Dropping Out: Is College Worth the Cost?
One of the wealthiest, best-educated American entrepreneurs, Peter Thiel, isn’t convinced college is worth the cost. With only half of recent U.S. college graduates in full-time jobs, and student loans now at $1 trillion, Thiel has come up with his own small-scale solution: pay a couple dozen of the nation’s most promising students $100,000 to walk away from college and pursue their passions. Morley Safer takes a look at Thiel’s critique of college.
The following script is from “Dropping Out” which originally aired on May 20, 2012. Morley Safer is the correspondent. Katy Textor, producer.
These are the days in May, when young men and women are capped and gowned — their hands clutching diplomas, their ears tuned to some wise person telling them, “You are the future.” For many, deep in debt with few prospects, that future looks pretty bleak.
It’s enough to make some believe the siren song of Peter Thiel. He’s the billionaire venture capitalist who’s been beseeching students to drop out of a university system he says is broken — churning out too many half-educated graduates seeking too few jobs. Thiel put his money where his mouth is and pays selected students $100,000 each to drop out and focus on ideas that will benefit themselves and the world at large. Waiting for graduation, he says, is an expensive waste of time.