Would the reaction be as mixed here if it was PG doing it? Because YC in effect does the same thing right?
I enjoyed my college experience and as the first ever college graduate in my family I wouldn't do anything different. Colleges provide something far more beneficial than the shot at FU money.
That said, some people are better off dropping out or never going at all. I'm highly suspect of learning how to be an Entrepreneur in a college setting and guess something like YC is probably better for that.
I think of YC as almost a trade school for start ups but it still doesn't replace college. I wonder how many successful start uppers go back to college later? Any of you? Like Shaq and Troy Polamalu? :)
And I guess that school-like vibe is why YC is better than simply dropping out and taking 100k. Even if you fail, you still get the YC experience to help you with your next venture.
PG's stance, at least nowadays, is not to take college students unless they are going to leave anyway. I dont think he would do it in the way that PT is trying to do it.
My understanding, having been sucked into that trap myself, is that college debt forces people to go to hedge funds or other lucrative jobs that don't utilize the full potential of some of the brightest college students. If you can give students an opportunity to build something, unencumbered by the issue of money, the outcome would be far better for society.
The scholarship process is also broken. With many of the "merit-based" scholarships, there is a bias favoring those coming from low income families (otherwise why would they ask for parents' income information?)
This is the middle-class trap. In reality, kids from middle-class families are squeezed, because they are ineligible for most financial aid / scholarships and dont have enough money to go to college on their own.