smart students getting paid not to go to college

brainhulk

Diamond Member
Sep 14, 2007
9,418
454
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http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20110529/ap_on_bi_ge/us_anti_college_scholarship

Instead of paying attention in high school, Nick Cammarata preferred to read books on whatever interested him. He also has a gift for coding that got him into Carnegie Mellon University's esteemed computer science program despite his grades.

But the 18-year-old programmer won't be going to college this fall. Or maybe ever.

Cammarata is one of two dozen winners of a scholarship just awarded by San Francisco tech tycoon Peter Thiel that comes with a unique catch: The recipients are being paid not to go to college.

Instead, these teenagers and 20-year-olds are getting $100,000 each to chase their entrepreneurial dreams for the next two years.

The prizes come at a time when debate in the U.S. over the value of higher education has become heated. New graduates mired in student loan debt are encountering one of the toughest job markets in decades. Rising tuitions and diminishing prospects have led many to ask whether college is actually worth the time and money.

"Turning people into debt slaves when they're college students is really not how we end up building a better society," Thiel says.
 

Locut0s

Lifer
Nov 28, 2001
22,281
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Power to them if they can make a career out of it. However I'd be willing to bet only a small percentage of those who go this route will succeed. You have to have balls of steel and a real vision to make a success out of this. Smarts alone is not good enough. I am living proof of that.
 

SP33Demon

Lifer
Jun 22, 2001
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You can do a lot with 100K. Hell, if I had gotten a loan like that at age 18 I wouldn't be working right now.
 

halik

Lifer
Oct 10, 2000
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Ha Thiel only happens to be 1 out of 10,000,000 that stuck it big.

Meanwhile that kid passed up on the #1 CS program for a 50K/yr job. Stupid imo.
 

Zebo

Elite Member
Jul 29, 2001
39,398
19
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Good program. Won't work for everyone but many mature motivated smart people are suffering opportunity cost going to college. I just wanted wanted to party and be lazy so college was perfect.
 

Albatross

Platinum Member
Jul 17, 2001
2,343
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"He received his B.A. in Philosophy from Stanford in 1989 and a J.D. from Stanford Law School in 1992"
Thiel is a bit hypocritcal,his very life contradicts the drop out of college option.
 

wiredspider

Diamond Member
Jun 3, 2001
5,239
0
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"He received his B.A. in Philosophy from Stanford in 1989 and a J.D. from Stanford Law School in 1992"
Thiel is a bit hypocritcal,his very life contradicts the drop out of college option.

He probably felt that it didn't really add value to what he is today. I could probably be where I am today, if not better, without going to college. Many people have "made it big" were college drop outs too.
 

Ronstang

Lifer
Jul 8, 2000
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"He received his B.A. in Philosophy from Stanford in 1989 and a J.D. from Stanford Law School in 1992"
Thiel is a bit hypocritcal,his very life contradicts the drop out of college option.

Times have changed and your illustrious educational gods have fucked you. I went to a great university for undergrad and then got an MBA from a top 20 school. I was done by 1992 and I paid for it myself. I graduated with no student loans or debt of any kind. Hell I even owned a house while I was getting my MBA.

I got a top grade education for a bargain price and now you are getting a shit education for top dollar with little job prospects for many. It doesn't take a genius to see the writing on the wall. You have been lied to for quite some time.
 

TridenT

Lifer
Sep 4, 2006
16,810
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Ha Thiel only happens to be 1 out of 10,000,000 that stuck it big.

Meanwhile that kid passed up on the #1 CS program for a 50K/yr job. Stupid imo.

In all likely hood this kid is probably already a super good coder and has lots of information about comp sci. I wonder how this kid did it all. I'm surprised that they learned everything on their own.

Read the article. These kids are wasting their time. Stupid. They have projects that are beyond reason. One wants to look into harvesting asteroids as a plausible means of getting resources. You can bet he played a shit ton of eve. Pretty sure that is a dead end.
 
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ponyo

Lifer
Feb 14, 2002
19,689
2,811
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Ha Thiel only happens to be 1 out of 10,000,000 that stuck it big.

Meanwhile that kid passed up on the #1 CS program for a 50K/yr job. Stupid imo.

Like he can't go back to the "#1 cs program" if he wants after he's done with the 2yr Fellowship. He's getting paid for 2yrs to learn and have once in a lifetime experience vs paying for typical college experience. Sounds like a great deal to me. Networking and experience > piece of fancy paper. Only a stupid person would pass up the unique opportunity. The college will still be there later if he chooses. They will be more than happy to take his money.
 

edro

Lifer
Apr 5, 2002
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99.9% (totally accurate) of corporations require at least a B.A. to interview for a decent salaried job.
Until HR departments allow people without degrees to interview, the problem will not change.
 

Zebo

Elite Member
Jul 29, 2001
39,398
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99.9% (totally accurate) of corporations require at least a B.A. to interview for a decent salaried job.
Until HR departments allow people without degrees to interview, the problem will not change.

True, My dad used to call it "your union card"

With that said why would an entrepreneur want this union card? Only for capital formation until you can make it alone which this young man has already with "scholarship" of sorts. I like his gusto, he can always go back if he fails.
 

Texashiker

Lifer
Dec 18, 2010
18,811
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I really like this quote

"Turning people into debt slaves when they're college students is really not how we end up building a better society," Thiel says.


The only way for the USA to continue to be a world leader, is to make higher education cheap, and freely available to the masses.

Enslaving future generations to debt is not the way to build a future.
 

ponyo

Lifer
Feb 14, 2002
19,689
2,811
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The only way for the USA to continue to be a world leader, is to make higher education cheap, and freely available to the masses.

Enslaving future generations to debt is not the way to build a future.

I like the pay model. People work harder when they have to pay for it themselves and have to pay back debt. People get lazy and content when everything is provided. Most people lack motivation and will only do enough to get by. Burden them with debt motivates them to get their ass out there to find work and pay it back. The trick is not to burden them with such heavy debt that they completely lose hope and not work at all.
 

TridenT

Lifer
Sep 4, 2006
16,810
45
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Like he can't go back to the "#1 cs program" if he wants after he's done with the 2yr Fellowship. He's getting paid for 2yrs to learn and have once in a lifetime experience vs paying for typical college experience. Sounds like a great deal to me. Networking and experience > piece of fancy paper. Only a stupid person would pass up the unique opportunity. The college will still be there later if he chooses. They will be more than happy to take his money.

Um, what? The guys get to explore the project on their own. They're not hired at some firm or getting lots of networking done... They're basically doing research or worthless projects in the comfort of the computer chair they're so accustomed to already.

That said, the college will most likely still be there and will most likely accept them after they fail miserably. No doubt this Thiel guy or whatever will be like Donald Trump when it comes to promoting his 20 little children. "My disciples cannot believe what they're finding. Absolutely cannot believe what they're finding."
 
Dec 10, 2005
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Ah shit. I read it with those words swapped. I saw University of Chicago at Illinois instead of.. you know.

Don't worry about it. I ran into people thinking the UofC was some sort of Illinois public college all the time.
 

Texashiker

Lifer
Dec 18, 2010
18,811
197
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Burden them with debt motivates them to get their ass out there to find work and pay it back. The trick is not to burden them with such heavy debt that they completely lose hope and not work at all.

Your grouping all students into the same financial block.

Personally, I think higher education is tilted in the favor of wealthy families, while the working lower and middle class are put at a disadvantage. There are grants out there people can apply for, but the grants can be difficult to get.

I would like to see something like a sliding scale fee for higher education. If your 29 years old, working full time, making $29,000 a year with a family a of 4, you pay less then someone 19 years old, and comes from a wealthy family.
 

Zebo

Elite Member
Jul 29, 2001
39,398
19
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Your grouping all students into the same financial block.

Personally, I think higher education is tilted in the favor of wealthy families, while the working lower and middle class are put at a disadvantage. There are grants out there people can apply for, but the grants can be difficult to get.

I would like to see something like a sliding scale fee for higher education. If your 29 years old, working full time, making $29,000 a year with a family a of 4, you pay less then someone 19 years old, and comes from a wealthy family.
If you have good grades this is immaterial, even to Princeton which is 400K when you're all done.
 

Bignate603

Lifer
Sep 5, 2000
13,897
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Your grouping all students into the same financial block.

Personally, I think higher education is tilted in the favor of wealthy families, while the working lower and middle class are put at a disadvantage. There are grants out there people can apply for, but the grants can be difficult to get.

I would like to see something like a sliding scale fee for higher education. If your 29 years old, working full time, making $29,000 a year with a family a of 4, you pay less then someone 19 years old, and comes from a wealthy family.

The person in your example would pay less under the current system would pay very little, possibly paying nothing at all. The current financial aid system provides a decent amount of aid for people with low income and it factors in number of dependents. Where the current system doesn't work is for people that earn a bit more, enough that they become ineligible for most aid, but still not enough to be able to go to school without loans.