WGU vs Penn State University Introduction
Choosing the right school is a crucial decision that can greatly impact your future. In this comparison, we will take a closer look at Western Governors University (WGU) and Penn State University. We will analyze and compare their costs, admissions, degrees offered, academic programs, diversity, student life, campus, alumni networks, rankings, and outcomes to help you make an informed decision for your education.
Western Governors University (WGU) is a private, non-profit, online university established in 1997. With a mission to provide accessible and affordable higher education, WGU offers competency-based programs in various fields, including business, education, healthcare, and information technology. The university is accredited by the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities (NWCCU).
WGU Costs & Tuition
WGU offers a unique tuition model based on a flat rate per six-month term, rather than charging per credit hour. For most programs, the tuition ranges from $3,225 to $3,895 per term, with an additional resource fee of $145. This pricing model encourages students to complete their degrees faster, as they can take as many courses as they want during each term without incurring additional costs.
WGU has a flexible admissions process that focuses on each applicant’s readiness for their chosen program. The university requires a high school diploma or GED, as well as any relevant professional experience or certifications for some programs. There is no minimum GPA or standardized test score requirement for admission.
WGU Degrees Offered
WGU offers a variety of bachelor’s and master’s degree programs in four main areas: business, education, healthcare, and information technology. These programs are designed for working professionals who need the flexibility to study at their own pace. Some popular degree offerings include:
- Bachelor of Science in Accounting
- Bachelor of Science in Elementary Education
- Bachelor of Science in Nursing
- Master of Science in Management and Leadership
WGU’s competency-based approach to education allows students to progress through courses at their own pace, focusing on mastering specific skills and knowledge rather than spending a set amount of time in a classroom. This model emphasizes real-world application and enables students to earn their degrees faster and more affordably.
As an online university, WGU attracts students from diverse backgrounds and locations. The university is committed to supporting students of all ages, genders, races, and cultures, and offers resources such as scholarships, mentorship, and online communities to help foster a diverse and inclusive learning environment.
WGU’s student body consists of over 120,000 learners from all 50 states and various countries. The majority of students are working professionals seeking to advance their careers or change fields. WGU’s flexible, online format allows these students to balance their education with work and family commitments.
WGU’s headquarters are in Salt Lake City, Utah, but as an online university, it does not have a traditional campus. Instead, students access courses, resources, and support services through the university’s online platform, which is available 24/7.
The WGU alumni network includes over 200,000 graduates worldwide. Alumni have access to resources such as career services, networking opportunities, and continued learning through webinars and workshops.
While WGU is not typically ranked by traditional publications due to its unique online, competency-based model, it has received recognition for its affordability, flexibility, and student support. For example, it has been ranked as a top online university by the Online Learning Consortium and the National Council on Teacher Quality.
WGU’s emphasis on competency-based education has led to positive outcomes for its graduates. According to a 2020 survey of alumni, 89% reported that their degree helped them advance in their careers, and 93% said they would recommend WGU to others.
Penn State University Overview
Pennsylvania State University, commonly referred to as Penn State, is a public university founded in 1855. With over 20 campuses across Pennsylvania and a strong online presence through its World Campus, Penn State offers a wide range of academic programs and resources to accommodate diverse students’ needs. The university is accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education (MSCHE).
Penn State University Costs & Tuition
Tuition at Penn State University varies depending on the campus, program, and student’s residency status. For the 2021-2022 academic year, the estimated tuition for full-time undergraduate students at the University Park campus is $18,450 per year for Pennsylvania residents and $35,514 for out-of-state residents. Additional fees, room and board, and other expenses also apply.
Penn State University Admissions
Admission to Penn State University is competitive, with an acceptance rate of around 56%. The university considers factors such as high school GPA, standardized test scores, class rank, and extracurricular activities when evaluating applicants. Some programs, such as engineering and nursing, may have additional admission requirements.
Penn State University Degrees Offered
Penn State offers over 275 undergraduate programs and more than 300 graduate and professional programs across various fields. Some of the most popular undergraduate majors include:
- Business Administration
- Health Professions
- Social Sciences
Penn State University Academics
Penn State University is known for its strong academic programs, research opportunities, and faculty expertise. The university ranks among the top public institutions in the United States and has a reputation for excellence in areas such as engineering, business, and agriculture.
Penn State University Diversity
Penn State University is committed to fostering a diverse and inclusive campus community. The university has established various initiatives, resources, and support services to promote diversity, equity, and inclusion, such as the Penn State Diversity Calendar, the Office of Educational Equity, and the Paul Robeson Cultural Center.
Penn State University Students
With over 90,000 students across all campuses, Penn State University has a vibrant and diverse student body. The university offers various clubs, organizations, and activities to help students engage with their peers and explore their interests outside the classroom.
Penn State University Campus
Penn State University’s flagship campus, University Park, is located in State College, Pennsylvania. The campus spans over 8,500 acres and features state-of-the-art facilities, such as the Bryce Jordan Center and the HUB-Robeson Center. In addition to University Park, Penn State has 19 other campuses across the state and a robust online presence through its World Campus.
Penn State University Alumni
Penn State University boasts a strong alumni network of over 700,000 graduates worldwide. The Penn State Alumni Association provides resources, events, and networking opportunities to help alumni stay connected and engaged with the university.
Penn State University Rankings
Penn State University consistently ranks highly among national and international institutions. U.S. News & World Report ranks Penn State as the 63rd-best national university and the 23rd-best public university in its 2021 rankings.
Penn State University Outcomes
Graduates of Penn State University benefit from strong employment prospects and competitive starting salaries. According to the university’s 2020 post-graduation survey, 83% of graduates secured employment, continued education, or engaged in other purposeful activities within six months of graduation.
WGU vs Penn State University Cost Comparision
When comparing the costs of attending WGU and Penn State University, WGU’s flat-rate tuition model offers a more affordable option, particularly for students who can complete their degrees at an accelerated pace. In contrast, Penn State’s tuition rates vary depending on the campus and program, with the University Park campus being more expensive for both in-state and out-of-state students.
WGU vs Penn State University Admissions Difficulty
WGU has a more flexible admissions process than Penn State University, with no minimum GPA or standardized test score requirements. In contrast, Penn State has a competitive admissions process, with an acceptance rate of around 56% and consideration of various factors such as high school performance and extracurricular activities.
WGU vs Penn State University Academic Difficulty
The academic difficulty of WGU and Penn State University may vary depending on the program and individual student’s learning style. WGU’s competency-based approach allows students to progress at their own pace and focus on mastering skills and knowledge, while Penn State offers a more traditional academic environment with a strong focus on research and faculty expertise.
WGU vs Penn State University Outcome Comparision
Both WGU and Penn State University have positive outcomes for their graduates. WGU alumni report high levels of career advancement and satisfaction with their degrees, while Penn State graduates benefit from strong employment prospects and competitive starting salaries. The choice between these two institutions will largely depend on the individual student’s priorities, learning style, and career goals.