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A Billionaire Is Paying Teenagers $100,000 To Drop Out Of College
Old 05-26-2011, 05:38 PM   #1
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A Billionaire Is Paying Teenagers $100,000 To Drop Out Of College

Sounds like something that Bill Gates would have been interested in back in the day. Heck, mickeyd would have given it a shot too. You can go to college anytime, but passing up an opportunity to hang with fellow geniuses would be difficult to pass on.

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He's created a fellowship that will give a few dozen teenagers $100,000 (and a fair bit of mentoring) to spend two years trying to build high-tech companies.
To qualify for the money, they have to drop out of college (unless they never enrolled in the first place). They can go back to school after the fellowship if their company doesn't work out.
Peter Thiel Fellowships Awarded : Planet Money : NPR
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Old 05-26-2011, 07:50 PM   #2
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I think it is a good idea. It may even be a good idea for him.

I have always thought that there are some that have above average intelligence (I guess that is the right word) and a focus. These are the people who have earned positions /careers in industry with no college. They did not need it. So I guess for those few (and I do mean few), college is a waste.
I was not smart enough to be able to bypass higher education.

There are many who think they are smart enough not to need college. Of course this is a different story. One of misguided youth ususally.
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Old 05-26-2011, 09:38 PM   #3
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There are many who think they are smart enough not to need college. Of course this is a different story. One of misguided youth ususally.
I think it depends on the career path.... I've worked with many computer programmers and they've ranged in experience from self-taught to philosophy majors to comp sci grads to one guy, the smartest of the bunch, that was pursuing post-grad theoretical physics before he decided he wanted to be a computer programmer instead.

In that profession (mine), a degree certainly helped, but more in an 'open doors, check off on the list of requirements HR was given' than in any measure of skill or aptitude. In fact, I think I'd go so far as to say that the most valuable part of my college degree was the 8 month co-op, 4 month internship, and three years in a part-time workstudy job as a programmer that most benefited me. I say this even though I fully knew I wanted to be a computer programmer and not a computer scientist and so I structured my degree as such (very little advanced math, quite a few independent or directed studies).

I would agree that a college degree is certainly more helpful in plenty of other fields (many of the engineering professions for example). And, frankly, even in my field, especially if the goal was to be a computer scientist and not just an IT schlub.
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Old 05-27-2011, 08:55 AM   #4
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This first came around in December, then recently popped up in the news again.

Some insightful comments here, most pretty negative on the idea:
Drop Out and Innovate, Urges VC Peter Thiel - Slashdot
PayPal Co-Founder Gives Out $100,000 To Not Go To College - Slashdot
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Old 05-27-2011, 10:08 AM   #5
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I wonder if Thiel's company (venture capitalist/hedge fund) will have a percentage of any successful company that comes out of these fellowships (I couldn't find anything on line that addressed that). But Thiel's company at least will have identified some up and coming enterprises to throw some money at later.
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Old 05-27-2011, 10:44 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by arebelspy View Post
This first came around in December, then recently popped up in the news again.

Some insightful comments here, most pretty negative on the idea:
Drop Out and Innovate, Urges VC Peter Thiel - Slashdot
PayPal Co-Founder Gives Out $100,000 To Not Go To College - Slashdot
So he searches the better universities for potentials. Then he "steals" the talent to work on his projects. Good idea.
I was wondering when the negatives to this idea would make it into the news.
It is not so bad for the student, either IMHO. These are people who will have colleges falling over each other to get them back after a failed start up.
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