February 8, 2021
More than 50,000 strong
In 2020, 51,583 students enrolled in programs available through BYU-Pathway Worldwide — a new milestone for the institution. After opening in 14 additional countries, BYU-Pathway now offers online higher education to students in 152 countries.
International student enrollment in BYU-Pathway Worldwide’s PathwayConnect exceeded enrollment in the United States and Canada for the first time, and the percentage of international students who completed PathwayConnect and enrolled in an online degree program more than doubled, from 24% to 59% from September 2019 to September 2020.
To support international growth, BYU-Pathway began piloting contracting with instructors in the Philippines. The pilot expanded the pool of available instructors, a necessary step as enrollment increases across the globe.
Partnership with Ensign College
In September 2021, BYU-Pathway is planning to offer access to online certificates and degrees from Ensign College, in addition to current programs offered through BYU-Idaho. Students will be able to earn certificates and degrees in communication, as well as certificates in medical billing and coding fundamentals and project management.
Expanded scholarship offerings
As thousands of full-time missionaries completed their service or returned home early due to COVID-19, BYU-Pathway responded by offering all missionaries who have returned in the last 60 months a 25% tuition discount.
In addition, BYU-Pathway piloted two new needs-based scholarships that will roll out more broadly in 2021.
Increase in returned missionary enrollment
BYU-Pathway saw a 49% increase in returned missionary enrollment as thousands more missionaries joined gathering groups and enrolled in online courses. Returned missionary enrollment has continued to grow since BYU-Pathway announced its preapproval of and tuition discount for returning missionaries.
A widened reach
BYU-Pathway Worldwide received significant media coverage in 2020, including articles in Forbes, WIRED, Education Dive, and EdSurge. These articles focused on the benefits of BYU-Pathway’s certificate-first approach, including increased retention and better employment opportunities earlier in a student’s degree.
A new guide for students
In response to student feedback, BYU-Pathway Support used artificial intelligence to develop a chat bot called the BYU-Pathway Guide to answer questions and resolve concerns quickly and accurately. The BYU-Pathway Guide has been able to automate many support functions and help students serve themselves.
Focus on domestic Spanish speakers
Church leaders and BYU-Pathway administrators have identified a need among native Spanish speakers in North America to access affordable, quality higher education. To meet this need, BYU-Pathway offers reduced tuition to non-native English speakers and has increased outreach through Spanish marketing materials, online advertising, web presence, and devotionals.
Inspiring devotionals for BYU-Pathway students
Students received words of encouragement and advice from 12 devotional speakers in 2020, including Apostles, General Authority Seventies, and General Officers of the Church. Their messages emphasized the blessings received through education and service and the importance of personal preparation
In his July 2020 devotional message, Elder Dieter F. Uchtdorf, of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, said, “I invite you to see BYU-Pathway Worldwide for what it is: a guide that will help you in your own great adventure.”