College is not always the best option for everyone. We often hear this, and for most people, it brings to mind someone who will do better learning a trade or skill. However, Taylor Wilson is an exception to this standard. At 18, he has already built a working reactor and plans to build nuclear fusion reactors. Here’s the kicker: he doesn’t plan on going to college and he’s received a $100,000 grant not to do so.
“I’ve got some technology that will really change the world, so college right now is not the best option for me,” Wilson said.
The grant Wilson received is called the Thiel Fellowship, created by Peter Thiel for individuals under 20 years old. Thiel is an investor in Silicon Valley who thinks that students shouldn’t be pursuing an expensive university education, but should instead be learning about and developing breakthrough technologies. Thiel seems to think that by encouraging students not to go to college he will inadvertently also be lowering the unemployment rate and amount of student debt that face many 20-somethings.
“You increasingly have people who are graduating from college, not being able to get good jobs, moving back home with their parents,” he said. “I think there’s a surprising openness to the idea that something’s gone badly wrong and needs to be fixed.” Read the rest of this entry »