Higher Education Experiments

The Kalamazoo Promise is giving the students of one small town the chance to go to college in their state for free. The Times called it the start of an “important social experiment.”

Billionaire tech entrepreneur Peter Thiel announced a few years ago that he would start his own high education social experiment—over the last two years, Thiel has given a $100,000 fellowship to 44 young people to skip or drop out of college and work with mentors to flesh out ideas they have to change the world.

Headlines flew around framing the experiment as a billionaire paying kids to drop out of college, but the reality is that the kids are getting their own, arguably, more valuable education by closely working with mentors on specific projects that will help launch their careers. “I made a list of the 50 people I wanted to meet, and I’ve met almost all of them,” one fellow said. How often does anyone get to say that? CNBC aired a short documentary about some of these fellows earlier this summer:

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