Entrepreneur Peter Thiel Says College Isn’t Worth It

Northeastern University in Boston (Lorianne DiSabato/Flickr)

Northeastern University in Boston (Lorianne DiSabato/Flickr)

Some say that college spending is the next gigantic bubble. Tech entrepreneur, hedge fund manager and Silicon Valley heavy-hitter Peter Thiel wants to pop it. Why? Because Thiel believes college isn’t for everyone, especially not the best and brightest.

Thiel launched the Thiel Fellowship, which pays 20 aspiring entrepreneurs under 20 years old $100,000 each to drop out of school and follow their dreams.

It sounds nice, especially because you never know where the next Mark Zuckerberg is going to come from. But Thiel’s bold challenge that college is not worth the money and a killer of creativity has alarmed leaders in higher education, including Joseph Aoun, Northeastern University’s president.

Yes, we might not know where the next Zuckerberg will pop up from, Aoun says, but we also know that not everyone is destined to be Mark Zuckerberg. In other words, college is still relevant.

What do you think? Do you decry or defend the purpose of a college education? Is college worth it?


  • Peter Thiel, co-founder of Pay Pal, board member of Facebook; president, Clarium Capital
  • Joseph Aoun, president, Northeastern University
  • Ben Yu, Thiel fellow


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