Required Reading: The College Education Bubble


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We know how hard it is to keep up with the flood of information every week, in town and in the world at large. has been helping you with the former, and now we’re going to take on the latter.

Today, we are launching a new column called “Required Reading”. No, there’s no test.  “Required Reading” will be just one story chosen from all the news of the week that we think you might want to ponder.

We’re starting with “Peter Thiel: We’re in a Bubble and It’s Not the Internet. It’s Higher Education“, a story that appeared in the tech news Web site Tech Crunch. Thiel is the California venture capitalist who co-founded PayPal and he sparked a firestorm this week by suggesting that college educations in America are over-valued and that the way we have structured higher education is wrong.

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Here’s an excerpt from the story:

“If Harvard were really the best education, if it makes that much of a difference, why not franchise it so more people can attend? Why not create 100 Harvard affiliates?” he says. “It’s something about the scarcity and the status. In education your value depends on other people failing. Whenever Darwinism is invoked it’s usually a justification for doing something mean. It’s a way to ignore that people are falling through the cracks, because you pretend that if they could just go to Harvard, they’d be fine. Maybe that’s not true.”

What’s Thiel doing about all this? He’s going to pay 20 young people to drop out of school and start companies.You can read about it here.

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Virginia Citrano
Virginia Citrano
Virginia Citrano grew up in Verona. She moved away to write and edit for The Wall Street Journal’s European edition, Institutional Investor, Crain’s New York Business and Since returning to Verona, she has volunteered for school, civic and religious groups, served nine years on the Verona Environmental Commission and is now part of Sustainable Verona. She co-founded MyVeronaNJ in 2009. You can reach Virginia at [email protected]


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