WGU Washington Offers New Option and Lower Tuition for Community College Graduates Seeking a Bachelor's Degree

Jun 22, 2011, 15:48 ET from Western Governors University

Washington online university provides an affordable state-endorsed alternative for working adults transferring from Washington community colleges

SEATTLE, June 22, 2011 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- At commencement ceremonies held last week at the state's 34 community and technical colleges, thousands of students were awarded diplomas, and for many, the next step is transferring to a four-year institution to complete a bachelor's degree. For an increasing number of these students, however, that next step will not be toward one of the state's public colleges or universities. Capacity issues as well as accessibility issues for working adults are causing more of these students to enroll in private, for-profit schools. While most of these Washington colleges and universities are accredited and do provide nontraditional students the flexibility they need, they can be expensive, forcing students to incur more debt.

With the launch of nonprofit, online WGU Washington, http://washington.wgu.edu/, last month, graduates of the state's community colleges now have a more affordable—and state-endorsed—option for completing a bachelor's degree. Tuition at WGU Washington, which receives no state funding, is less than $6,000 per 12-month year—roughly half the cost of the leading for-profit university. In addition, an agreement between WGU Washington and the state's community and technical colleges provides special benefits for community college graduates:

  • A 5% tuition discount—tuition for most programs will be just under $2,750 per six-month term. WGU Washington terms begin on the first of every month, and students may complete as many courses as they choose, limited only by the time they have to commit to their studies.
  • Seamless transfer—students with A.A. or A.S. degrees in disciplines related to their WGU Washington degree program will begin their studies with upper division standing.
  • The $65 application fee will be waived.
  • Community college graduates are eligible to apply for the 'Go Further' WGU Washington Scholarship—valued at up to $500 per term for up to four terms.

WGU Washington was established by the State legislature as the state's only all-online competency-based university. Created to expand access to higher education for Washington residents, nonprofit WGU Washington offers busy working adults an affordable, flexible option for earning an accredited college degree. The university's four colleges, Business, Information Technology, Teachers College, and Health Professions (including Nursing), offer more than 50 accredited bachelor's and master's degrees, many with industry-specific certifications. Established through a partnership with regionally and nationally accredited Western Governors University, WGU Washington is open to all qualified Washington residents.

WGU Washington's academic model is unique—rather than earning degrees based on credit hours or time spent in class, students are required to demonstrate competency in degree subject matter. They advance by writing papers, completing assignments, and passing exams that demonstrate their knowledge of required subject matter. This allows students to move quickly through areas where they have prior work or academic experience and focus on the areas they still need to learn. Learning is individualized and guided by the one-on-one support of a faculty mentor. Degree programs are rigorous and challenging, but designed to allow students to schedule their studies to accommodate work and family obligations. Tuition is affordable, approximately $6,000 per year for most degree programs, and federal financial aid is available. For more information, visit the WGU Washington website, http://washington.wgu.edu/.

About WGU Washington

WGU Washington was established by the State Legislature in partnership with nationally recognized and accredited Western Governors University to expand access to higher education for Washington residents. The nonprofit university, which receives no funds from the state, offers 50 bachelor's and master's degree programs in business, information technology, teacher education, and health professions, including nursing. The university's online, competency-based learning model is designed to meet the needs of working adults by providing an affordable, flexible option for earning an accredited, respected college degree.

Degrees are granted under the accreditation of Western Governors University, which is regionally accredited through the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities (NWCCU) and nationally accredited through the Distance Education and Training Commission (DETC). Teachers College programs are accredited by the National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education (NCATE) and Nursing programs are accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE).

The university has earned the support of more than 20 leading corporations and foundations. They include institutions such as the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, AT&T, Dell, HCA, Hewlett-Packard, the Lilly Endowment, Lumina Foundation, Microsoft, Oracle, Qwest, SunGard Higher Education, and Zions Bank. For more information, visit the WGU Washington website, http://washington.wgu.edu/.

Contact for media inquiries:
Sydney SiegmethPorter Novelli
Joan Mitchell – Director of PR
Contact for enrollment information:

SOURCE Western Governors University