INDIANAPOLIS —Despite the challenges presented in 2020 limiting financial resources for individuals and organizations alike, WGU Indiana found new ways to build on its commitment to expand access to higher education throughout Indiana. By creating new scholarship opportunities specific to pandemic challenges—paired with the launch of its 10th Anniversary Scholarship program—the online, competency-based university was able to award 328 scholarships equaling $698,865 in the 2020 calendar year.
Since its 2010 inception, WGU Indiana has awarded 2,898 scholarships to qualifying students, totaling more than $5.7 million. WGU Indiana is part of Western Governors University’s Central Region, which collectively awarded 893 scholarships equaling nearly $1.8 million across six states: Indiana, Ohio, Michigan, Kentucky, Western Pennsylvania and West Virginia. WGU’s Central Region is made up of nearly 15,000 students and Indiana alone has more than 5,300 students enrolled, a 166% increase in enrollment since 2011, and has awarded degrees to more than 10,400 graduates.
“One of my educational goals is to graduate with little to no debts and complete my [cybersecurity] degree without financial distractions,” said Tosin Ajayi, a WGU Indiana student and recent winner of the 10th Anniversary Scholarship. “Professionally, I want to be a leader in the cybersecurity field and mentor girls and women in tech. Winning this scholarship will assist me in achieving my educational and professional goals; I will be able to concentrate more on my goals with less financial worries.”
The onset of the novel coronavirus presented unique financial challenges for current and future students alike across Indiana, prompting the university to implement tailored scholarships to aid students in reaching their higher ed goals. In addition to its Bright Future Scholarship (applications now closed) created early on in the COVID-19 pandemic, WGU also launched the following:
- Online Access Scholarship: Having reliable access to the internet is an ongoing challenge and is currently affecting 666,000 people in Indiana who are living without. This scholarship covers the cost of ongoing broadband internet in the home so that students can pursue higher education in a remote setting.
- Resiliency Grant: This grant, which can be used for tuition, fees and instructional materials, assists new WGU students with unforeseen financial challenges.
“Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, millions of Americans have filed for unemployment, resulting in the largest increase in unemployment in U.S. history,” said WGU Indiana Chancellor Alison Bell. “At WGU Indiana, we’re committed to easing the financial burdens that have come with this crisis by offering affordable tuition and scholarship opportunities to ensure that every student has access to higher education and support in reaching their career goals, even during difficult times.”
WGU Indiana’s affordable tuition and competency-based model allows students more flexibility to graduate at their own pace. The university-funded scholarships lower tuition even further to lessen the financial burden for those pursuing the more than 60 accredited undergraduate and graduate degrees in any of the four WGU Indiana programs; business, K-12 teacher education, information technology and health professions, including nursing.
WGU Indiana offers a plethora of scholarship opportunities to current and prospective students year round. For more information on available scholarships and to apply, visit wgu.edu/scholarships. For more information on WGU Indiana, visit wgu.edu/indiana or follow the university on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and LinkedIn.