Go Generics!

Daytime television has long counted on trade schools to fill up commercial slots, and of late I’ve been seeing spots for something called National American University, a name I assumed was chosen for the sake of sheer vagueness. Apparently this is not at all the case:

National American University was established in 1941 as a one-year secretarial school by Clarence Jacobson. It was called National College of Business and was located in a downtown Rapid City building. In 1960, Jacobson had the building that now houses administration for the Rapid City campus constructed at 321 Kansas City Street and moved National College to that location.

In 1962, NCB was acquired by Harold D. Buckingham and members of his family. Shortly after the Buckinghams purchased the school, a period of growth began which led to the construction of the classroom buildings, dormitories, a library, gymnasium, and an auditorium.

NCB was granted collegiate accreditation as a junior college by the Accrediting Commission of the Association of Independent Colleges and Schools in 1966. Senior college accreditation was granted in 1970.

Onward and upward:

In 1985, NCB earned accreditation by the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools and in 1997 the university name was changed to National American University.

NAU has several remote campuses, including Wichita and Tulsa. The name, however, still sounds seriously generic, as though they were trying to get away with something, and some people resist the idea of for-profit schools on general principle. Probably why the stock is sitting around $2.50 and market cap around $60 million.


  1. fillyjonk »

    3 May 2017 · 2:34 pm

    Probably the problem with the name is that it’s atavistic; it harks back to the days before such things as for-profit “go to class in your pajamas and we’ll give you Life Experience Credits” online schools existed.

    I admit the one that always baffles me is Southern New Hampshire University. Partly because I don’t think of anything in New Hampshire as being “south,” but also because the acronym is close enough to “snu-snu” to make my inner 12 year old snicker.

  2. CGHill »

    3 May 2017 · 5:20 pm

    I am always amused by University of Phoenix Stadium, home of the NFL’s Arizona Cardinals. The University has no actual athletic teams, but it does have a checkbook, and it put up $150 million for the naming rights for 20 years.

  3. fillyjonk »

    3 May 2017 · 5:49 pm

    Somehow, it seems ironically appropriate that a university with no physical campus still funds a football stadium.

  4. Jay »

    5 May 2017 · 12:09 pm

    Everytime I hear a SNHU ad, I get it confused with USND at H.

RSS feed for comments on this post