Now with More than 36,000 Students, Western Governors University Continues Strong Growth

Oct 18, 2012, 16:04 ET from Western Governors University

Enrollment at nonprofit, online university up by nearly 35% over same time last year

SALT LAKE CITY, Oct. 18, 2012 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- While enrollment at many universities serving nontraditional students has dropped by as much as 18% in the past year, Western Governors University (WGU),, surpassed another enrollment milestone in September—more than 36,000 students. The nonprofit university, which offers online, competency-based bachelor's and master's degree programs in business, K-12 teacher education, information technology, and health professions, including nursing, continues to grow by more than 30% per year.

WGU was created to expand access to quality higher education, particularly for nontraditional students whose job and family responsibilities make it difficult to attend "bricks and mortar" universities. The average age of WGU students is 37, and more than two-thirds of students work full time. Fully online, the university uses competency-based learning, which allows students to move quickly through material they already know so they can focus on what they still need to learn. Students may begin their WGU studies on the first day of any month, terms are six months long, and tuition is charged at a flat rate of about $3,000 per term for most programs.

"WGU's affordability and flexibility, as well as its accreditation and reputation for academic rigor, make it an attractive choice for busy adults looking to advance their careers by completing a bachelor's or master's degree," said WGU Chief Marketing Officer Patrick Partridge. "Our tuition hasn't increased since 2008, and it's roughly half the cost of most other online universities. A large percentage of our new students come to us as referrals from our current students and graduates—98% of our students tell us that they have or would recommend WGU to a friend or associate. The loyalty of our students and graduates shows that a degree from WGU is worth earning."

About Western Governors University

Featured on NPR's "All Things Considered," The NBC Nightly News with Brian Williams, CNN's "Schools of Thought," and in The New York Times, WGU is the only university in the U.S. offering accredited, competency-based bachelor's and master's degree programs. WGU is accredited by the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities. WGU's Teachers College is the first and only exclusively online provider of teacher education to receive accreditation for its teacher licensure programs from NCATE, the National Council for the Accreditation of Teacher Education.  The WGU bachelor's and master's nursing degree programs have been accredited by the Commission for Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE), and its B.S. in Health Informatics is accredited by CAHIIM (Commission on Accreditation for Health Informatics and Information Management Education).

On June 11, 2010, WGU Indiana was created by Governor Mitch Daniels as Indiana's eighth state university. WGU Washington was established by the Washington State Legislature on April 22, 2011.  On August 3, 2011, the state of Texas created WGU Texas. WGU Indiana, WGU Washington, and WGU Texas are state-endorsed and offer degree programs that are accredited through Western Governors University.

The university has earned the support of more than 20 leading corporations and foundations. They include institutions such as AT&T, Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, Lilly Endowment, HCA, Hewlett-Packard, Lumina Foundation, Microsoft, Oracle, SunGard Higher Education, and Zions Bank. More information is available at or by calling 866.225.5948.

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Contact for media inquiries:    
Joan Mitchell – Director of PR         

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SOURCE Western Governors University