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The WGU Student Experience – Your Success is Our Priority


The WGU Student Experience Is Different on Purpose–It’s Built Around You


Everyone learns differently. And that’s why WGU works to tailor the entire student experience around you. Whether it’s your schedule, support, or resources, our goal is to be ready with everything you need on the path to more opportunities.

What is it really like being a WGU student?

How much does WGU cost?

Accelerate your learning and pay less. At WGU, our tuition model is based on terms, not credits. Our flat-rate tuition is charged per six-month term, no matter how many courses you take. You can take as many courses as you're able in a term and not pay additional tuition or fees. This means that if you accelerate your program, you'll actually pay less overall!

How will I be supported?

Just because you're getting your degree online, it doesn't mean that you're alone. WGU has one-on-one mentors who are with you every step of the way, from the day you enroll to the day you graduate. You can also join student communities to connect, network, and interact with other students, helping you along your path.

What will my schedule be like?

Setting a schedule that works for you. No set class times. No need to log in for discussions. No due dates for assignments. WGU's courses are truly flexible so you can do your coursework any time you want. Early in the morning, at nights, over the weekend—any time can be school time with WGU. Create time to do your courses when it works for your life, not the other way around.

What kind of computer do I need?

Technology readiness is critical to students' success in the WGU online learning environment. WGU is a 100% Bring Your Own Device university and, while technology products must meet required technical specifications, students are able to select technology products based on preference. Systems purchaced new within the past two years will typically come with the following recommended features. Learn more about the requirements and use the WGU System Checker below.

How will I learn at WGU?

Proving competence, not time in a class. WGU's unique learning model is focused directly on your knowledge and competence, not how much time you've spent in a class. With WGU, you move through the courses as quickly as you can master the material—as soon as you prove competence by passing an assessment, you can move forward. This allows you to accelerate your coursework by using your knowledge and experience to your advantage.

What’s the process to get started?

WGU offers an enrollment process that’s as hassle-free as possible. You’ll work closely with an Enrollment Counselor. For your convenience, WGU starts new groups of students every month. You’ll get excellent preparation for starting your degree program with the help of your Enrollment Counselor. At WGU, you are in charge of your schedule. You can begin your degree program on the first of any month, which begins your first term.

WGU is Endeavoring to be the Most Inclusive University in the World

Talent and perseverance are everywhere, but opportunity is not. We’re aiming to change that by actively seeking ways to progress and improve. We believe everyone deserves access to a quality education that empowers them to improve their quality of life and give back to their community. At WGU, you can feel confident that we’ll support you no matter your race, sexual orientation, or life circumstances.

Student Demographics

WGU continues to see year-over-year increases in enrollment, with a particular focus on students who traditionally have found it difficult to access high-quality education programs. In fact, as of December 2023, 74% of students identified as having come from one or more underserved populations.

As enrollment grows, we continue to find ways to support every student on their education pathway, providing high-value credentials at scale to a growing community of WGU students and grads.

In 2023, there were 169,379 total enrolled students at WGU.

2023 Enrollment Demographics

In 2023, 38% of students at WGU were male, 58% of students were female, and 4% of students did not report their gender.
In 2023, 79% of students worked while they were enrolled at WGU, 42% of students were married, and the median age for students was 33.

Enrollment Over Time

WGU’s 5-year compound growth rate was 9% as of 2023.

Underserved Populations

In 2023, 74% of WGU students came from one or more underserved populations: 21% of students were from low-income households, 33% of graduates were historically underrepresented races and ethnicities, 17% were from rural residents, and 43% of students were first-generation college students.

2023 Graduate Demographics

In 2023, 22% of graduates were from historically underrepresented races and ethnicities, 18% of graduates lived in rural communities, and 12% of graduates were from low-income households.
In 2023, 66% of graduates were from one or more underserved populations, 65% of graduates were female, 32% were male, and 3% of graduates did not report their gender.

Total 2023 Graduates

In 2023, there were 46,895 graduates.

Total Degrees Awarded Over Time

The 5-year compound growth rate for graduates was 22% in 2023.

Data as of Dec. 31, 2023.

Frequently Asked Questions about the WGU Student Experience

You will be expected to maintain regular communication with your Program Mentor while enrolled at WGU. 

During a student's first term, the Program Mentor and student meet once each week by phone for a substantive discussion about engaging learning resources and assessments until the student achieves on-time progress (OTP).

After the first term, for students who meet and maintain on-time progress (OTP), the Program Mentor and student meet at least once every two weeks by phone for a substantive discussion about engaging learning resources and assessments.

For students on financial aid warning, probation, or termination, the Program Mentor and student meet at least once each week by phone for a substantive discussion about engaging learning resources and assessments until the student achieves OTP.

WGU offers flexible pacing, meaning you can move through courses at a pace that meets your learning style and knowledge level. Students can go as fast as they can but not as slowly. Students are required to complete a minimum number of competency units per term to meet on-time progress. However, if you choose to study at 3 am daily, that we can accommodate. 

Your personal progress will be determined by the extent of your transfer units, your time commitment, and your determination to proceed at a faster rate. Traditionally, without an associate’s degree or equivalent, it will take 2 to 2.5 years. Master's degree programs are designed to be completed within 2 years. However, we work on a competency-based model, which gives you credit for passing assessments and proving you can perform a task or understand a course of study proficiently. 

Yes! If you are able to complete the minimum requirement before your term is over, you can add more courses, with no tuition increase.

Yes! WGU is institutionally accredited by the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities (NWCCU), the highest form of accreditation.

An accredited online college offers the same valuable and respected degrees that an on-campus college offers. The main difference is that online colleges offer you flexibility in your program. For example, you don't have to go to campus and sit in a classroom. You can move faster through courses. You are largely independent in your education. These are benefits that help many students pursue degrees who may not be able to attend an on-campus college.

It depends on the type of degree and online school you choose. Some online bachelor's degree programs will take 4+ years, and some online master's degrees will take 2+ years.

However, WGU is designed to help students accelerate their online degrees. Our unique education model allows students to move through courses as quickly as they can master the material. This means that, on average, students finish bachelor's degree programs in three years or less, and master's degree programs in 18 months or less.

Source: WGU internal data

Clinical and Student Teaching Support

Several WGU healthcare and nursing or teaching degrees require in-person, hands-on experience in the form of clinical or student teaching. WGU helps you prepare and arrange your clinical or student teaching experience to make it as smooth and seamless as possible. Your success is our goal, so we help you every step of the way. We work with hospitals and schools in your area to help you set up your hands-on experience.

An Outstanding University Experience – In Any Of Our Four Schools

All of our degree programs are carefully chosen with employment and success in mind. Our special model of competency-based, online learning is designed for the working adult, and our commitment to an outstanding experience is all about driving the kind of results you seek in a university—whatever program you choose.