This article provides an in-depth Western Governors University review. We will be covering important aspects for prospective students to consider, including Western Governors University cost and financial aid details, college life, and faculty.
Other details provided in this piece include Western Governors University ranking information and notable alumni. If you’re unsure about the quality of education you’d be receiving from this online school, we’ve also looked into national and regional Western Governors University accreditation factors.
All About Western Governors University
Western Governors University (WGU) is a non-profit and private online university. It was established in 1997 by 19 US governors as a way to meet education needs via the Internet, where many more people would be able to access a college education.
WGU uses a competency-based learning model, instead of the more traditional one that measures time spent in a classroom. There are currently over 150,000 students enrolled in this online school, across a wide variety of programs.
Where Is Western Governors University Located?
Western Governors University is an online school; therefore, it can operate anywhere in the world. However, there are nine regional hubs spread across the United States, plus three corporate offices. These places serve as the work bases of all faculty and staff available to help the online students.
Western Governors University’s headquarters is located in Salt Lake City, Utah. Other facilities can be found in Indiana, Missouri, Nevada, North Carolina, Ohio, Tennessee, Texas, and Washington.
Is Western Governors University Accredited?
Yes, Western Governors University is accredited by the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities (NWCCU). At one point, WGU was accredited by four regional accrediting commissions at the same time, in part because it was founded by 19 state governors, representing a wide US geographical region.
Attending a school that’s fully accredited by a recognized accrediting body is fundamental to ensuring that you’ll be getting a widely accepted education from a reputable school. It also guarantees that your college degree will be honored by employers and that your credit hours will be eligible for transfer to other accredited schools.
Is Western Governors University Legit?
Yes, Western Governors University is legit. Apart from Western Governors University’s accreditation status, this school has collected some impressive awards. It has been designated, year after year, as a best value school designee, providing students a good return on investment (ROI).
It has also been recognized repeatedly for excellence in distance learning by the United States Distance Learning Association and awarded for outstanding performance by the Council for Higher Education Accreditation.
Western Governors University Student Reviews
Western Governors University reviews found on the Rate My Professors website give the school 3.3 stars out of 5 in overall quality. Positive reviews say that the online school is completely flexible and easily fits students’ schedules. They also praise the flat-rate tuition and the possibility of going at their own pace.
Negative reviews describe not-so-positive interactions with some faculty members. Some students also recommend getting an associate degree before enrolling in this school, as a way to not have to take as many courses.
Western Governors University Better Business Bureau Reviews and Complaints
On the Better Business Bureau website, Western Governors University scores 1.54 out of 5 stars in customer reviews. These rankings should be taken with a grain of salt as they might not necessarily be a reflection of the majority of students’ experiences.
Positive reviews mention good interactions with coordinators, mentors, and other faculty and their accessibility. A student also mentioned the fact that they were able to get a higher-paying position after completing their program at WGU.
Negative reviews and student complaints include the inability to complete more courses per semester, the fact that some study material did not align with test questions, and that it sometimes takes too long to get the financial aid award letter.
Western Governors University Rankings
Rankings by US News & World Report and Times Higher Education can provide useful information for prospective students and serve as a way to compare different universities. They are two of the most respected college ranking bodies.
Western Governors University US News & World Report Ranking
Western Governors University has not been ranked by US News & World Report.
Western Governors University Times Higher Education Ranking
Western Governors University has not been ranked by Times Higher Education.
Western Governors University Graduation Rate
Western Governors University has an overall graduation rate of 64 percent. This is a measure of the number of undergraduate students who have enrolled in this school and successfully completed their programs during the designated time.
The average graduation rate in the US is 46.2 percent among students in two-year and four-year institutions, according to Education Data Initiative. This means that WGU’s graduation rate is above average. This is probably a reflection of the school’s online education model that was designed to fit the busy lives of working professionals. Students know that they can work as fast or as slow as they like or need, which is likely a high motivator for them to finish their studies.
Western Governors University Admissions
Applying to Western Governors University is easy. The only requirements are a completed admission form and official transcripts. Students in need of financial aid should also be sure to submit a FAFSA form. Students must meet with an enrollment counselor to find out if their program has any additional admission requirements.
Western Governors University Acceptance Rate
Western Governors University has an acceptance rate of 100 percent. In other words, it has an open-admission policy, which means that all students who apply are accepted, assuming that they meet the minimum requirements.
This is translated into a very straightforward admission process, which basically involves providing your high school transcript or the equivalent. There is usually no requirement for certain skills or courses, recommendation letters, SAT or ACT scores, or essays.
Will You Get Into Western Governors University?
Yes, you will most likely get into Western Governors University because it has an open-admission policy. However, you still need to meet the minimum admissions requirements in order to be accepted.
How to Apply to Western Governors University
- Complete the online application. Your application is submitted through an online application form found in the WGU website. Depending on when you’re enrolling, you might get the option not to pay the application fee, using a provided discount code.
- Submit your official transcripts. Be sure to submit your official high school transcripts. You should also submit transcripts if you’ve attended another postsecondary institution.
- Apply for financial aid. If you plan to apply for financial aid, be sure to start the process early by filling out and submitting your FAFSA form.
- Check for program-specific requirements. A few of the programs might have specific requirements for admission. Be sure to know what they are beforehand to make the application process easier.
- Interview with an enrollment counselor. Enrollment counselors help students with any questions they might have about the school or their program, set the starting date for them, and act as a guide through the entire enrollment process.
Western Governors University Cost
|Expense||Western Governors University Cost|
|Western Governors University Undergraduate In-State Tuition and Fees||$7,452 per year|
|Western Governors University Undergraduate Out-of-State Tuition and Fees||$7,452 per year|
|Western Governors University Graduate In-State Tuition and Fees||$7,500 per year|
|Western Governors University Graduate Out-of-State Tuition and Fees||$7,500 per year|
|Western Governors University Books and Supplies||$200|
|Western Governors University On-Campus Room and Board||N/A|
|Western Governors University Off-Campus Room and Board||$6,000|
The average yearly tuition for online undergraduate programs is $7,452 at WGU. According to Education Data Initiative, the cost of an online bachelor’s degree averages $51,091 in total, averaging $12,773 every year.
Compared to the national average, the Western Governors University’s cost is much lower, almost by half. WGU’s different colleges might have program-specific tuition rates, which may alter the final total cost.
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Cost of Living in Salt Lake City, Utah
Western Governors University’s headquarters is located in Salt Lake City, Utah. According to PayScale, the cost of living there is two percent higher than the national average. Median rent costs $1,263 per month, electricity costs around $154.58 per month, and gas prices average at $4.89 per gallon.
Salt Lake City, the state’s capital, offers many attractions and entertainment possibilities like basketball, the Loveland Living Planet Aquarium, five national parks, and several reputable ski resorts. It also ranks at 23rd in the list for the best places to live in the US by US News & World Report.
However, this is an online school, so students can be based anywhere in the US. The average cost of living in the US is $2,061 for a single person, according to LivingCost.org That’s more than twice the world average. The US is the world’s eighth most expensive country to live in.
Western Governors University Financial Aid
Western Governors University has many different types of financial aid available for students. These include scholarships and federal aid in the form of grants, loans, and work-study programs.
Some of these options include the Federal Pell Grant, Iraq and Afghanistan Service Grant (IASG), Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant (FSEOG), and Teacher Education Assistance for College and Higher Education (TEACH) Grant.
Students in need of financial aid can apply for these types of programs to help get them through their studies without worries. They can use the aid to pay for tuition, fees, textbooks, technological equipment, and any other educational expenses.
Western Governors University Scholarships
- Margaret McClure Scholarship. Margaret McClure had a huge impact in bringing recognition to the value of higher education in nursing. This scholarship, in her honor, covers up to $5,000 of tuition in most of WGU’s College of Health Professions online degree programs.
- Rise Above Grant. This scholarship is available for all WGU students struggling with their finances. Up to $4,000 can be awarded depending on the candidate’s academic record, financial need, and competency.
- WGU Cybersecurity Scholarship. This scholarship was created for students enrolling in a master’s or bachelor’s cyber security online degree program. They can receive up to $5,000 to help cover their tuition costs.
- WGU Loves Teachers Scholarship. To reward educators and aspiring educators, WGU created this scholarship. Any student enrolled in a program from the WGU Teachers College can apply to earn up to $4,000.
- WGU Military Appreciation Scholarship. This is one way that WGU has to honor military students. Active-duty military personnel, veterans, or their spouses who are enrolled in WGU can apply and receive up to $2,500.
Western Governors University Graduate Salaries and Outcomes
According to the US Department of Education’s College Scorecard, Western Governors University graduates make $48,210 in median annual earnings. Most students who graduate from WGU, about 76 percent, earn more than a high school graduate.
The school’s return on investment (ROI) is very significant. According to WGU’s stats, its graduates see a salary increase of $18,200 on average just two years after graduating. Tuition at this school is also low, which makes it easier to graduate without college debt. WGU also takes pride in sharing alumni success stories. For example, one student got his dream job working for Nintendo after getting his MBA from WGU.
Western Governors University Notable Alumni
Western Governors University offers a wide variety of programs in many fields, and several notable alumni pursued successful careers in politics. Some of them include Andre Barnett, a 2012 presidential nominee; Tiffiny Mitchell, a member of the Oregon House of Representatives; Paul Ray, a member of the Utah House of Representatives; and Amy Summers, a delegate with the West Virginia House of Delegates.
Western Governors University Campus Life
As Western Governors University is an online school, there is no campus life available. However, there are still many resources that students can use in order to be more involved in their academic life. Students can use the school’s Night Owl Network to connect with alumni, interact with WGU social media channels, apply to be an Alumni Ambassador, tune into the WGU Alumni Podcast, or join honor societies, associations, and boards.
Western Governors University Academics
Western Governors University has over 100,000 undergraduate and 42,000 graduate students enrolled in its online business, teaching, IT, and nursing programs. These programs are career-aligned, making it easier for working professionals to further their education.
WGU provides a competency-based education. This form of education evaluates students through their acquired skills and knowledge. They can progress through their courses as fast as they want, as soon as they can prove their mastery of the course material.
Western Governors University Colleges and Departments
|School or Department Name||Available Program Examples|
|College of Information Technology||Bachelor of Science in Computer Science, Bachelor of Science in Software Development, Master of Science in Data Analytics|
|College of Business||Bachelor of Science in Business Administration, Master of Business Administration (MBA), Master of Science in Accounting|
|College of Health Professions||Bachelor of Science in Health Services Coordination, Bachelor of Science in Nursing, Master of Health Leadership|
|Teachers College||Bachelor of Arts in Elementary Education, Master of Science in Educational Leadership, Master of Arts in Mathematics Education (K-6)|
Western Governors University Faculty
Western Governors University faculty are leading experts in their fields and aim to empower their students toward success. WGU provides three types of faculties: program mentors, instructors, and evaluators. The first two interact with students on the Internet or over the phone to provide instruction. Evaluators provide feedback.
According to student reviews on Rate My Professors, the average professor rating is 3.24 out of 5. There are very few reviews available for each teacher, which means that the evaluation they received might not be aligned with popular opinion.
Positive reviews mention insightful, knowledgeable, and helpful faculty members plus organized study materials. Negative reviews focus more on not-so-available faculty who also don’t provide relevant or interesting study materials.
Popular Western Governors University Majors
Some of the most popular Western Governors University majors include nursing, business administration and management, education, computer science, and information technology. We’ll be taking a closer look at each of them over the next few sections.
Western Governors University Nursing
The nursing program allows current registered nurses to obtain better salaries and increase their job security through a bachelor’s degree. Study materials are updated and aligned with the 2021 AACN Essentials: Core Competencies for Professional Nursing Education. Most students complete this program in two years.
Western Governors University Nursing Jobs
- Nurse. Nursing students get their nursing degrees in order to expand their opportunities and improve healthcare for patients. Nurses work directly with patients, assessing their individual needs and administering medical care.
- Flight nurse. Flight nurses are registered nurses who care for patients while they’re being transported, by helicopter or plane, to the hospital. They have to keep them stable until they reach their destination.
- Forensic nurse. Forensic nurses are specialized to work certain cases in which health and legal systems intersect. They’re usually responsible for taking care of patients who were victims of violence and abuse.
Western Governors University Business Administration and Management
Business administration and management majors are able to work across a wide variety of industries. They acquire a specialized set of management and leadership skills that grant them access to high-paying positions in business. Most students complete this program in just under four years.
Western Governors University Business Administration and Management Jobs
- Marketing manager. Marketing managers are responsible for a company’s marketing strategies. They lead the marketing team, estimate budgets, and determine which media are best to promote a certain product or service.
- Business analyst. Business analysts explore all sorts of data provided by a company. They come up with different suggestions on how to improve the company’s efficiency and reduce its costs.
- Project manager. Project managers work with organizations to help plan, organize, and execute all kinds of projects. They’re responsible for leading a team, coming up with budgets, and defining goals.
Western Governors University Education
Students who want to study education at Western Governors University can choose programs that cover elementary to secondary and also special education. Undergraduate students can take advantage of these programs to become licensed teachers, while current teachers can use graduate programs to update their curricula.
Western Governors University Education Jobs
- Elementary school teacher. Elementary school teachers work with children at this level and to teach them basic academic and social skills. Common subjects include math and reading, which prepare students for middle school.
- Special education teacher. Special education teachers are prepared to work with students who possess a learning disability or other kinds of disabilities. They are able to adapt general education lessons according to the student’s needs.
- Adult education teacher. Adult education teachers work with adult students to help them build the necessary skills to obtain their high school diplomas. Sometimes they also work as English as a second language (ESL) teachers.
Western Governors University Computer Science
WGU’s computer science major offers some great benefits to students. One of them is that students can begin applying to jobs in the field while they’re still studying. During the program, they’re able to take relevant industry certifications, for free, that they can use to start accumulating skills and building a career.
Western Governors University Computer Science Jobs
- Data engineer. These types of software engineers are responsible for developing algorithms to better process data. They also have to create and maintain databases and data validation methods.
- Machine learning engineer. Machine learning engineers are responsible for designing and creating new artificial intelligence systems that can improve the efficiency of a certain process.
- Information manager. Information managers combine their computer science and project management expertise to coordinate and manage streams of data. These professionals can work in all kinds of industries.
Western Governors University Information Technology
Apart from getting relevant knowledge and skills that will allow them to pursue high-paying careers in IT, students also have access to great IT certifications through this WGU program. Some of them include CompTIA and the Certified Internet Webmaster (CIW) certifications. Most students complete the IT major in four years.
Western Governors University Information Technology Jobs
- Application developer. As their title suggests, application developers create different applications and programs for several operating systems, the Internet, or mobile devices.
- IT manager. Also known as computer and information system managers, IT managers are responsible for all computer-related activities in an organization. They take care of system updates, manage hardware and software, and negotiate tech prices with vendors.
- Database administrator. Database administrators monitor the performance of their company’s databases. They make sure that other colleagues can easily use it to access important information.
Is Western Governors University Worth It?
Yes, Western Governors University is worth it. As a fully accredited online school, WGU offers working professionals the opportunity to improve their knowledge and pursue higher-paying careers in their fields. It’s also a way for any professional to change from one field to another.
Students have access to expert instructors, mentors, and evaluators that are always available to help them and guide them through any hardships they might encounter. There are also several types of online resources that students can use to keep involved with the school and other students and alumni. The school has a 100 percent acceptance rate, admitting all applicants who meet the minimum requirements.
Not only does WGU offer a wide variety of programs at affordable tuition costs, but it also offers several types of financial aid for those who need them. Students can apply for federal aid, grants, scholarships, and work-study programs.
Western Governors University Review FAQ
Yes, WGU offers career help to students. The school has a special department called WGU Career & Professional Development that offers career coaching, help with resume building, employer connections, and several work-related workshops.
Yes, WGU has a graduation ceremony. Even though this is an online school, each year it holds a virtual commencement ceremony to commemorate its graduates. Students are welcome to participate virtually once they’ve submitted their graduation applications.
Yes, continuing your education at WGU is worth it. Students who’ve completed a bachelor’s degree at WGU and are interested in pursuing a master’s degree there as well enjoy a few benefits. Students have access to priority enrollment and exclusive scholarship opportunities.
Yes, WGU accepts transfer college credits from other accredited schools. Transfer experts evaluate students’ transcripts and help them determine the best academic plan for them. Each program has its own credit transfer allowances, and students can use their credits to complete their programs faster.
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