ST. LOUIS — Since its inception in February 2013 as Missouri’s only state-endorsed nonprofit, fully online university, WGU Missouri has positively changed the lives of thousands of Missourians with its unique, affordable, competency-based education model. In celebration of its success over the past five years, the award-winning university is hoping to help change the lives of many more with it largest scholarship offering to date. WGU Missouri has announced it will be awarding $5,000 scholarships to as many as 100 new students pursuing a bachelor’s or master’s degree, committing up to half-a-million dollars over the next four months to help make higher education even more attainable. Applications for the WGU Missouri 5th Anniversary Celebration Scholarship are being accepted through June 29, 2018.
WGU Missouri was created by former Gov. Jay Nixon in an effort to expand affordable, high-quality education to residents across the state. Since it was established five years ago, the university has grown to include 2,400 currently enrolled students, 1,858 graduates and 131 staff members throughout Missouri and has awarded over $1 million in scholarships. More than 70 percent of its students come from underserved population areas or are first-generation college students, and nearly 76 percent work full time while pursuing their degree.
“WGU Missouri was created to meet the needs of working adults, particularly the 750,000 Missourians who have some college education but no degree, and five years later, we are proud to say we are making a positive difference in the lives of countless Missouri families,” said Dr. Angie Besendorfer, Chancellor of WGU Missouri. “Our students are seeing significant salary increases within a year or two after graduation as doors open to opportunities that were not previously available to them. We cannot wait to see what the next five years will hold as we continue to assist individuals in achieving their educational goals and work to create stronger families, stronger communities and a stronger state.”
WGU Missouri offers more than 50 bachelor’s and master’s degree program in business, information technology, teacher education and health professions, including nursing. Unlike a traditional college program, WGU caters to adults with previous work experience or who are currently working and looking to further their careers through education. WGU Missouri’s education model allows adult students to take advantage of prior learning and experience to move quickly through material they already know so they can focus on what they still need to learn.
To be considered for WGU Missouri’s 5th Anniversary Scholarship, new and prospective students must be Missouri residents, be admitted to WGU Missouri, and submit a scholarship application by June 29, 2018. Scholarships will be awarded based on the student’s academic record, previous college experience, readiness for online study, current competency, as well as other considerations. The scholarship will be applied at the rate of $1,250 per six-month term for four consecutive terms toward WGU’s already-low tuition of approximately $6,500 per year for most programs.
“WGU Missouri continues to play an important role in making Missouri a national leader in college affordability, quality and innovation,” said former Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon. “By providing a high-quality, affordable option to thousands of students who might not otherwise be able to earn a college degree, WGU Missouri is strengthening our communities and our economy — building a workforce that is ready to compete in today’s global economy.”