Western Governors University Review

By Henry R. Steele - April 7, 2017
Reading Time: 4 minutes

Western Governor’s University is a fully online, nonprofit university that was founded and is supported by 19 governors in the US. The university was first formed in 1995, and was the first and only time that governors of several US states gathered to create a new university. These governors knew that distance learning technology was coming of age, and could be used to educate thousands of residents of western states with limited access to education.

Favorite Features

Very low tuition for bachelor’s and master’s business programs

Probably the biggest advantage of an online master’s or bachelor’s in business from WBU is the cost. These online programs are some of the most affordable in the country.

Unlike many universities, the school does not charge per credit hour. Instead, it charges a flat rate for each term you are in the program. For the MBA program, the charge is only $3,250 per semester. For the bachelor’s degrees in business, the fee is only $2,980 per term.

The university treats all bachelor’s and master’s students as full time, and charges the flat rate regardless of how many credits you take each six month term. The standard term is defined as 12 units for undergraduates and eight units for graduate students. Note that students who are completing fewer units per term are charged the same rate. Thus, students are encouraged to take at least that number of course units or credits.

If you attend school for the minimum number of units above, a bachelor’s degree can easily be earned for well under $20,000. A master’s degree should be possible for a total of $15,000 or less. A WGU MBA can easily cost half or even one quarter of what an MBA costs at other universities.

The tuition charged each semester is all inclusive: It covers 24/7 access to your course books, the student portal, course assessments, one on one faculty support, and all industry certifications that are built into many of the degree programs.

Many scholarships available for business students

Even though the tuition charged is some of the lowest in the industry, students still may be able to get financial help to fund their education at WGU.

Through the generosity of many foundations and companies, as well as funds provided by the federal government, WGU has a long list of scholarships that are available to highly qualified students.

The scholarships listed below are available for WGU students at the bachelor’s and master’s level. Students may apply for these scholarships within two months of beginning their degree program. Students only may receive one scholarship for each degree program. If you qualify to get several scholarships, the WGU review board will consider all of them and decide which one to award.

Most of the scholarships below are for $1000 to $2500.

  • Excellences in Data Management Scholarship
  • ITT Transfer Scholarship
  • Mark Bonin Memorial Scholarship
  • Today Is Your Someday Scholarship
  • Master Your Future, Anthem Employee Scholarship
  • Western Association of Food Chains Scholarship
  • WGU Americorps Scholarship

WGU is accredited by the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities

WGU is an entirely online university, so accreditation is especially important. Some people still may question the quality of an online degree, so it will reassure them that WGU has been regionally accredited by the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities. This is one of the six regional accreditation bodies that have been recognized by the Department of Education.

WGU is recognized as a top military-friendly college

Western Governors University has been honored as a top military-friendly college and university for 10 years in a row by Military Advanced Education and Transition Magazine.

WGU steps up for American veterans by offering online degree programs that have been approved for VA benefits under the Montgomery GI Bill. National Guard and Reserve members may be able to obtain educational benefits under the GI Bill, as well.

WGU’s tuition is very reasonable, so veterans often are able to get benefits that pay for the entire cost of their books, fees and tuition.

WGU programs also are eligible for tuition assistance for active duty and reserve military members. The approval has been granted after a Department of Defense review.

Military personnel can apply for tuition assistance through the education office at their base.

Least Favorite Features

Business programs are not accredited by the AACSB

Most universities in the United States have been regionally accredited by one of the regional accreditation bodies recognized by the Department of Education. As we noted above, this school has been regionally accredited by the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities.

However, many high quality business schools take the extra step and earn additional accreditation by the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business or AACSB. The AACSB is probably the most highly regarded accreditation agency for business programs around the world.

The business programs at WGU have not been accredited by the AACSB. This could be a disadvantage because the university is entirely online. Some employers may wonder if the degree that you have earned is of value.

Totally online university with no campus

While the school does have a physical location in Salt Lake City, there is no campus where students attend their programs. The entire educational offerings are online. This can make some employers think that your degree is not as valuable as one that comes from a traditional campus-based university.

There are many traditional universities with a campus that now offer fully accredited online business degree programs. Those online programs often are regarded as more rigorous than a 100% online university.

The Details

General Information

  • Founded in 1995
  • Application deadline: Rolling
  • Application fee: $65
  • School type: Private
  • Term Schedule: Semester
  • Location: Salt Lake City, Utah
  • Student-faculty ratio: 41:1

Tuition Rates

  • Graduate: MBA – $3,250 per term
  • Undergraduate: $2,890 per term

Business Degrees

  • Graduate: General Master of Business Administration, MBA in Information Technology Management, MBA in Healthcare Management, Master of Science in Integrated Healthcare Management, Master of Science in Management and Leadership, Master of Science in Accounting, Master of Science in Data Analytics
  • Undergraduate: Bachelor of Science in Management, Bachelor of Science in Accounting, Bachelor of Science in Marketing Management, Bachelor of Science in HR Management, Bachelor of Science in Information Technology Management

Concentrations – MBA

  • IT
  • Healthcare management

Class Profile

  • 79,872 total students
  • Average student age: 37
  • Total alumni: 80,369

Graduation and Retention Rates

  • 73% of first year students return for their second year, which is near the national average of 70.9%
  • 49% complete their degree within four years
  • 3% did not graduate within six years. Approximately 40% of those students transferred to another university

US News Rankings

This university is unranked by US News and World Report.

Henry R. Steele
Henry R. Steele
Managing Editor
Henry is Managing Editor of BusinessStudent.com. He is a seasoned business professional who regularly consults with local business's throughout Southern California. Henry pursued his undergrad in Business and Economics at the University of San Diego and gained valuable life changing experience through a unique internship upon graduation.Follow on Twitter.com

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