“If you want to succeed in life, you have to get your college degree.”
“College is overrated.”
“Billionaire pays students to drop out of college.”
Headlines like those above circulate weekly, each one contradicting the last. If one thing is certain, the importance of college is a hot-button issue in society today. We won’t dare attempt to settle the issue once and for all, but we have attempted to gather up two recent, opposing perspectives on the topic.
A School for Billionaires
MSN Money recently reported on the colleges that produce the highest number of billionaires. The schools are all around the world, from Waseda University in Japan to Ecole Polytechnique in Paris and America’s own MIT. Their study poses an interesting question: are these clusters of super-successful graduates a coincidence, or is there something about the education that prepares one to strike it rich?
The Billionaire Against School
This was a headline that made quite a few parents nervous. In 2011, Peter Thiel, the billionaire founder of PayPal, paid a selected group of driven and entrepreneurial students to drop out of college and launch businesses. How much? $100,000. The result? Of the 84 who accepted the offer, only 8 returned to college. The other 76 are forging ahead, working on a variety of ambitious startups—and hoping to prove the naysayers wrong.
Here’s one Biz Kid’s perspective. In her words, “the only way to success is getting an education.”
What do you think about college, Biz Kid? Is it more important than ever, or less?