Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield in Wisconsin (Anthem) announced a new collaboration with Western Governors University (WGU) to offer eligible company associates a virtually free graduate degree. Anthem’s parent company is one of the first companies in the nation to provide a program that allows employees to complete a graduate degree with minimal out-of-pocket costs.
This new benefit is available to any Anthem full-time or part-time employee who works 20 or more hours per week and has been employed at least six months. WGU will provide eligible Anthem associates with a five percent discount on tuition and offer 20 $1,000 scholarships toward a master’s degree program. Combined with Anthem’s Education Assistance Program, the out-of-pocket tuition costs of the first year of the program may be reduced to just $175. Anthem offers associates tuition reimbursement up to $5,000 annually through its Education Assistance Program.
“Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield is proud to offer our associates a robust rewards package that goes beyond just a salary and health benefits,” said Paul Nobile, president of Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield in Wisconsin. “Educational collaborations, such as this one with WGU, not only help our associates pursue their dreams, but also increase skill levels across our company. This results in increased employee satisfaction and a company more attuned to meeting its customers’ changing health care needs. It’s a win-win.”
Designed to meet the needs of working adults, WGU’s competency-based learning model makes it possible for students to fit studying into their busy lives. While WGU’s online degree programs are rigorous and challenging, students are able to earn their degrees without sacrificing work, family, and financial obligations. Students complete courses as soon as they demonstrate that they have mastered the materials, enabling them to move quickly through material they already know and spend more time on what they still need to learn. As a result, many students are able to accelerate their studies, finishing faster and saving money—the average time to complete a bachelor’s degree is about two and half years. WGU’s tuition is charged at a flat rate each term and covers all coursework completed in that time. WGU offers graduate degree programs in health professions, information technology, business, and teaching.
"At WGU, we are committed to changing lives through education,” said WGU President Scott Pulsipher. “Our academic programs are developed to help our graduates meet evolving workforce competencies. By working with partners like Anthem, we expand educational opportunities for working adults and help address critical talent needs."