Press Release: Tuition Stable in 2006
News Brief - 7/27/06
WGU Will Not Increase Tuition in 2006, Contrary to National Trends
SALT LAKE CITY -- Going against the national tide, Western Governors University will not increase tuition in 2006. Most colleges and universities are typically raising tuition 8 to12 percent and have done so the past three to four years.
College costs do not have to be expensive or have double-digit increases. In this era of escalating college costs, WGU is already a low-cost higher education provider keeping the current rate of $2,790 per six-month term, with MBA students slightly higher at $3,250 per six-month term. WGU's tuition remains attractive compared to the national average of $21,235 per year for private colleges and $5,491 per year for public four-year colleges. (College Board, Fall 2005 data; Fall 2006 is not yet available). WGU does not receive state funding.
WGU is a non-profit, private online university . By creating a different model that focuses on better access for the underserved, WGU has increased productivity and has held costs down. The model allows for more focus on the student. The university uses high-quality, existing learning resources, and provides mentors who counsel and guide students. Faculty compensation is tied to student retention and graduation rates and there are no tenure issues. WGU also does not maintain a costly brick-and-mortar campus, athletic programs, or dorms.
WGU President Bob Mendenhall says, "Higher education can't improve productivity and costs using the same old model. The only way to make change is to change the model. We run a university that's doing it. WGU is in a financially sound position because of increasing productivity and keeping costs down. We don't have to raise the tuition for the students."
There were only modest increases ($200 per term) in the past two years at WGU. Nationally, tuition at both public and private colleges has been increasing at double the overall rate of consumer inflation for several years.