What’s the news: The Un-carrier takes another step forward to help equalize access to higher education through a partnership with the nation’s largest nonprofit online university, Western Governors University (WGU) to help students in need gain online access through a unique scholarship program.
Why it matters: College and university students depend on reliable internet connectivity to complete their studies, however many communities — both urban and rural — lack affordable internet options. T-Mobile is working hand in hand with WGU to provide resources aimed at ensuring greater access and equity for higher education students, so that every student has a path to opportunity.
Who it’s for: Higher education students and everyone who is rooting and working for an equitable future.
BELLEVUE, Wash. — April 29, 2021 — T-Mobile (NASDAQ: TMUS) has committed to leveling the playing field for students in need. Today, the Un-carrier is taking that commitment a step further by partnering with Western Governors University (WGU), the nation’s largest nonprofit online university, to provide wireless connectivity to help students pursue higher education.
T-Mobile and WGU are providing up to 2,000 WGU students with a free hotspot and wireless connectivity on T-Mobile’s nationwide network through WGU’s Online Access Scholarship, available across the country. COVID-19 shined a light on the digital divide in higher education like never before, and through WGU’s initiative, the university is tackling this challenge to create more equitable access to online higher education opportunities.
“We are proud to team up with Western Governors University to help break down the barriers to access higher education,” said Mike Katz, EVP, T-Mobile for Business. “T-Mobile’s network — America’s largest, fastest, most reliable 5G — and incredible team dedicated to helping higher education institutions is why we can support schools like WGU, so they can do what they do best — teach the workforce of tomorrow.”
A recent Ed Trust-West study found that in California alone, 102,000 college students from lower income households (14%) and 145,000 college students of color (13%) may lack internet access. Also, 109,000 students from lower income households (15%) and 134,000 students of color (12%) may lack access to a device to engage in distance learning. The disparities are more pronounced with rural and urban populations than in suburban areas, where reliable broadband access is more publicly available.
“If there is one way to dramatically democratize access to education, and thus, access to opportunity—it is to ensure that every household in America has access to highspeed internet,” said WGU President Scott Pulsipher. “WGU and T-Mobile share the same vision—to close the digital divide. Our combined efforts with T-Mobile helped double the number of students receiving wireless connectivity allowing many more individuals to change their lives for the better through education.”
Online education has transformed the way students connect to the classroom. Last September, T-Mobile officially launched Project 10Million, an unprecedented $10.7B initiative aimed at delivering internet connectivity to millions of underserved K-12 student households at no cost to them. The program offers free wireless hotspots, free high-speed data and access to laptops and tablets, at-cost. Since the start of the pandemic, T-Mobile has connected more than 2.5 million students across the country with free or highly-subsidized service, including hundreds of thousands of Project 10Million participants.
T-Mobile is committed to providing K-12 school districts, colleges and universities with reliable internet access, the latest devices and innovative solutions that help create opportunities for students and transform the way educators teach.
For more information on T-Mobile initiatives for colleges and universities, visit https://www.t-mobile.com/business/education/higher-education.
Follow T-Mobile’s Official Twitter Newsroom @TMobileNews to stay up to date with the latest company news.
During congestion, heavy data users (>50GB/mo. for most plans) and customers choosing lower-prioritized plans may notice lower speeds than other customers; see plan for details. 5G: Fastest based on analysis by Ookla® of Speedtest Intelligence® data 5G median download speeds for Q1 2021. Ookla trademarks used under license and reprinted with permission. Capable device required & coverage not available in some areas. Some uses may require certain plan or feature; see T-Mobile.com. Most reliable according to an audit report conducted by independent third party umlaut containing crowdsourced data for user experience collected from September 2020 until February 2021. Full details at: www.umlaut.com/en/benchmarking/USA.
T-Mobile U.S. Inc. (NASDAQ: TMUS) is America’s supercharged Un-carrier, delivering an advanced 4G LTE and transformative nationwide 5G network that will offer reliable connectivity for all. T-Mobile’s customers benefit from its unmatched combination of value and quality, unwavering obsession with offering them the best possible service experience and undisputable drive for disruption that creates competition and innovation in wireless and beyond. Based in Bellevue, Wash., T-Mobile provides services through its subsidiaries and operates its flagship brands, T-Mobile, Metro by T-Mobile and Sprint. For more information please visit: https://www.t-mobile.com.
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 131,000 students nationwide and has more than 218,000 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.