Report: #1214519

Complaint Review: Western Governors University

  • Submitted: Mon, March 09, 2015
  • Updated: Fri, April 10, 2015
  • Reported By: Mr Joe — portland Maine USA
  • Western Governors University


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I have made a mistake in my life, and I offer my story to you, that you may learn from my error. It all started, as many things do in this life, with me having trouble advancing in my career. I was in my mid 30s and thought about my high school friends who have respectable careers.

No, I was not digging ditches or breaking rocks; but my avancement options were slim without a college degree. It seemed that I was training college graduates who would soon become my bosses. It led to much frustration, with me KNOWING that I had what it took to get a degree. I had after all graduated from college in Africa before coming to the States.

I was contemplating this problem, when I had what seemed at the time to be a bright idea. "Hey! This is about my life and my future, right? So why don't I just eliminate the degree barrier, and then my career will take off like a rocket!" I said to myself. It is a statement that will go down in history with a lot of other regretted statements. "How many Indians could there be?" said by General Custer. "Looks like a good day for a drive!" by JFK. "There! America On-Line now has complete Usenet access!" by some idiot system tech. Such was my decision of joining Western Governors University.

I navigated WGU's bureacracy and enrolled. Despite having a degree from Africa, only 15 CUs transferred. My enrollment counselor reassured me that it didn't matter how many CUs I had transferred. "Since you know the material, you will quickly take assessments and move on,"she reassured me. I believed her, smiled, rejoiced, and thanked the creator of the universe who led me to WGU.
Little did I know.
Two weeks later, I received my financial aid package and noticed that I did not received pell grant despite the fact that I was an undergraduate student. WGU had decided that my degree from Africa was an equivalent of a Bachelors degree here. That disqualified me from pell grants. Again my mentor reassured me, reminding me that a little over $6,000 could get me my bachelors degree if I completed it in a year. "That would give you your US credentials to advance,"she said. It was only after I had spent my five terms there that I started to realize that my dream of getting a degree was leading me to the shadow of despair. The classes were getting harder to pass, and the study materials were just a bunch of one link after another. You might be better off going to a public library and read real books. It became frustrating to deal with their crazy rules about retaking assessments, and I decided that this was not worth getting a heart attack.

As if that wasn't enough, I am now enduring further torture. I accumulated over $18,000 non-recharge loans that will soon be charging me crazy interests. WGU doesn't have scholarships to offer, and all the money that I owe was for their tuition. I now feel like like a gambler in Vegas who kept playing knowing he was losing. Their CUs are not transferrable to any schools, and I'm left to with transcripts that will only remind me of my foolishness. Their graduation rate (according to the US Department of Education) is 22% and that's not a good number for a college with credentials that you can't transfer to any other colleges. As anyone who has ever suffered this kind of loss knows, mourning will always be with you as you pay back those debts. Well, that is what I am dealing with now. It is a hellish torture, and there are many times when I just look out the window and contemplate why I shouldn't just jump out and get it all over with in one fleshy splat, rather than endure this constant agony.


This report was posted on Ripoff Report on 03/09/2015 07:26 PM and is a permanent record located here: The posting time indicated is Arizona local time. Arizona does not observe daylight savings so the post time may be Mountain or Pacific depending on the time of year. Ripoff Report has an exclusive license to this report. It may not be copied without the written permission of Ripoff Report. READ: Foreign websites steal our content

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#1 Consumer Comment


AUTHOR: Jeanski - (USA)

Let me preface all this by saying I am NOT a fan of purely online schools.  I believe that a college education is enhanced with genuine teacher-student interaction in person.  I have been in higher ed all my adult life as a faculty member and administrator, so I have a wide base of experience on which to base these comments.

Regarding their tuition:  it's actually a LOT more affordable than many schools, particularly other distance ed programs like University of Phoenix.

Regarding transferability of credits: the transferability of credits is always up the receiving institution.  However, WGU is regionally accredited (the best you can get) AND their teacher prep program is accredited by NCATE.  This is the best you can get.  So I'm not sure who told you their credits weren't transferable, but you might want to actually check that out if you're thinking of going to a different school. Regional accreditation is usually a benchmark of comparability.

"The classes were getting harder to pass".... GOOD!  College isn't meant to be easy.  If they passed everyone they'd quickly lose credibility in the eyes of graduate schools and employers.  That's like the teacher who gives all "A"'s in a class.  Sure, the students like it, but it means absolutely nothing.

I'm not sure what you mean when you say "non-recharge loans". But if you're referring to a standard federal student loan, the interest rates are very reasonable.  You can also apply for deferment or forebearance if you're having problems repaying.  Talk to your lender.

An option might be to check out your local state college. Almost all of them now have online programs for working adults and there is more assurance of transferability of credits.

Good luck!


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#2 Consumer Comment


AUTHOR: Greg - (USA)

Thank you so much Joe for sharing your experiences with WGU. I'm also in the exact same boat, although I haven't dropped out yet. I also had a foreign degree and I'm retaking my undergraduate at WGU. They decided that my previous education was an equivalent of a BA and I couldn't get my pell grants. However, I did not receive credit for the supposedly Bachelors equivalent (I only transferred 10 CUs and had 114 more CUs to complete for my degree). They really care less about what's in the interest of the student, and only care about ripping off. Because their credits are not transferrable to any colleges in the US, they know that you will be stuck with them (as they collect your fees in tuition) untill it becomes apparent to you that this is a scam and then drop off. That's what explains the 22% graduation rate. They collected tuition from all the 78% drop outs (and by the way, you have to pay six months' worth of tuition even if you drop out the second week of your term). WHAT'S EVEN MORE TROUBLING IS THAT THIS SCHOOL TENDS TO ATTRACT MINORITIES BY FALSELY ADVERTIZING ITSELF AS AN AFFORDABLE SCHOOL. PLEASE PLEASE STAY AWAY FROM THIS SCHOOL. I KNOW THAT YOU ARE THINKING THAT PEOPLE WHO DROP OUT ARE LAZY, AND NOT PREPARED FOR THE RIGORS OF HIGHER EDUCATION. BUT THE OPPOSITE IS TRUE. I'm sure that what this institution has become is not what 19 governors had in mind when they started it.

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#3 UPDATE Employee ..inside information

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AUTHOR: Western Governors University - (United States of America)

We're sorry to hear you did not have the kind of experience at WGU that we pride ourselves on. Our most recent data tell us that 96% of our students report being satisfied with WGU—and 54% say they are "very satisfied." Helping students succesfully graduate with a degree that reflects the kind of relevant, timely knowledge and skills employers are looking for is our #1 priority as a student-centric, mission-driven, nonprofit university.

Without specific information about your academic history, degree program, etc.—and because of student privacy and FERPA limitations— we can't address your concerns in much detail. We can vouch for the fact that, as you report, our coursework is rigorous and challenging, especially upper-division coursework that students encounter as they move further through their programs. If you haven't already, please contact Student Services at if we can help resolve specific complaints or concerns, or if you have feedback on specific course material or learning resources that need improvement.

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