Western Governors University Awards Over $565,000 in Scholarships to Displaced Workers in Economic Turnaround Program's First Year

Jun 01, 2010, 12:14 ET from Western Governors University

Program Begins Its Second Year at Online University

SALT LAKE CITY, June 1 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Last May, Western Governors University (www.wgu.edu) launched its Economic Turnaround Program, a scholarship program designed to help recently laid-off workers go back to school to complete a bachelor's or post-baccalaureate degree. In the year since the program's initiation, the non-profit university has awarded more than $565,000 in scholarships to more than 100 new WGU students, and the program is still going strong, with nearly $200,000 still available.

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For many, this scholarship means more than increasing opportunities for future career growth. Lise Carney, a single mother from Colorado is pursuing a Bachelor's degree in Special Education. "Being recently unemployed, there would be no way for me to continue my education without this scholarship. By finishing my degree, I'll be able to provide a better life for my daughter," said Lise.

The need-based scholarships, which are valued at up to $1,250 per six-month term for up to four terms, are open to new WGU students who have become unemployed in the past 12 months. To be eligible, students must be able to complete a bachelor's or post-baccalaureate degree in less than two years and be admitted to WGU. All bachelor's degree programs in the College of Business, College of Information Technology, and College of Health Professions are eligible. In addition, bachelor's degree programs in the Teacher College, as well as post-baccalaureate and master's in teaching programs (leading to initial teacher licensure), are eligible. To learn more about the program, go to www.wgu.edu/turnaround.

About Western Governors University (WGU)

"[WGU is] the best relatively cheap university you've never heard of."– TIME magazine

Recently featured on the NBC Nightly News with Brian Williams, WGU is the only university in the U.S. offering competency-based degree programs and the only non-profit, fully online university in the country. WGU offers degree programs in Business, Education, Information Technology, and Healthcare Professions, including Nursing. Since its inception in 1997, WGU has grown into a national institution, serving more than 19,000 students in all 50 states.

As a non-profit with a mission to make higher education accessible, WGU strives to keep tuition affordable—tuition for most undergraduate and graduate programs is less than $6,000 per year and has increased less than $200 in the past four years. WGU is self-sustaining on tuition, and does not rely on state or national support to fund its operations.  

WGU is regionally accredited by the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities and nationally accredited by the Distance Education and Training Council (DETC). WGU's Teachers College is the first and only exclusively online provider of teacher education to receive accreditation from the National Council for the Accreditation of Teacher Education (NCATE). WGU nursing programs have been accredited by the Commission for Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE).

The university has earned the support of more than 20 leading corporations and foundations. They include institutions such as AT&T, Dell, Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, the Lumina Foundation, Hewlett-Packard, HCA, Microsoft, Oracle, Qwest, SunGard Higher Education, Sun Microsystems, American Express, and Zions Bank. More information is available at www.wgu.edu.

CONTACT: Joan Mitchell,  1-801-428-5463, jmitchell@wgu.edu

SOURCE Western Governors University