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Learning at WGU

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?

5 Things Students Love about the WGU Experience

There are many reasons that students choose WGU, and most of them have to do with their experience as a student and how it helps them on their path to higher education. As a university that is student obsessed, our main goal is to ensure that all types of learners can benefit from their WGU experience. See the top five reasons that students love their experience at WGU.

1. Graduate Faster With Less Debt

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! 

Kathryn A. said:

“Doing my MAT and credential with WGU was by far the most affordable and efficient way I could have done it. I was able to work full-time, and still complete my course work in 18 months. Other schools were not going to allow me to work, estimated it would take two years for the program, and were going to cost nearly 3x as much. The coursework was challenging but not arduous, and the professors and staff were very supportive."

2. Online and Fully Supported by Mentors

Never alone. Mentors and student communities. 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.

Sinthia A. said:
“My experience at WGU was exceptional! The administration, mentors, and student life was so supportive, encouraging, and empowering that there is no way students will not succeed. You can accelerate at your own pace and the instructors want to see you succeed. I would recommend this school to anyone!”

3. Fit School into Your Life Instead of Forcing Your Life into School

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.

Rick R. said:
“WGU has been the best experience. In my business professional life, WGU was the best choice with the most flexible program. I was able to complete my bachelor's and my master's degree in 3 1/2 years. All while working full-time and through two surgeries and recoveries. This was the best choice I could have made for myself.”

4. Learning Whenever and Wherever You Want

Resources whenever and wherever you need them. With an online university like WGU, you can access your textbook and course material anywhere you have internet access at any time. This is crucial in allowing students to have the flexibility they need to make their schooling fit with their lives, anywhere they are. You can access your coursework in the middle of the day or night, on vacation or at home. 

Reuben L. said:

"I had the opportunity to work full-time and provide for my family while working toward my degree. It was hard, but this was a true gift because it was not an accommodation that other universities would afford me. During my time studying at WGU, I worked through many courses with many different instructors. WGU's structure is very well designed for those that have a full life that requires flexibility, such as mine. They allow their students to study whenever, but still require them to be dedicated to their academic pursuits putting in the time and effort."

5. Focused on Learning, Not Seat Time

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. 

Lesley C. said:
"I obtained both my undergraduate and graduate degrees in business through WGU. In both cases, I was able to accelerate, finishing my undergraduate in 11 months and my graduate in 4 months. While I didn't feel I needed any assistance to advocate for my needs, my mentors were consistent and always willing to help.”

Read More Student Experiences
Don't take our word for it, hear from actual students to see how they feel about WGU.

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 regionally 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

You'll Love Your WGU Experience

If you haven’t yet, it’s time to find your program. Not quite sure which degree is the perfect fit for your career goals? Our Enrollment Counselors are your resource for helping you work through your options and any other questions you may still have. Applying for college and completing enrollment in a degree program shouldn’t be difficult. Familiarize yourself with the steps you can expect to complete as you begin.

Clinical and Demonstration Teaching Support

Several WGU healthcare and nursing or teaching degrees require in-person, hands-on experience in the form of clinicals or demonstration teaching. WGU helps you prepare and arrange your clinical or demonstration 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 Colleges

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.