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What is a Nonprofit Organization?

Aug 17, 2017

Usually when you hear the term "nonprofit", it generates a positive image.

There are many different types of nonprofits, probably more than you realize, and they are usually known to provide some sort of public benefit, such as the Make a Wish Foundation, or a local animal shelter. But what does it really mean and how does it effect you? In honor of National Non Profit Day on August 17th, we decided to provide some facts about our favorite nonprofit organization, WGU, to explain what it means and how operating as a nonprofit university affects you, the student.


A few facts.

  • Western Governors University is a nonprofit, online university established in 1997 by 19 U.S. governors to expand access to quality higher education.


  • WGU is the nation’s first accredited competency-based university.
  • WGU’s tuition is about $6,000 per 12-month year.
  • Tuition has not increased since 2008.
  • WGU is self-sustaining on its tuition.
  • WGU is regionally accredited by the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities (NWCCU). 
  • WGU is a very data-driven university.

How does this affect me?

  • WGU is solely focused on student learning, as opposed to conducting university research, or sports.
  • The NWCCU (WGU's accrediting commission) is one of the major accrediting commissions recognized by the Department of Education. Regional accreditation is the gold standard, and it is the type of recognition that traditional universities hold.
  • Because learning is delivered online, facilities costs are significantly less.
  • Learning resources are all online, so you do not have to purchase books.
  • Because we are online and non-profit, WGU is able to serve students who are not well served by traditional colleges and universities.
  • To ensure quality, WGU tracks several key performance indicators (KPIs). Our focus is not on building enrollment, but on improving the student’s experience and increasing student success.
  • Students are able to work through courses at their own pace, so the faculty is free to work with them individually, providing one-on-one guidance and support.

For more information on how a non profit organization operates, go to the National Council of Non Profits website to learn more.

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