WGU Missouri Students Now Eligible to Apply for Financial Aid through Access Missouri

State aid will help more adult students return to college to finish a bachelor’s degree

ST. LOUIS – (February 24, 2014) Students at WGU Missouri can now receive financial aid through Access Missouri, a need-based program that provides assistance to thousands of Missouri residents. Eligibility for this program will help many of the adult students served by WGU Missouri to complete their bachelor’s degrees without incurring large student loan debt.

“Access Missouri financial aid, which allows students to borrow less, is critical for WGU Missouri students,” said WGU Missouri Chancellor Angie Besendorfer. “Our students, 75 percent of whom come from underserved populations, face significant financial hurdles. They’ll now have a better chance at completing their college degree, which will help grow a thriving state economy.”

“WGU provides hardworking Missourians a chance to advance their careers in a timely manner without sitting through coursework they already know,” said Rep. Bill White (R-Joplin). “Now that they have the opportunity to receive financial aid through Access Missouri, adult students can gain degrees and further their careers with less student loan debt.”

WGU Missouri was created by the state in partnership with Western Governors University to meet the needs of working adults, particularly the 750,000 Missouri residents with some college but no degree. With this focus on workforce needs, WGU Missouri offers accredited degree programs in business, K-12 teacher education, information technology, and health professions, including nursing.

WGU Missouri is nonprofit and self-sustaining on affordable tuition of about $6,000 per year, which is charged at a flat rate, regardless of the number of courses students attempt and complete. WGU Missouri uses competency-based learning, which allows students to move quickly through material they already know so they can focus on what they still need to learn. Eighty-nine percent of WGU Missouri’s students are over the age of 25, and about three-quarters of WGU Missouri students come from low-income families or are ethnic minorities, rural residents, or first-generation college students.

The Missouri Coordinating Board for Higher Education unanimously approved the designation for WGU Missouri in early February, finding that WGU Missouri met all the criteria as a state-based institution to become eligible for Access Missouri.

About 49,000 students in Missouri currently utilize the Access Missouri Financial Assistance Program. Students should complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) before April 1, 2014 for eligibility consideration. The maximum award in the 2014-2015 year will be $2,850 and the minimum will be $1,500.

For more information on WGU Missouri, including admissions requirements, visit missouri.wgu.edu.

About WGU Missouri

WGU Missouri is a competency-based, online university created to expand access to higher education for Missouri residents. The university offers more than 50 undergraduate and graduate degree programs in the high-demand fields of business, K-12 teacher education, information technology, and health professions, including nursing. WGU Missouri employs full-time faculty who serve as mentors, working one-on-one with students, offering guidance, support, and individualized instruction.

Established by the state through a partnership with nationally recognized Western Governors University (WGU), WGU Missouri is open to all qualified Missouri residents. Through WGU, all WGU Missouri programs are accredited, and the university is nonprofit and self-sustaining on flat-rate tuition of about $6,000 per year for most programs.

More information is available at missouri.wgu.edu or by calling 855.948.8493.

WGU Missouri News – For Immediate Release Contact for media inquiries: Kelly MacNeil 314-677-2303 kelly.macneil@wgu.edu

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