Thousands enroll in Washington online college

first_imgTACOMA — Thousands of Washington residents are turning to the state’s first nonprofit, online university to earn college degrees on their own schedule. Since the Washington Legislature officially recognized Western Governors University in 2011, the number of students enrolling from this state has increased more than five-fold, The News Tribune reported.About 5,300 state residents are currently enrolled in the online university. By partnering with WGU to create WGU Washington, the state Legislature ensured that the online school would be treated essentially as a Washington-based college, even though it is based in Salt Lake City.Supporters say the program opens up more diverse learning opportunities for students, including displaced workers. Some worry that directing students to WGU widens the gap between them and students who can afford traditional college.Jennifer Amato, 35, a mom from Puyallup, managed to find time between work and raising three kids on her own to earn a bachelor’s degree in marketing this year. It took her just 17 months. “I got home from work on Friday and loaded up on Red Bull,” Amato told the newspaper. “My mom took my kids for three-day weekends and I knocked it out.”last_img read more