"The No. 1 best value in online college degrees is Western Governors University (WGU)," according to the publisher of a free guide covering the nation's online universities and colleges.
OnlineU named WGU, with its annual tuition of $5,780 for most programs, as the best overall value in its new Best Value Online College Rankings. The rankings were compiled using data from the National Center for Education Statistics, the Federal Student Aid Office, and the schools' official websites. Student reviews from GradReports.com also factored into determining a school's value.
WGU's tuition is charged at a flat rate, which means in addition to being remarkably low—about half the cost of many other online universities—it also allows students to complete as many courses as they are able within a six-month term. WGU's competency-based programs measure learning, not seat time, so as soon as a student has mastered a course's subject matter—real-world competencies developed with employer input—they complete an assessment to demonstrate their knowledge and then move on to the next course. Students who dedicate more time to studying, as well as students whose work and previous college experience have armed them with prior mastery of certain subjects, can often accelerate, completing many more courses than the standard full-time load, graduating faster, and saving money.
In addition to taking the top overall spot on the list, WGU earned a top ranking in five of the guide's program-specific rankings:
- #1 for accounting
- #1 for business
- #1 for education
- #1 for human resources
- #2 for nursing
About Western Governors University
Western Governors University (WGU) is the pioneer and leader in competency-based education. Today, the online university is among the 25 largest nonprofit or public universities in the U.S. Regionally accredited by the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities, WGU has been named one of Fast Company's 50 Most Innovative Companies and featured on NPR, NBC Nightly News, CNN, and in The New York Times.
WGU has earned the support of more than 20 leading corporations and foundations, including AT&T, Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, Lilly Endowment, HCA, Hewlett-Packard, Lumina Foundation, Microsoft, Oracle, SunGard Higher Education, and Zions Bank. More information is available at www.wgu.edu