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Providing Affordable Pathways to Opportunity

The first step to ensuring everyone has access to an education that can change their lives is keeping tuition low. The average tuition and fees for one year of an undergraduate program at WGU is $8,010, about half the amount paid at comparable institutions nationwide.* But low cost is just the start.

WGU charges tuition at a flat rate per term rather than per course or credit hour. When coupled with students’ ability to accelerate through WGU’s competency-based courses, saving time also translates to saving money.


But even more important than cost is value. Affordable tuition and a reduction in debt shouldn’t come at the expense of quality. A 2022 survey by Gallup found that 77% of WGU alumni felt their education was worth the cost—while only 35% of graduates nationwide felt that way. A 2023 Harris Poll found that 87% percent of WGU grads were employed full-time after graduation, and 85% of them were employed in their degree field.

Return on Your Investment

On average, WGU graduates see an increase in income post-graduation

Average income increase from all degrees in annual salary vs. pre-enrollment salary. Source: 2023 Harris Poll Survey of 1,655 WGU graduates.

Survey was sent to a representative sample of WGU graduates from all colleges. Respondents received at least one WGU degree since 2017.

Funding Options

Students shouldn’t have to depend solely on student loans to fund their education. Widening the scope of funding options ensures students have access to a variety of financial pathways and can choose the option that best fits their circumstances. 

WGU advocates for policies and initiatives that remove barriers for all students. For example, learners should be allowed access to state grant-in-aid programs in order to attend any high-quality education program. Over the past year, WGU has worked with policymakers in Utah, Idaho, and Montana to create partnerships that allow a greater number of students to access state-based education funding.

WGU also supports initiatives like Talent Finance, which reimagines the funding of education through public-private partnerships. 

Financial Literacy

Through its Responsible Borrowing Initiative (RBI), WGU assists all students who apply for financial aid with a personalized Financial Aid Plan, which counsels them to borrow only what they need, not the full amount for which they are eligible. Since the RBI was implemented in 2013, the average amount students borrow has decreased by more than 40%.

WGU’s RBI is serving as a model for policymakers, as well. In 2020, Tennessee Governor Bill Lee signed the Responsible Borrowing Initiative Act, which requires state higher education institutions to provide students with a detailed college financing plan to give them a clear idea of the costs and requirements associated with student loans.

Average Debt at Graduation Per Undergrad Who Borrowed  

*Source: College Board, Trends in College Pricing and Student Aid 2021 (latest data available), accessed 4/6/2023