ST. LOUIS — In celebration of WGU Missouri’s 7th anniversary, the nonprofit, fully accredited, online university is offering 50 scholarships – valued at $7,000 each – to new students interested in furthering their education. Since its establishment in February 2013, WGU Missouri has been committed to providing high-quality, convenient and career-boosting education to residents across the state, especially working adults with some college experience but no degree. The 7th anniversary scholarship underscores that commitment, with the goal of helping make higher education even more attainable for working adults across Missouri.
“Statistics show that more than 755,000 Missourians started college but never earned a degree,” said Dr. Angie Besendorfer, chancellor of WGU Missouri. “We are helping to bridge this life-changing gap. We are proud to have empowered thousands of students to go back to school, earn a bachelor’s or master’s degree, advance their careers and better support themselves and their families.”
WGU Missouri is a state affiliate of nationally recognized Western Governors University that was created by Gov. Jay Nixon as the only accredited, nonprofit, online university endorsed by the state. When the university was founded, less than 500 Missouri students were enrolled in a Western Governors University degree program. Since then, the university has grown year after year, which is significant considering enrollment at many other universities has been declining or merely holding steady in recent years. WGU Missouri currently has more than 3,270 enrolled students, an increase of more than 16 percent over last year. The university has conferred degrees to 3,704 graduates, a third of whom graduated in the past 12 months. Across the state, WGU Missouri employs 217 staff members, has awarded more than $2.9 million in scholarships and has built partnerships with more than 75 businesses, institutions and organizations in an effort to create new opportunities for their employees to pursue higher education at an even lower cost and advance their careers.
WGU Missouri has also been credited with helping individuals who couldn’t easily complete or afford a traditional college program to finally earn their degrees. With the average student age at 36, more than 70 percent of its students come from underserved population areas or are first-generation college students, and nearly 77 percent work full-time while pursuing their degree. These grads are quickly seeing a difference in their lives as more career opportunities become available. In fact, students earn an average of $18,400 more within four years of graduation, significantly higher than the national average of $12,400.
WGU Missouri offers more than 60 bachelor’s and master’s degree programs 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 7th Anniversary Scholarship, new and prospective students must be Missouri residents, be admitted to WGU Missouri, and submit a scholarship application by Dec. 31, 2020. 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 $1,750 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/7th.