College? Nah. You can hack it — and see the world, too says Dale J. Stephens

ED_Uncollege_0311

In 2011, Hendrix College student Dale J. Stephens started receiving a lot of unexpected press. His website, UnCollege.org, delivered a hypercritical cost-benefit analysis of college at a time when many parents and students were questioning their faith in higher education for the first time.

In one of the many interviews Stephens gave that year, he casually mentioned that he was working on a book. He now admits that he probably should have said “thinking about,” rather than “working on” his book, but the quote was published anyway and Stephens was soon approached by curious book agents.

Stephens got around to writing the book, and the result was released last week: “Hacking Your Education: Ditch the Lectures, Save Tens of Thousands, and Learn More Than Your Peers Ever Will.”
To be sure, Stephens approaches the issue from a unique perspective. With his family’s begrudging support, he left his California public school at 12 and developed his own curriculum right up until he took the ACT and applied to colleges.

“I spent a lot of my time in college wondering, ‘If I was able to get into college without going to high school, why is there any reason that I need to go to college to get into life?’” he says. “And why am I paying $40,000 a year for this, when I can figure out how to learn for free?”

This month, the 21-year-old Stephens is crisscrossing the country on a media blitz — From the “Today” show, to Katie Couric, to South by Southwest — preaching a vision of a free, unfiltered, self-generated education.

“It’s about taking ownership and realizing that no one is going to give you an education,” he says. “If you want to be successful, you’re going to have to go out and find it for yourself: live abroad, do internships, research, build your portfolio, feed your networking community. We think that a college is going to give us those things in one nice package, but the reality is that you’re going to have to do it on your own whether you’re in school or not.”


News
Entertainment
Sports
Lifestyle
Local

Memorial held for Sean Collier, MIT police officer…

More than 1,600 people gathered at MIT on Friday for a memorial service for Sean Collier, the police officer shot to death a year ago in the aftermath of the…

National

Florida man charged with murdering son to play…

A Florida man annoyed that his 16-month-old crying son was preventing him from playing video games suffocated the toddler, police said on Friday.

International

Powerful 7.2 magnitude earthquake rattles Mexico

A powerful earthquake struck Mexico Friday, shaking buildings and sending people running into the street, although there were no reports of major damage.

News

OMG! Exercise can make skin (and butt) look…

A moderate exercise regime can turn back time and actually reverse the skin's aging process, according to new research. The study showed that a minimum…

Entertainment

Whoopi Goldberg makes her debut as marijuana columnist

"It helps my head stop hurting, and with glaucoma your eyes ache, and she takes the ache out. It's wonderful," she said.

The Word

Kate Middleton made fun of Prince William's bald…

Kate Middleton and Prince William are in Sydney, Australia, right now, and it sounds like that brash Aussie sense of humor might be rubbing off.

The Word

Is Tom Cruise dating Laura Prepon?

"Mission: Impossible" star Cruise is said to be dating Laura Prepon, star of "Orange is the New Black."

Television

'Scandal' recap: Season 3, Episode 18, 'The Price…

Sally is Jesus, Olivia caused global warming, and Mellie's still drunk. Let's recap the Scandal finale. A church full of Washington insiders is about to…

NHL

NHL video highlights & analysis: Red Wings dump…

NHL video highlights & analysis: Red Wings dump Bruins in Game 1

MLB

MLB video highlights: Orioles top Red Sox, 8-4…

John Lackey roughed up for second straight outing

MLB

MLB video highlights: Red Sox score two in…

Lester shines in Red Sox win over White Sox

Sports

2014 Boston Marathon preview: Elite American, International runners…

2014 Boston Marathon: Elite American, International runners to watch

Tech

VIDEO: 'Vein-scanning' may become the future of paying

Designed to make transactions quicker and easier, the technology works by scanning the unique vein patterns in each person's palm.

Tech

#FollowFriday: 10 of the smartest Twitter accounts

Spending lots of time on Twitter? You might as well learn something. Here are some of the smartest accounts to follow.

Style

Light-up nail art syncs with phone

This Japanese technology syncs light-up nail art with your phone.

Wellbeing

Why is dance cardio taking off in NYC?

Instructors at some of the city's hottest classes explain why.