In fact, two dozen students like him - eight with ties to the Boston area - are quitting school for the same reason Lim is. They have been lured by an unusual and controversial new fellowship created by PayPal cofounder Peter Thiel that pays them $100,000 each to leave college and launch a start-up, a tempting offer that has raised the ire of some parents and college officials. The 20 Under 20 Thiel Fellowship is only open to students 20 and younger. More than 400 students applied.
Thiel, who cofounded PayPal in 1998, is himself not only a college graduate (Stanford, class of 1989), but also a 1992 graduate of Stanford Law School. But now he talks almost dismissively about college education.
“I think it’s best for people to actually try to think about the future and not default to education,’’ he said. “I’m in favor of learning, but I don’t think our education system can live up to the great expectations that are set.’’