In a statewide effort to boost the number of Missourians with post-high school degrees from 37 percent to 60 percent, Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon unveiled a plan for a state-based nonprofit online university in partnership with the nonprofit Western Governors University. Nixon unveiled the plan at Kansas City’s Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation’s headquarters. The Kauffman Foundation is a research institute aimed at the promotion of entrepreneurship.
Nixon hopes that WGU Missouri will help some of the 750,000 Missourians who have begun college but never finished their degrees. Nixon’s goal is to have people able to finish their degrees, as well as move up the economic ladder, without having to disrupt their lives to finish their education. To help Missourians afford WGU Missouri, Nixon has signed an executive order that ensures that WGU Missouri students shall be eligible to apply for and receive financial aid.
A $4 million Community Development Block Grant is slated to assist WGU Missouri with such startup tasks as marketing and staffing. WGU Missouri has also received a $750,000 grant from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.