Essays /

Note Essay

Essay preview

FEBRUARY 2, 2012, 6:00 AM

Why Go to College at All?

Is college worth it? High school seniors anxiously awaiting admissions decisions might find that question bizarre, but recently some strenuous arguments have been leveled against the value of a college degree.

For more insight into those arguments, we turned to Dale J. Stephens, 20, the founder of UnCollege, which urges students to “hack their education” by finding their own pathways to success. Mr. Stephens, 20, is a Thiel fellow who spent his middle and high school years “unschooling,” and then left college after a brief time there. Mr. Stephens envisions “a world where people make their own decisions,” where college is not a foregone conclusion and young people forge their own paths to fulfillment. We asked Mr. Stephens for his responses to the five main arguments most often given for going to college. Here’s what he had to say.

Reason 1: Learning in a rigorous, supported educational environment “If you want to learn, college is the last place you should go,” Mr. Stephens said. “A lot of learning isn’t happening on college campuses.”

That may sound surprising, given that college is virtually defined as an institution devoted to nourishing learning and intellectualism.

Read more


00 1 2 20 2012 25 3 4 5 55 6 abl access achiev activ ad admiss adulthood advantag advis allow also although answer anxious aren argu argument ask associ attain avail await base beer believ benefici best bet better bizarr box brand brief bubbl campus champagn class clear clear-ey colleg comment complic conclus connect construct contact contend contrast convict correl could coupl cours coursework creat critic dale data deadlin debt decis defin degre demograph describ determin develop devot differ direct discov discoveri divers divorc doesn dorm drink earli earn earner econom educ effect effici emphasi end engag enter environ envis epstein even experi explor eye facebook facil fact factor fals februari fellow financi find finish five flip floor follow forc foregon forg founder frank friend fulfil gain gap general give given go goal goe good graduat grow growth guidanc guy hack hackl hamper happen high higher holli homogen honest idea ideal increas inde initi insight institut intellectu intern invest isn issu j job key know laboratori lack larg last learn learner left level licens life like limit linkedin look lot lower main make mani market may mean media meet memor mentor middl might miss money motiv mr much name need network note nourish nurtur observ often ojalvo one opportun opt particular path pathway peopl percent perhap person pictur place point posit potenti principl profess profession project project-bas provid psycholog psychologist public put question rais rate rational re real realiti reason recent reflect relianc report requir research resourc respons retort rigor rise rote said sandbox say school seek seem self self-direct self-discoveri self-reli selfselect semest senior sens set shadow share show simpli skill slight smart social societi someth sound spend spent spring standard start start-up statist status stephen still strenuous structur student success support surpris syllabus system take tend term test thiel thing think thought time took top tradit travel true turn twitter two typic uncolleg under understand unemploy unschool urg use valid valu virtual walk want way wide women work world worth would year yet young