Western Governors University Offers Reasons for Busy Adults to Resolve to Pursue a College Degree in the New Year
Scholarships now available for new students pursuing a bachelor’s or master’s degree in 2023
December 21, 2022
Redby, Minn. (Dec. 20, 2022) – With the New Year approaching, many individuals are making resolutions to change or improve their lives in 2023. One of the resolutions adults often make is going back to college to earn their degrees and advance their careers. Since taking the steps to go back to school can be daunting, especially for those who have not been to school in years, Western Governors University (WGU) has put together a list of tips to keep in mind to help with choosing the right college and degree path. The fully online, nonprofit university has also launched a new scholarship for new students who plan to enroll in 2023.
“For those seeking a fresh start in their careers, going back to school and obtaining the skills that will make them more marketable is a great option,” said Dr. Terrance Hopson, Regional Vice President of WGU. “We encourage individuals who are ready to make that leap to do their homework so they can select the college or university that’s best for them. WGU offers affordable, competency-based education programs that are a fit for many working adults, and we look forward to helping more students achieve their educational goals in the coming year and find careers they love.”
WGU recommends that those resolving to go back to school consider the following:
• Identify the type of degree that will lead to your desired career. Before choosing a college, it’s important to recognize what you’ll need to study to achieve your desired career path. Make sure the degree selected is in demand, relates to your current field and is relevant to employers. And choose a college that offers a degree program that will equip you with the skills necessary to advance your career. For those who are unsure what career path might be best, consider reaching out to potential employers to see what they value in a degree program or skillset.
• Choose a college that works with your lifestyle. Adult students often work full-time, have children or family responsibilities, or have a career plan that doesn’t allow for the full-time, on-campus university experience. Online options are driving positive enrollment trends at many traditional colleges and universities, with most now offering fully online courses and degree programs that provide students flexibility in completing coursework. Some universities have even done away with the traditional semester – instead opting for a competency-based model of learning. This approach allows students to use their prior knowledge and experience to move through courses at their own pace, often accelerating degree completion.
• Compare tuition costs and financing. A college education can be one of the most expensive investments in a student’s life. With tuition reaching $50,000 a year or more at some schools, higher education is financially inaccessible for many. Some schools are committed to making education more affordable by offering flat-rate tuition with the ability for students to accelerate degree completion without extra fees. No matter where you choose to go to school, make sure tuition costs make sense for your lifestyle and career goals. And remember, there are several ways to make higher education more affordable and accessible. Many employers offer tuition reimbursement or assistance, and there are thousands of scholarships available. Federal and private loans are also an option, but responsible borrowing is a must.
• Verify the school’s accreditation status. One of the most common mistakes for those considering different college programs is to focus on the cost of the degree instead of the value. Accreditation ensures the university you select has passed rigorous requirements from organizations that specialize in determining quality within higher education. Institutional accreditation is the gold standard of accreditation for colleges and universities, indicating the school has earned the approval of an accrediting body recognized by the U.S. Department of Education. If the school you select is not properly accredited, your investment may not pay off because other institutions and employers may not recognize your degree or credits.
• Choose a highly rated school. Not all schools are created equal, but luckily resources exist that allow students to compare schools and see which ones best fit their needs. College Scorecard is an online platform created by the U.S. Department of Education for Americans to compare the value data of higher education institutions. The platform – located at https://collegescorecard.ed.gov/ – pulls data about cost, graduation rate, employment rate, loan default rate, average amount of loans borrowed by students, enrollment, socioeconomic diversity and more. Since it’s a government program, students can use this source knowing that the information is non-biased and well researched.
To help make college more affordable for new students attending WGU in 2023, the university has launched a new Year of You Scholarship. The scholarship is open to new students enrolling in any of the university’s 80-plus undergraduate and graduate degree programs in the high-demand fields of IT, business, education, and health professions, including nursing. Each scholarship is valued at up to $2,500 per student and will be applied to WGU’s already-low, flat-rate tuition of about $3,800 per six-month term. New students can apply online at wgu.edu/nyscholarship by March 31, 2023, to be considered.
For more information about WGU and its programs or the Year of You Scholarship, visit wgu.edu.
Established in 1997 by 19 U.S. governors with a mission to expand access to high-quality, affordable higher education, online, nonprofit WGU now serves more than 140,000 students nationwide and has more than 300,000 graduates in all 50 states. Driving innovation as the nation’s leading competency-based university, WGU has been recognized by the White House, state leaders, employers, and students as a model that works in postsecondary education. In just 25 years, the university has become a leading influence in changing the lives of individuals and families, and preparing the workforce needed in today’s rapidly evolving economy. WGU is accredited by the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities, has been named one of Fast Company’s Most Innovative Companies, and has been featured on NPR, NBC Nightly News, CNN, and in The New York Times. Learn more at wgu.edu.