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Part of Western Governors University

November 19, 2018

Student Success

Women outpacing men in WGU degrees.

Now more than ever before, women across the U.S. are taking control of their future. In the 2018 midterm elections, 540 women ran for state or federal office -- the highest number ever.

The same is happening when it comes to finishing or furthering a college degree.

According to statistics from WGU Ohio, 65 percent of its Ohio students are female and the same goes for WGU students nationally. WGU Ohio is a state affiliate of Western Governors University, an accredited, national, online, competency-based university.

WGU Ohio Chancellor Rebecca Watts says the uptick in women completing their degrees can be attributed to multiple reasons. For both men and women, college affordability is a key reason for not completing a degree. Women, more so than men, may have abandoned their college studies to have children or take care of family. Others may find themselves forced to become the sole breadwinners due to a life-changing event. In many cases, women send their children on to high school and college and realize they are ready to advance their own careers.

For Bobbi Laakso, a recent WGU graduate in Ohio, mounting student debt was the reason she quit college and took on a full-time job as a bank teller. But in 2016, Laakso discovered WGU was surprisingly affordable and self-paced, which allowed her to work while completing her bachelor’s degree in business administration. It took Laakso less than two years to graduate, and now she’s a VP for lending at a major national bank.

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