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WGU and Gallup Alumni Report 2022

Apr 21, 2023

While many Americans remain skeptical of the availability of quality postsecondary programs, WGU aims to reverse that trend.

To measure the success, Gallup surveyed more than more than 1,400 WGU alumni who completed their undergraduate degree between 2017 and 2021 and compared the results of WGU alumni to the responses of more than 600 national bachelor’s degree holders who completed their degree during the same period.

All responses from WGU alumni were collected Nov. 16-Dec. 13, 2022, while national alumni responses were aggregated across three surveys conducted between 2019 and 2022.

Overall, the survey shows that WGU's competency-based education model is equipping graduates with the skills they need to advance in their careers and significantly increase their earning potential. According to Gallup's analysis of over 1,400 WGU alumni, WGU working learners — students who work full-time while enrolled — earned more than $1 billion collectively in 2022 than what they were earning at the time of their enrollment at WGU. And the value of a WGU education extend beyond financial gains — 77% of WGU alumni strongly agree that their education was worth the investment, more than double the percentage of bachelor's degree holders nationally who say the same.

"WGU is committed to providing our students with an education that delivers tangible value, and these outcomes are a testament to the hard work and dedication of our graduates," said Scott Pulsipher, WGU President. "We are proud that our alumni receive the benefits of greater economic return, and more so that they report they are thriving in their lives as a result of achieving their degree, such that they may live a self-determined life and have a positive impact on their communities."

By the Numbers — Key Findings from 2022 WGU Alumni Survey conducted by Gallup:  

  • 88,000: bachelor’s degrees awarded to WGU students who would not (43,000) or may not (45,0000) have been able to earn that degree without the support system WGU provides.

  • $500 Million: additional income premiums generated for these 88,000 WGU graduates, their families, and their communities in 2022 alone.

  • $13,000: WGU working learners report immediate boosts to their salary — the median present-day salary among the WGU Class of 2021 being $85,000, an increase of over $13,000 from their earnings while enrolled. WGU working learners tend to earn continuous salary increases each year following graduation.  

  • $5,333: WGU working learners report a median salary increase of $5,333 per year after adjusting for the number of years they have been employed since graduation.  

  • $2.6 Billion: total income premiums generated by WGU graduates when scaled across all working learners who graduated from WGU between 2017 and 2021. 

  • $3.2 Billion: total dollars saved by WGU graduates through WGU's affordable, flat-rate tuition model. By offering students a model that charges less for tuition and allows them to accumulate credits at a higher rate than the national average, the average WGU graduate completes their degree at a cost of $17,108. This is nearly $23,000 less than the $40,081 it would have cost them to earn that degree at another university, a savings of 57%. 

  • 77%: of WGU alumni strongly agree that their education was worth the investment — more than double the percentage of bachelor's degree holders nationally who say the same. WGU alumni are also consistently about twice as likely to recommend their alma mater to others, feel their degree was worth the cost, and report that their university was supportive throughout their program.  

  • 65%: WGU faculty and staff continue to deliver support to students effectively, even amidst the challenges of a remote learning environment. About two-thirds of WGU alumni strongly agree they had access to the resources they needed to be successful (65%). Additionally, WGU alumni agree that the availability of student support services was excellent (62%).

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