Retention and Graduation Rates

Every year, colleges and universities like WGU are required to submit data about our institution and our students to the federal Department of Education. This information is then posted on the federal web site, College Navigator ( where you can search for colleges and compare information. WGU is also required by the Higher Education Opportunity Act (HEOA) of 2008, to provide all students and prospective students with specific information about our institution, including the retention and graduate rates on this page.

Retention Rate

Retention rate measures the percentage of first-time students who return to WGU to continue their studies the following year.

Entering year-to-second-year retention rate for first-time (full-time) students: 73%
(Sept/2014 – Aug/2015 to Sept/2015 – Aug/2016)

Graduation and Transfer Rates

The overall graduation rate is also known as the “Student Right to Know” or IPEDS graduation rate. It tracks the progress of student who began their studies as full-time, first-time degree- or certificate-seeking students to see if they complete a degree or certificate within 150% of “normal time” for completing the program in which they are enrolled.

WGU also reports a transfer-out rate, which is the percentage of the full-time, first-time students who transferred to another institution.

Note that WGU has less than 1% of the student population which are first-time, full-time students. The majority (99.6%) of our students began their studies at another college or university and are not tracked for this rate. 243 students or .4% were counted as “full-time, first-time” for this reporting timeframe.

Overall Graduation Rate 5715 26%
Overall Transfer-out Rate 57 16 28%

Graduation Rate by Gender

Male 28 5 18%
Female 29 10 34%
Total 57 15 26%

Graduation Rate by Race/Ethnicity

American Indian or Alaskan Native 1 0 1.8%
Asian 2 0 3.5%
Black, non-Hispanic 4 1 7%
Hispanic/Latino 1 1 1.8%
Race or Ethnicity Unknown 0 0 0%
Two or More 0 0 0%
White, Non-Hispanic 49 13 85.9%
Total 57 15 100%

Graduation Rate by Financial Aid Status

  Number %
Received a Federal Pell Grant 9 16%
Received a Subsidized Stafford Loan who did not receive Pell 2 4%
Received neither a Pell Grant nor a Subsidized Stafford Loan 46 80%
Total 57 100%

Continuing Education

WGU Completers whom have continued their Educational Pursuits

In accordance with the Higher Education Act (HEA) of 1965, as amended, WGU must make available information regarding the types of Graduate and Professional education pursuits in which graduates of WGU’s four-year degree programs have enrolled.

Forty-four percent of WGU’s four-year degree program graduates (51,021) between July 1, 1998 and May 18, 2017 went on to complete a Graduate or Professional program. (Source data: National Student Clearinghouse Subsequent Enrollment and Graduation Survey)

Degree EarnedNumber%
Post Baccalaureate5552.5%
Endorsement 3741.7%

WGU Baccalaureate to Graduate Program

WGU’s four-year degree program graduates who continued with WGU and earned a graduate degree.

Degree EarnedNumber%
Post Baccalaureate90.1%
Endorsement 430.7%

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