Tech mogul pays bright minds not to go to college

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  1. Stacie L profile image93
    Stacie Lposted 7 years ago

    By MARCUS WOHLSEN, Associated Press – Sun May 29, 3:41 pm ET
    SAN FRANCISCO – 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.

    "It seems like the perfect point in our lives to pursue this kind of project," says Cammarata of Newburyport, Mass., who along with 17-year-old David Merfield will be working on software to upend the standard approach to teaching in high school classrooms. … cholarship
    some people do better without college and I tend to agree

    1. psycheskinner profile image83
      psycheskinnerposted 7 years ago

      For $100,000 I will happily not do anything at all.

      1. profile image0
        Home Girlposted 7 years agoin reply to this

        No deal, skinner, you still have to use your brain. big_smile

        1. psycheskinner profile image83
          psycheskinnerposted 7 years agoin reply to this

          I promise to use my brain, just not my body.

    2. AdvisorVonne profile image59
      AdvisorVonneposted 7 years ago

      I heard of this too, but I think it is just to give people the ambition to chase their dreams. I have always wanted to be an entrepreneur and I am currently working towards that goal, but if things don't work out. Then guess what? I have my degree to fall back on. Really $100,000 isn't a lot of money to start a business, especially if it fails and you have no other way of recouping funds lost. I hope that they are smart with their money and are able to triple it because when running a business it will only go so far. Then they will have nothing and nothing to fail back on. Good luck to them. I truly wish them success.

      1. dutchman1951 profile image60
        dutchman1951posted 7 years agoin reply to this

        business loans require 10% down, out of pocket, the money is quite enough to start a business.

        do what you love, and put zen in it, it will make you rich in the end. College makes you responsible, but you work for some one else, not a way to get rich, but a way to get tierd and angry if you do not like what you do, and a lot of Grads do not.

        1. AdvisorVonne profile image59
          AdvisorVonneposted 7 years agoin reply to this

          definitely agree with you - a person should always do what they love, but I'm a strong believer in always having a backup plan just in case plan A goes south, at least you ain't out there hanging around without a plan B. - About the starting a business, yes $100,000 is enough to start up a company, however if that's all they're working with what about personal bills (if they have them) and business maintenance while they are trying to turn a profit. They still need to pay things along the way. But if they don't have anything else to pay and no other responsibilities then $100,000 cold hard cash would be enough for them to maintain. I guess I am looking at this situation from another prospective. It's good to take a look at things from all angles.

    3. JGoul profile image60
      JGoulposted 7 years ago

      It's an interesting commentary on the role of a college education.  One of my roommates in undergrad was very bright, but got appalling grades and failed classes on a regular basis.  He wasn't lazy, exactly, just a perfectionist and someone who had a very difficult time dealing with some of the constraints of academia.  His complaint was, college is not for everyone; certain types of intellects and temperaments flourish in the college environment, and some don't.  But because we've turned a B.A. into the Holy Grail of employment qualifications, everyone has to go to college.  Maybe it's time to rethink that a bit. 

      My father was in the fire department for twenty-odd years.  By the time he retired, you had to have a college degree to get a promotion.  It didn't have to be in anything fire-service related; his Captain studied French Literature.  It seems to me that we're using degrees (definitely undergrad, and increasingly, grad degrees) as a proxy for intelligence.  There has got to be a more efficient way of separating the bright from the dull.

      1. mathsciguy profile image61
        mathsciguyposted 7 years agoin reply to this

        Ironically, to me, the B.A. is about the most ridiculous thing to use as a proxy for intelligence.  There are several different kinds of Baccalaureate degrees - and of them, the B.A. is the only one that is based entirely on subjective material - ie, Philosophy, Writing, Literature, etc.
        Those are the kinds of majors that my friends and I used to watch carousing around and living the "college life" while we were holed up in the library or laboratory during all our "free time" (which is actually a euphemism in the world of science students - it means "time which, for most people, would be free, but is actually not free for us because we still have work to do).  Now, understand that I don't begrudge the B.A.'s their carefree and frolicking college days - after all, my college days earned me a hell of a lot more than theirs did.


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