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Entrepreneurs get paid $100,000 to drop out of college

Mark Zuckerberg

Student loan debt has grown to the trillions and that number doesn’t look to decline as the cost of education continues to rise and having a degree is the only way most people know to improve their job prospects. However, in this technological age with college dropouts like Bill Gates and Mark Zuckerberg making billions, young entrepreneurs are beginning to ask themselves: Do I really need college to succeed? Peter Thiel doesn’t think so. The Huffington Post explains:

Peter Thiel, a co-founder of PayPal and an early investor in Facebook, created the Thiel Foundation. Last fall, it announced a new fellowship program: It would give 20 people under the age of 20 $100,000 to drop out of school and become world-changing visionaries.

“The established path is always to stay and finish school,” said Yu, who was among the 24 chosen winners. He wants to build a price-comparison service for online consumers to locate the cheapest products in the shortest amount of time. “For me, there was no reason to wait until I graduated to follow my dreams.”

The only condition of Thiel’s two-year fellowship is that all fellows commit full-time to making their ideas work. Simultaneously being enrolled in college is forbidden.

“These fellows are going to bring significant new ideas to a wide range of technical and scientific fields in ways that will change the industries and improve people’s quality of life,” said Jim O’Neill, who runs the Thiel Foundation. “Every field benefits from smart, driven new players.”

The Thiel Fellowship gets at the heart of Thiel’s basic complaint about higher education – namely, that going to college gets in the way of entrepreneurship. He also believes that a higher education bubble threatens to dismantle the entire enterprise.

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  • Anon E Mouse

     I recently came across, a project by another of the original 24 Thiel Fellows. I’m convinced open-source education is going to become preferred by employers in the future. Its focus is on real-world experience, creativity, peer tutoring, and portfolio rather than grade based credentials are more conductive to learning job-usable skills and also make it easier for employers to screen potential employees.

    • steve ward

      agreed, there no foundation for the current school system to keep students in I personal would not send a kid to school now a days in usa without first checking the school over really well.

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