March 30, 2023

Western Governors University


Healthcare Management at WGU

Western Governors University appears in our ranking of the 25 Most Affordable Online Bachelor’s in Health Management.

Western Governors University is a completely online university that offers two healthcare management degrees: a Bachelor of Business Administration and a Master of Business Administration, both with a focus on healthcare management.

The bachelor’s degree comprises 41 classes, and most students finish those classes in 30 months. A few take much longer, but that’s sort of the point with a completely online university. Classes for the Bachelor of Business Administration With a Focus on Healthcare include Quantitative Analysis for Business, Healthcare Delivery Systems, Regulation, and Compliance, and Project Management. Students study all facets of healthcare delivery.

The Master of Business Administration with a focus on Healthcare Management involves 11 classes and is designed for people who already have a solid foundation in business, healthcare, or both. Leadership forms the crux of the degree, which includes classes such as Accounting for Decision Makers, Ethical Leadership, and Financial Management.

About Western Governors University

In 1997, 19 governors of western states got together to form the university as a private, nonprofit organization. Their efforts brought forth Western Governors University during that year. The university ranks 12th  nationally among U.S. News and World Report‘s list of “Most Innovative Schools.”

Most of the students at Western Governors University are female, and the average age of students is 37. As a university that only functions online, the focus of the instruction is “at your own pace.” Although there are minimum numbers of courses that must be completed during each term, students are allowed to go as fast as they are capable of going while still learning effectively.

Since January 2019, the university stresses ethics even more in the wake of an investigation regarding the university’s compliance with federal law on financial aid. The Federal Student Aid Office of the United States Department of Education ruled in favor of the university and restored much of the credibility lost over the previous two years.

Western Governors University Accreditation Details

Because its home base is in Salt Lake City, Utah, Western Governors University earned its regional accreditation from the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities. In addition to regional accreditation, the university’s programs have their own academic accreditations, including from the:

  • Distance Education Accrediting Commission
  • Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education
  • National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education

Western Governors University Application Requirements

Each student must meet with a counselor from the university to determine the student’s ability to function within the competency-based system at Western Governors University. Each of the departments at Western Governors University also has its own admission criteria. As an example, students wishing to pursue the Bachelor of Business Administration With a Focus on Healthcare Management must:

  • Possess a high-school diploma or GED certificate
  • Demonstrate real-world experience in business, healthcare, or information technology

To demonstrate the requisite experience, students must provide proof of one of the following:

  • An associate degree in health information technology that is CAHIIM-approved
  • An associate degree in general information technology
  • An associate degree from an allied health program
  • An associate degree in business administration
  • Transferable and relevant certifications earned over the previous five years
  • A resume that shows either three years’ experience in information technology or one or more years in a relevant field, such as medical assistant, EMT, or paramedic

Regarding graduate study, students must have a bachelor’s degree from a regionally accredited college or university and proof of a position of leadership in the healthcare management industry.

Tuition and Financial Aid

The tuition at Western Governors University is straightforward: $3,225 per six months regardless of the number of classes taken or degree focus. Financial aid, as it does with traditional universities, begins with the Free Application for Federal Student Aid, which is also known as the FAFSA. Students fill out this form and include information about their income, their parents’ income, if applicable, and other sources of income, such as a spouse’s income if they’re “nontraditional students.”

The school and the government will then use the form to determine which kinds of financial aid the students are eligible to receive. Usually, this is awarded as a series of loans, grants, scholarships, or a combination of the three. Because Western Governors University is an online-only university without a campus, traditional work-study grants are not available.

Both grants and scholarships don’t need to be repaid, but loans do. There are two kinds of loans available: subsidized and unsubsidized. Subsidized loans are those where the government picks up the tab for the interest while the student remains enrolled. Unsubsidized loans accrue not only interest on the principal but also on the generated interest.

Students may also look to private institutions for other forms of aid. Many students, because they are already established in their communities, have much more solid credit ratings than their 17-year-old compatriots. Therefore, they can usually find and secure funding with low interest rates and favorable repayment plans from their local banks and credit unions. Many students balance this kind of private loan with government aid.

Private scholarships and grants are also available. In many cases, such awards are given to people who are members of certain ethnic, socioeconomic, or other groups. Other awards are given to anyone of any group as long as the person studies a certain field. Students are encouraged to explore as many financial aid avenues as they need to be able to afford to attend Western Governors University. Any student needing clarification should contact the school’s Office of Financial Aid, the Office of the Bursar, or both.

Western Governors University may only have been around for 23 years, but it embodies the educational needs of a changing society that sees many people starting college at three or four times the age of the traditional college student.