, including actual industry certifications at no extra cost, to measure a student's academic progress. Students who have applicable work experience and expertise, study hard, and put in extra time can accelerate their programs and save dramatically on tuition. WGU's modest tuition is charged at a flat rate every six month term, not per credit.

OEDb spokesperson Ashley Merusi said, "OEDb's annual Online College Rankings are a valuable asset to students considering online education. During these challenging financial times, it is more important than ever that students make sure they are getting a valuable education for their tuition dollars. We recognize the top twenty schools as the leading degree-granting online institutions in the US."

OEDb is an independent for-profit organization located in Houston, Texas. OEDb is dedicated to providing comprehensive reviews of online colleges and universities and the programs they offer.

To learn more about WGU, visit www.wgu.edu or call 1-866-225-5948 (866-CALL-WGU).