By Holly Korbey
Higher education options are changing for all students — not only for gutsy school reformers and tech enthusiasts dropping out with hopes to become the next Steve Jobs or Mark Zuckerberg. As MOOCs proliferate and college costs keep rising, more young reformers and “edupreneurs” are looking for a way around a four-year degree, some opting for a gap year to work on personal passions they hope will take off, and some looking for meaningful work experience in the world’s classroom.
They’re not alone. In fact, they might even be the majority. According to a panel of higher education experts, only 27% of today’s college students have a “traditional” four-year college experience away from home. The rest work toward a degree in pieces while living their lives – holding down jobs, having families, and taking care of other responsibilities.
But while economists and entrepreneurs debate who’s right for college, and we question the value of a college degree, young school reformers who are trying to figure out what’s on everybody’s mind: Can dropping out or putting off college advance their budding careers in reforming the system, or will the lack of a college degree put them at a disadvantage?
Nineteen-year-old Zak Malamed, a freshman at University of Maryland College Park majoring in government and politics, is looking for ways out of the four-year degree track to spend more time on his growing school-reform organization, Student Voice. He’s been considering a break, like the Continue reading