It sounds like a teenager's dream and a parent's nightmare. Peter Thiel, PayPal's co-founder, is paying 24 college-aged students $100,000 to just say no — to college. For two years, winners of the 20 Under 20 Thiel Fellowship have focused on developing business ideas instead of heading to class. The fellows will work in Silicon Valley with a network of more than 100 mentors where they "will pursue innovative scientific and technical projects, learn entrepreneurship and begin to build the technology companies of tomorrow," the press release states.
Tag Archives | College
Congratulations to all the new college grads out there, but have you thought about how much your expensive new college degree is worth? For 2009-10 graduates who were able to land a job (about half), starting salaries fell 10% versus 2006-8, and it doesn’t look like 2011 will be any better. Catherine Rampell reports for the New York Times:
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Employment rates for new college graduates have fallen sharply in the last two years, as have starting salaries for those who can find work. What’s more, only half of the jobs landed by these new graduates even require a college degree, reviving debates about whether higher education is “worth it” after all.
“I have friends with the same degree as me, from a worse school, but because of who they knew or when they happened to graduate, they’re in much better jobs,” said Kyle Bishop, 23, a 2009 graduate of the University of Pittsburgh who has spent the last two years waiting tables, delivering beer, working at a bookstore and entering data.
Charles Hugh Smith writes on OfTwoMinds.com:
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Students and parents, wake up: your only salvation lies in political engagement and action.
Of all the exploitative systems in the U.S., none is more rapacious than the Education Cartel. Like the proverbial frog that is unaware that it’s being boiled because the water temperature rises so gradually, college students and their parents are unable to recall what higher education was like before students were herded into debt-serfdom.
Apologists for the Education Cartel like to blame Corporate America or the banks, but the reality is that the Federal and State governments and the employees of the Cartel are willing partners in the exploitation and fraud. How did we get to the boiling-water point where students are expected to take on $100,000 or more in debt to attend college–even a mediocre one?
Answer: immensely profitable Government-backed loans. If the Central State wasn’t partnered with the Education Cartel, today’s debt-serfdom would be impossible.
Via New Left Project, author Chris Lehman bitingly surveys the contemporary United States’ bloated, perilously off-track higher education system — from the the Ivies, which now act as “luxury goods” for the rich, to the rise of pyramid-scheme fringe colleges such as the University of Phoenix:
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Most high-end and Ivy League schools spent the 1990s and early aughts pursuing a senseless binge in luxury spending so as to draw a wider pool of high-testing applicants – not because they had so many vacant spots to fill, mind you, but because wooing bigger applicant pools permitted them to reject more applicants and to continue burnishing their reputation for exclusivity in the applicant market. In 2008, lawmakers finally got wise to the scam and threatened to revoke the ridiculous tax exemptions enjoyed by massively endowed institutions like Harvard, Yale, and Princeton.
By then, however, the tuition market had become so absurdly distorted and top heavy that this miniature and belated land rush in Ivy League aid wound up creating yet more pressure on major state universities.
Rarely do ideas-put-into-action as brilliant as the Journal of Universal Rejection come along. The JofUR is a scholarly publication with an editorial board comprised of dozens of accomplished academics from across several continents. Subscriptions are available for £120 per year. The website explains every aspect of the journal in hilarious detail, but the guiding principle is as follows:
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The founding principle of the Journal of Universal Rejection (JofUR) is rejection. Universal rejection. That is to say, all submissions, regardless of quality, will be rejected. Despite that apparent drawback, here are a number of reasons you may choose to submit to the JofUR:
- You can send your manuscript here without suffering waves of anxiety regarding the eventual fate of your submission. You know with 100% certainty that it will not be accepted for publication.
- There are no page-fees.
- You may claim to have submitted to the most prestigious journal (judged by acceptance rate).
Outsourcing enters yet another realm of American life: college professors have begun using Virtual-TA, a service in which students’ essays are graded by workers in India. The Chronicle of Higher Education reports:
Virtual-TA, a service of a company called EduMetry Inc., took over. The goal of the service is to relieve professors and teaching assistants of a traditional and sometimes tiresome task—and even, the company says, to do it better than TA’s can.
The graders working for EduMetry, based in a Virginia suburb of Washington, are concentrated in India, Singapore, and Malaysia, along with some in the United States and elsewhere. They do their work online and communicate with professors via e-mail.
Full story at the Chronicle of Higher Education