HigherEdMorning.com'No frills' colleges seek to fill void

‘No frills’ colleges seek to fill void

July 6, 2009 by Taylor Hannigan
Posted in: Enrollment, In this week's e-newsletter, Latest News & Views

They’re not community colleges, and they’re not typical four-year institutions — but they just might be the next big thing.

Arizona’s board of regents is considering proposals to open a number of college campuses that would offer just a few majors and cost a lot less to attend than the state’s universities.

The proposals for the “no-frills” schools are partly a response to recent sharp tuition increases at state universities.

The idea is to set up satellite locations associated with Arizona State University, the University of Arizona and Northern Arizona University. The new schools would create a new option for students that falls between typical community colleges and large four-year schools.

A big focus of the new schools: Degree programs that teach trades.

The anticipated annual cost of attending one of the new programs would be about equal to the maximum amount students can receive under the federal Pell Grant program.

Do you think the idea of “no-frills” schools will take off? Let us know in the comments section below.

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  • Mary McNamara

    This is an excellent idea. Trade education is offered in high school with all the required courses to graduate, but the trade schools after high school to my knowledge do not offer typical college courses such as English, Math, Science etc… They teach the courses that are required for the trade. I do hope that these “no frills” colleges will have a number of campuses throughout the country. I know someone who would benefit from this immensely. There are so many students who really want to go to college and can’t simply because of the expense.

  • P. Anglee

    The’re called technical colleges–remember!

  • Andrea

    The Boston Globe did a story on one of these no-frills colleges already operating in New Hampshire.


    Seems like the right time for this idea.

  • thomas

    The term trade in AZ might be better read “profession” such as nursing, medical technicians that some now require four year degrees, fire science (fire fighters), crimianl justice (police officers), accounting, teachers

  • CalProf

    This “no frills” approach is one that should be tried in California, where the UC and CSU are burdened with excessive costs and underfunding. The key is that the educational instrcution be just as good as at the frills campus. What is NOT needed are sports teams, counseling, medical care, tutoring, remedial programs, career counseling, student entertainment and dances, or even a library (assuming students can use other campus library or public library, if needed). These costly services are used by only a few and often are ineffective or can be provided elsewhere (e.g. do one’s own career research).

  • Just Mike

    Great idea. I don’t know the statistic, but I would say 80% of the students at my CSU (here in California) are here for a career, not just theoretical knowledge. The other 10% are going to school so they can keep living at home. Most of the vocational training is done by the local city college. High schools are so busy testing and tutoring to meet federal standards, they have eliminated all but the required basics and foot ball.

    Sounds like Arizona State is taking a que from University of Phoenix.

  • Just Mike

    I ment to say “Sounds like Arizona State is taking a cue from University of Phoenix.”


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