West Is Second Nationally for Lowest Average Annual Cost among Private Universities on U.S. Department of Education College Scorecard
October 21, 2016 | West Now Home
Western International University® (West) is second in the nation for lowest Average Annual Cost among private universities, according to the U.S. Department of Education’s recently updated College Scorecard.
West & the U.S. College Scorecard
According to the College Scorecard, the National Average Annual Cost is $16,600 with West coming in at $2,280. Average Annual Cost is the average annual net price for federal financial aid recipients, after aid from the school, state, or federal government. West also compares favorably on Salary after Attending, at $50,100—50% higher than the national average of $33,400 for private universities. Salary after Attending measures the median earnings at 10 years after entering the school of former students who received federal financial aid. The College Scorecard was designed to provide clear, accessible, and reliable national data on college costs, graduation rates, typical debt levels, and post-college earnings in order to help students make informed choices about attending college.
A Career-Relevant, Affordable Education
West has been an innovator in adult higher education since 1978. In response to the need for more affordable and accessible college programs to increase U.S. college attainment, West released a new online course format in 2013. Designed specifically for the working adult learner, the West model maximizes learning efficiency to deliver a quality and career-relevant education from an accredited institution. In addition to making the student experience more relevant to the adult learner, West also made education more accessible by reducing its tuition rates by nearly half.
As West President Tracy Lorenz wrote in a piece she authored for the Huffington Post,“America’s working adult learners want and need affordable, viable degree programs that will help them prepare for the future, without requiring that they quit their jobs or put their lives on hold. A quality college education has never been more attainable and affordable for those willing to put in the work.”
Class of 2016 West graduate Angela Garmon appreciated the relevance of West courses as she completed her degree while working full time and launching her own coaching and consulting group. “Each of my courses offered transferability to my work, allowing me to quickly apply what I learned to real-time business situations,” Garmon explained.
Innovative Education Partnerships
In addition to a focus on the success of the working adult learner, West also partners with a variety of corporations and organizations to create innovative programs to meet workforce skill, competency and knowledge needs. West has created an innovative program designed to maximize the benefits provided by employers’ tuition assistance programs. Through its EDGEucate program, West provides its corporate partners the ability to offer their employees the option of earning a quality college degree sooner, and with no out-of-pocket costs. EDGEucate essentially caps annual tuition at $5,250 (the maximum tax-free tuition benefit allowed by the IRS), allowing employees to take as many courses as they like without the burden of managing tuition benefits or fear of tax liabilities.
“We continually seek input and feedback from our students and employers…enabling us to discover ways of making higher education more relevant, valuable and affordable,” said Lorenz. “Many of us at West are students ourselves--so we combine student feedback with our first-hand experience to create meaningful and thoughtful enhancements to our educational experience.”
Lorenz commented on the recent College Scorecard ratings that “West is excited about our focused strategy that allows us to offer a quality education at a lower tuition rate than many other accredited universities. We’re proud to have the opportunity to provide working adults with the ability to advance their education, enhance their careers and, most importantly, improve their lives. West has been educating working adults for over 35 years, and we will continue to innovate and collaborate with employers to provide educational programs that help adult learners develop new skills...it's our passion."
About Western International University
Western International University (West), based in Tempe, Arizona, is a specialist in innovative education for adult learners since 1978 and brings extensive experience in delivering top education programs through an innovative model that delivers quality undergraduate- and graduate-level education. West's mission is to provide a broad educational foundation, with a focus on business and technology, designed to prepare students for leadership positions in a dynamic, global marketplace; learn more at www.west.edu.
About the U.S. College Scorecard
According to the College Scorecard Toolkit, the Scorecard was designed to provide clear, accessible, and reliable national data on college costs, graduation rates, typical debt levels, and post-college earnings, to help students make informed choices about attending college (p. 5, bullet 4).