The idea: A college student (must be 21) pays $12,000 to stay in a refurbished Fayetterville hotel (bars, gyms, meals, exercise and art classes and pool social events included) while taking online classes (from wherever). In Arkansas, this bubble is to be in the Graduate Hotel just off the square in Fayetteville.



The entrepreneurs figure their cost beats college room-and-board fees, with more amenities.


They are taking “applications” now and hope to attract 150 students.  They promise “rigorous safety protocols” and some pretty strict rules for participants.

THE ‘CAMPUS’: In downtown hotel.


Says the website:

The U Experience is a private company bringing currently enrolled university students together on a single campus, providing a community for students whose courses have moved online and would otherwise be taking them at home. With safety in mind, we’re creating a bubble where college students can come to live out the college experience with total peace of mind.

The website’s tout for the Fayetteville “campus”

The U Experience Arkansas offers an environment of authentic adventure for your online courses and intimate community-engagement. The rooftop bar atop the tallest building in Fayetteville offers breathtaking views off into the nearby Ozarks and many lakes. Explore the arts with excursions to Crystal Bridge or stay inside and make art in the incredibly instagrammable campus interior. Entire floors can be converted for creative use and the massive meeting rooms offer plenty of space for social events. Local businesses and restaurants are eager to bring the best of their community and share it with ours.

Walking distance to the football stadium, too.

Here’s another news article on the pair, Lane Russell and Adam Bragg, who dreamed up the idea after Harvard went to online-only classes this year. It says that hotels submitted bids to be host sites:


Instead of students being consigned to obtain their higher education while stuck in their childhood bedroom, the pair say they will put students on chartered commercial flights for a semester spent with their college peers in hotels-turned-dorms.


…”We think the Hawaii location is one that students will get real excited about,” Russell said, adding that the campus in Razorback country will allow students to “get away from the urban environment they’re used to.”

Will this work? Application decisions are to begin next week. Take a gander at that handbook link above. I have some doubts. But it’s been a while since college for me.

THE LOBBY: In Fayetteville.