ST. LOUIS — Since WGU Missouri was established in February 2013, the nonprofit, fully online university has positively impacted the lives of thousands of Missourians as it works to fill a critical need for the state’s growing nontraditional student population. In celebration of its successes over the past six years, the award-winning university has announced it will be offering $6,000 scholarships to as many as 100 new students pursuing a bachelor’s or master’s degree. The university hopes its commitment of more than half-a-million dollars – which is its largest scholarship offering to date – will help make higher education even more attainable for working adults across Missouri.
WGU Missouri was created by former Gov. Jay Nixon as the only state-endorsed, accredited, nonprofit online institution in an effort to expand affordable, high-quality education to residents across the state. At that time, only 445 Missouri students were enrolled in a Western Governors University degree program. Since it was established six years ago, the university has enjoyed steady growth year after year, including - this past year alone – a 25 percent jump in enrollment and 43 percent increase in graduates compared to the prior year. WGU Missouri now has 3,020 currently enrolled students spanning every Missouri county, 2,665 graduates and 162 staff members across the state. The university has also awarded over $1.5 million in scholarships.
WGU Missouri has been credited with helping individuals earn degrees who otherwise might not have as easily been able to complete or afford a traditional college program. More than 70 percent of its students come from underserved population areas or are first-generation college students, and nearly 74 percent work full time while pursuing their degree.
“By supporting adult learners and helping them secure degrees, WGU Missouri is working to fill a need for a high-quality education alternative that has existed for quite some time,” said Dr. Angie Besendorfer, Chancellor of WGU Missouri. “WGU Missouri is consistently growing the number of degreed individuals annually, and we are proud to have helped thousands of students advance their careers, to date, so they can better support their own families. We look forward to helping transform many more lives in the years to come.”
WGU Missouri offers more than 60 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 competency-based 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 6th Anniversary Scholarship, new and prospective students must be Missouri residents, be admitted to WGU Missouri, and submit a scholarship application by June 30, 2019. 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 $1,500 per six-month term, renewable for up to four terms toward WGU’s already-low tuition of approximately $3,500 per six-month term for most programs. For more information about this scholarship visit missouri.wgu.edu/6th.