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A Diverse and Inclusive Education Focused on You

Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion at the Forefront of your Education


At WGU, we practice what we preach. Equity and equal opportunity are not just ideals that we mention, but rather constant guiding pillars. Our Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DE&I) Program is run by individuals who work tirelessly to make WGU a place of equity and learning for students, employees, and alumni. Our vision is that our efforts in this area reach beyond the virtual classroom. We hope to build communities where every individual is respected, and open communication among different groups is natural and unifying. 

We aim to cultivate an inclusive and diverse environment where you can grow. In removing barriers to entry, we aim to foster an atmosphere where each student feels comfortable to be themselves. Inclusion and opportunity are available for students, faculty, and staff. WGU is dedicated to providing an inclusive space for learning where respect reigns and appreciation of differences build bridges. In everything we do, diversity and equity are at the forefront.

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.

How do we foster diversity, equity, and inclusion? 

  • A Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion committee that works tirelessly to address the needs of students, faculty, and staff to ensure an inclusive environment.
  • Affordable tuition that allows more students to pursue their goals of higher education. Scholarship programs and federal aid are key components in ensuring more students can afford to pursue education.
  • Flexible learning that provides more students the opportunity to work full-time, honor family commitments, and complete their schoolwork whenever their busy lives allow.
  • Expanded internet access even for those in rural areas. Our Online Access Scholarship provides internet access, webcams, and laptops free of charge to prospective students who need them. Other initiatives include the Rise Above Grant and the Opportunity Grant.

To find out what is being done to close the digital divide in your state, reach out to our Government Relations representatives.

WGU Position Statement on Measures to Restrict or Limit DE&I Efforts

DE&I is not about being politically correct. It’s a rejection of “one-size-fits-all” education. Above all, it’s about honoring diverse perspectives and lived experiences, and responding to students’ individual needs with personalized interventions so that every learner succeeds.

Recent Initiatives

Some of the latest measures that are part of WGU’s continual efforts to be the most inclusive university in the world:

  1. Internal Employee Resource Groups. Also known as ERGs, these groups give employees the opportunity to make connections, raise awareness about causes that impact them, and find support from like-minded coworkers. WGU currently offers support to employees through 11 ERGs in areas including LGBTQ+ inclusion, mental health awareness and support, women, age-inclusion, military support, parents, disability awareness, and ethnic diversity. 
  2. Generous parental leave. WGU extends eligible employees up to 12 weeks of Paid Parental Leave (PPL) following the birth of an employee's child or the placement of a child with an employee in connection with adoption, surrogacy, or foster care. This extends to both parents and spouses. 
  3. Additional celebrated holidays. WGU offers eligible employees paid time off for numerous holidays, including Martin Luther King, Jr., Day, Presidents’ Day, and Juneteenth. 
  4. Student affinity groups. These groups are being created to help students at WGU find connections, raise awareness, and get support. 

WGU is honored to serve students and employees from all walks of life. The university has recently expanded the Office of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DE&I) and is endeavoring to continually implement additional programs to better meet the needs of all.

How Diversity Benefits WGU Students

Broader Networking

A diverse alumni network gives you access to many different perspectives and opportunities across the nation. You may find WGU grads from varying backgrounds residing in many communities throughout the country. We're proud to have such a diverse and widespread alumni footprint.

Inclusive Education

Our goal is to create a learning environment that caters to all kinds of learners. If you can't take classes during the day, you don't have to. If you move regularly due to military assignments, that's okay too. If you need to pause your coursework to help your family, we can accommodate you. WGU is specifically built to be inclusive of every person regardless of circumstances.

Diverse Experience

We endeavor to provide curriculum and learning experiences that broaden understanding and increase acceptance. This promotes unity at a community level and beyond. It is through understanding and working together that we gain greater empathy, compassion, and strength.

Equitable Outcomes

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.

Data as of Dec. 31, 2023.

WGU Students Are Resilient and Unique

Our students come from all backgrounds and walks of life. As a WGU student, you become part of a diverse student body which provides a rich learning environment. Here you can learn alongside students with different life experiences in an equitable and inclusive online environment. Many of our students represent typically underserved populations, are first-generation college students, or both. We're also proud to support military members and spouses, students of color, and those in rural areas. Drawing on their diverse experiences, our students bring unique perspectives to online learning. Our students go on to enrich their local communities by giving back, which expands the reach of WGU.

Our Stories

We aim to celebrate and amplify the unique voices that make up our student population at WGU. Below, you can read stories from individuals throughout the year as we highlight different populations during Diversity Heritage Months.

Black History Month

Join us as we celebrate Black History Month and recognize how students and employees are making a difference in their communities around the country.

Women's History Month

Celebrate Women's History Month with WGU as we recognize the contributions and achievements of our students and employees around the country.

Asian/Pacific American Heritage Month

WGU celebrates the contributions of our Pan-Asian American students and employees during Asian/Pacific American Heritage Month.

Mental Health Awareness Month

WGU promotes awareness, provides resources, and supports students and employees during Mental Health Awareness month.

Older Americans Month

Celebrate the achievements and acknowledge the contributions of Older Americans during May with WGU.

Pride Month

During Pride Month, join WGU in recognizing the accomplishments of the gay rights movement, its advocates, and allies.

Hispanic Heritage Month

WGU celebrates our Hispanic employees and students during Hispanic Heritage Month.

Disability Employment Awareness Month

WGU recognizes the importance of inclusive and equitable employment policies.

Native American Heritage Month

WGU acknowledges the contributions the first Americans made to this country, and we celebrate the heritage of our Native American students, alumni, and employees.

Military Appreciation Month

WGU is celebrating Military Appreciation Month in November. We recognize and thank our students, alumni, and employees in the military community for their sacrifices and service to our country.  

Advance Equity Speaker Series (AESS)

WGU’s Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DE&I) team hosts this monthly speaker series as part of our commitment to change lives for the better by advancing equity and expanding access to opportunity. Our objective for this webinar series is to share insight and perspective on various DE&I topics. Each one-hour session will feature renowned DE&I experts and personalities such as Olympic gold medalist swimmer Cullen Jones, TED Talks speaker Sara Jones, executive leaders, and WGU faculty. Recordings and resource materials from each session will be available on this page after the event.

"We are committed to promoting inclusion, respect for differences, equal opportunity, and diversity in our institution. We believe in the power of education and the value of expanding access and opportunity to all individuals."

-Jason Thompson, WGU's Vice President of the Office of DE&I