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News Release: Enrollment Tops 20,000, 9/1/10

Non-profit, Online University Grows by More than 30 Percent per Year Over the Past 5 Years

Salt Lake City — Western Governors University,, marked another major milestone in August as enrollment at the non-profit, online university passed the 20,000 mark. Founded by a bi-partisan group of western state governors, WGU enrolled its first student in 1999, and since then, has grown by more than 30 percent per year. The competency-based university offers more than 50 accredited bachelor’s and master’s degrees in business, teacher education, information technology, and healthcare, including nursing.

WGU has experienced astonishing growth over the past 11 years because it offers working adults a flexible, affordable way to earn a college degree online. Its unique competency-based model allows students to advance by demonstrating what they know rather than by logging time in class. Students focus their study time on what they need to learn and have the continual guidance of a faculty mentor, who provides support and assistance from enrollment through graduation. Unlike most online universities, WGU’s tuition is affordable, less than $6,000 per year for most programs, and tuition has increased less than $200 in the past four years.

“Today, more than 70 percent of college students are considered “non-traditional,” meaning that they don’t live on a campus and that they work and have family responsibilities,” said WGU’s Vice President of Marketing and Enrollment Patrick Partridge. “WGU makes it possible for these non-traditional students to realize their dream of advancing their education by providing a flexible, affordable way to get an accredited degree online.”

Western Governors University’s students and graduates reside in all 50 states, the District of Columbia, and Puerto Rico. In addition, many WGU students are active military or spouses of active military stationed overseas. The university has awarded nearly 7,000 degrees since it conferred its first degree in 2000. WGU continues to seek new ways to make higher education more accessible to working adults, and in June of this year, WGU partnered with the state of Indiana to create WGU Indiana, an online, competency-based university to expand access to higher education for Indiana residents.

For more information about Western Governors University, visit the website,, or call 1.866.225.5848.

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