Ohio Mulls Dropping Aid Eligibility for WGU Ohio

May 10, 2019

State lawmakers are considering removing eligibility for Western Governors University Ohio to access state-funded aid, including need-based grants, the Associated Press reported.

WGU Ohio, an affiliate of the national Western Governors, was launched in 2018 and currently enrolls around 3,100 students. One chamber of the state's Legislature on Wednesday passed a budget bill featuring the provision to pull state recognition of the affiliate of the online, competency-based university.

State Representative Jay Edwards, a Republican whose district includes Ohio University, said the university's recognition is unfair to public universities in the state that offer courses online.

"To allow a new university to come in and only take a portion of what these other institutions are doing, not hire the people, not have the brick-and-mortar investments … and duplicate the effects that our institutions that we've been investing in are doing right now, we felt like that wasn't being conscientious of the citizens of Ohio, of students and it wasn't a good, wise investment," said Edwards.

Rebecca Watts, WGU Ohio's chancellor, said in written testimony that her institution doesn't directly receive state funding and has helped make degrees more affordable for students in Ohio.

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