Good reported on Wednesday that Peter Thiel, co-founder of PayPal, is starting a grant program to encourage kids to “stop out of school.” Thiel is offering up to 20 winners, under the age of 20, $100,000 grants to fund new businesses. He argues that schools are not be the best value for individuals, and he asserts that students don’t learn enough about entrepreneurship. (video interview below)
While I applaud Thiel for investing in the next generation of innovators, it addresses an interesting question: If students and parents are paying thousands of dollars for a college education, and taxpayers are subsidizing tuition increases, are students getting what they pay for?
When some students graduate in debt and without a job, maybe Theil’s idea will be the way of the future where companies sponsor students to develop their own ideas and add value to the economy. It certainly is preferable to forgiving student loan debt if students work for the government, a program that has no potential to bring us out of the recession.