Online university has awarded nearly $750,000 in scholarships over the past 18 months
SALT LAKE CITY, Dec. 7, 2010 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- In May 2009, non-profit, online Western Governors University, www.wgu.edu, launched a competitive scholarship program aimed at helping laid-off workers return to college to complete bachelor's or post-baccalaureate degrees. Nearly 150 students have been awarded $750,000 in scholarships as part of the Economic Turnaround Scholarship Program, and today, the online university announced that it is extending the program into 2011. The need-based program provides up to $1,250 per six-month term for up to four terms to new WGU students who have lost their jobs in the past 18 months.
"While we know that the economy is improving slowly, high unemployment continues," said WGU Vice President of Marketing and Enrollment Patrick Partridge. "Many workers have been unemployed for an extended period of time, and in many cases, the jobs they lost will not be coming back." This scholarship provides these individuals with a chance to prepare for new opportunities by completing a bachelor's degree in a high-demand field such as business, information technology, teaching, or healthcare, including nursing. The scholarship is also open to bachelor's degree holders who wish to earn a post-baccalaureate certificate leading to licensure as a teacher.
In a recent interview on CBS News program 60 Minutes, Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke discussed the importance of higher education to the country and our economy, "If you're a college graduate, unemployment is five percent. If you're a high school graduate, it's ten percent or more. It's a very big difference. It leads to an unequal society and a society which doesn't have the cohesion that we'd like to see."
To be eligible for WGU's Economic Turnaround Scholarship, applicants 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 Teachers College, as well as post-baccalaureate degree programs (leading to initial teacher licensure), are eligible. To learn more about the program, go to www.wgu.edu/turnaround or call 1.866.225.5948.
"[WGU is] the best relatively cheap university you've never heard of."– TIME magazine
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 with students in all 50 states. WGU offers 50 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 22,000 students. WGU is self-sustaining on tuition, and does not rely on state or national support to fund its operations.
On June 11, 2010, WGU Indiana, referred to by Governor Mitch Daniels as Indiana's eighth state university, was formed through a partnership with the state. A wholly-owned subsidiary of Western Governors University, WGU Indiana is accredited through Western Governors University and is open to all qualified Indiana residents.
WGU is regionally accredited by the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities and nationally accredited by the Distance Education and Training Council (DETC). WGU nursing programs have been accredited by the Commission for Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE). 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).
The university has earned the support of more than 20 leading corporations and foundations. They include institutions such as AT&T, Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, Dell, the Eli Lilly Foundation, HCA, Hewlett-Packard, Lumina Foundation, Microsoft, Oracle, Qwest, SunGard Higher Education, and Zions Bank. More information is available at www.wgu.edu.
SOURCE Western Governors University