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Princeton Grads Bought Out Hotels in Hawaii for College Kids to Spend Semester At

Kalia Tower Hotel
Photo by Phil Mislinski/Getty Images

The college experience has been altered, perhaps permanently, due to the Coronavirus Pandemic. Two Princeton graduates came up with a new, inventive idea where instead of taking online courses from their bedroom, they can take them from a luxe “bubble” hotel with other students.

According to Business Insider, they call this the U Experience, and it might be coming this fall to host 150 students in Arkansas and Hawaii. They are currently accepting applications.

Cofounder Lane Russell, 24, came up with the idea when Harvard announced online classes, but remained at a full tuition price.

“We think that even if a college is announcing something that indicates the experience is actually worth $0, a lot of students probably do value is much higher than that,” Russell said. The Princeton grads at betting that students will pay them $15,000 to be apart of this experience.

The other cofounder, Adam Bragg, 27, said that this calls for “disruption and unbundling.”

This “unbundling” will be in Waikiki, Hawaii and in Fayetteville, Arkansas. Bragg and Russell said they bought out both hotels.

“Something like this could have never been done before — mainly because the separation of a college experience from colleges was never possible. They held the college experience for ransom, and now that they’ve shifted to online learning, there is an opportunity to do something like this,” Bragg said.

According to Business Insider, both Russell and Bragg say that they have an understanding of the college experience and will help to make that possible. They said they have enough applications to fill a class, but would not say how much, said Business Insider.


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