There could be lots of reasons for the search; they may hope for something better than BFU, or want to start their own university, or want information before they make a college donation, or many other possibilities. They may even have been thinking of free lunch rather than free speech, while we are most attuned to the second meaning of free.
The short answer to their query -- yes, there are universities similar to BFU.
I have a list that includes a couple of them on my distance learning vs. brick and mortar lens under the title "Schools On The Edge." I also have a bit on a discontinued MIT computer science program (ADU) that still has materials available, at the end of the School For Entrepreneurs page.
I get an occasional e-mail from a new college with a fixed program of courses on liberty that sounds interesting; although fixed and required are not really compatible with BFU philosophy. If you are interested leave a comment and I'll try to remember to post a link here the next time they solicit a donation.
You can even self teach yourself by reading sixty or more related non-fiction books and doing an in depth review of each one in a blog. Put the blog's URL net address on your resume. Adapt the BFU course directions if you want a bit more structure. To consider yourself a knowledgeable renaissance person in your field, keep learning.
There are also journal comparisons of BFU with Thunderbird International Business school and with the South Harmon Institute of Technology.
There are several other alternatives, most of them are industrial age educational institutions that are trying to adapt to a new age. As shown by Tony Lopez in The Manila Times, MIT is trying very hard.
As I wrote in the distance learning lens:
"Brick and mortar colleges are where leather bound encyclopedias were a few decades ago - highly respected - unable to gracefully adapt to the information age." - Allan Wallace
Do you remember the transitions of encyclopedias as they went digital? First one, then others, sold inexpensive CDs of their materials. Increasingly encyclopedic materials became available on-line. Then ventures such as user supported Wikipedia and advertisement financed search engines offered additional resources.
Today even Wikipedia has several promising challengers. The old line leather bound encyclopedias still have value, but they seem needlessly cumbersome and expensive - and are therefore increasingly rare.
Cost appropriate knowledge is becoming virtually free. Cost appropriate learning will likely travel the same path.
That some brick and mortar institutions offer better programs than BFU currently offers is beyond doubt. Bastiat Free University and The Netcohort Institute belong to the future, and that is where they will excel.
Formal college programs are handicapped by restrictions and expenses that limit their flexibility and hence their future - we have no such barriers to overcome. BFU will survive to make mistakes and adapt as the future unfurls.
The original free universities were founded centuries ago by self-directed learners that hired respected mentors to teach what those students wanted to learn. This is an interesting educational model that BFU plans to pursue when able; freelance educators mentoring self-determining students.
All of the original free universities have vanished or been melded into formal platforms. There was a bit of a revival in free universities during the 1960s protest era, those seem to have vanished also.
BFU may be unique in some ways, but our desire to continue in liberty is probably the most important. That is why, while there are many universities similar to Bastiat Free University, there are as yet no viable replacements for Bastiat Free University
We were born free, we want to remain free, we want to help others become free.