Nonprofit, online university to award $5,000 in scholarships to residents of New York City
JERSEY CITY, N.J. (August 18, 2021) – Western Governors University (WGU) announces the Rivera-Luna Scholarship for Business and Information Technology, which has a total committed value of $25k that will support students living in the Bronx, Brooklyn, Queens, and Manhattan who have high financial need and wish to enroll at WGU to study business or information technology (IT).
Named for WGU alumnus Anthony (Tony) Rivera and his business partner, Roby Luna, the scholarship aims to support students who will enhance the social, economic, and cultural diversity of the WGU student body by creating opportunity for those in historically underserved communities in higher education and in business and information technology careers.
Rivera said, “Growing up in New York, I had many options present themselves—some advantageous and some leading to the wrong path. I wanted to present inner-city kids with the realm of possibility, encouraging them to act on their dreams and become leaders in their fields.” Rivera’s story is one of perseverance and overcoming barriers. Born in the Bronx, Rivera had his first son at 14 years of age while still attending high school and soon after his high school graduation experiencing homelessness. He later used his love of computers to get his start in software development and website design at America Online and eventually earned his bachelor of science degree in information technology, network design, and management from WGU. Anthony co-founded the IT company Aretec, Inc., in Fairfax, Virginia. He lives in Virginia with his family and serves as a mentor for young people.
Each Rivera-Luna Scholarship recipient will be awarded $625 per six-month term for four consecutive terms for a total of up to $2,500 each. Average tuition at WGU is approximately $7,300 per year for undergraduate programs and $7,600 for graduate programs. By providing competency-based, flexible, online degree programs, and low, flat-rate tuition, WGU students progress through their courses as soon as they demonstrate mastery. This enables them to learn while working and graduate with less debt and time invested than their peers; the average time to complete a bachelor’s degree program, for example, is two and a half years. This scholarship provides students with significant assistance as they pursue an affordable, high-quality degree.
“We’re deeply honored that Tony chose to help WGU students with this scholarship,” said Rebecca Watts, Ph.D., WGU regional vice president. “Our mission at WGU is to change lives for the better by creating pathways to opportunity. By providing financial assistance to those who need it, Tony is changing lives for the better.”
Scholarship recipients will be selected based on a candidate’s academic record, financial need, readiness for online study at WGU, current competencies gained through formal education and work experience, and other considerations. New and enrolling WGU students in a bachelor’s or master’s degree program in the College of Business or College of Information Technology may apply for the scholarship now through December 31 at wgu.edu/riveralunascholarship.
Established in 1997 by 19 U.S. governors with a mission to expand access to high-quality, affordable higher education, online, nonprofit WGU now serves more than 133,000 students nationwide and has more than 221,000 graduates in all 50 states. Driving innovation as the nation’s leading competency-based university, WGU has been recognized by the White House, state leaders, employers, and students as a model that works in postsecondary education. In just 24 years, the university has become a leading influence in changing the lives of individuals and families, and preparing the workforce needed in today’s rapidly evolving economy. WGU is accredited by the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities, has been named one of Fast Company’s Most Innovative Companies, and has been featured on NPR, NBC Nightly News, CNN, and in The New York Times. Learn more at wgu.edu and wgu.edu/advocate.