Barriers To Entry

The biggest news in the past couple of days has been the college admissions scandal. A slew of business executives and two high-profile actresses were among 50 people charged in a $25 million cheating scheme to help wealthy  students to gain admission to top colleges.  Why were these rich parents so obsessed with getting their kids into the top colleges?

I have some thoughts on this.

Q: Why do most people go to college? A: So you can get a good job when you graduate. There are multiple studies out there that show that college students earn much more than the typical high school graduate.

Q: How do you get the good job after graduation? A: Assuming you don’t have any (legal) inside connections that can get you in the door, you typically have to build a résumé that shows you went to a prestigious school.

That needs to change. The system is clearly broken.

There are some schools out there now that are trying to change the game in higher education. Lambda school is one of them but there will be more popping up soon. This is from their website:

Lambda School is pioneering a new model of  higher education in which the school invests in the students, instead of  the other way around.

Attending Lambda  School is completely free up-front, and students pay back a portion of  their income after they find a high-paying job.

If, for some reason, a student is unable to find a job with a salary above  the set threshold, they are not required to pay anything. The total  amount of repayment is also capped at a predetermined maximum amount.

This is fantastic. This matters because they’ve removed the barrier to entry on certain high paying jobs in relevant fields of work. Now that you have a high paying job in a good field, you can begin to pad your resume with things that actually matter like work experience, publications, volunteer work, memes, etc. Not glee club and sports stats and other worthless filler items that you picked up in college. I would venture to say that >90% of my working knowledge has come after I graduated college.

Some of the high-profile parents listed in the scandal spent $500,000 or more trying to get their kid into college. Colleges like USC. Lol. They would have to pay me to go there. These kids were never going to have the normal college experience and they were set up for failure from the start by their parents. As a parent, I understand the urge to do whatever you can to get your kid into the best school/daycare, but I still have to go through legal channels and connections like everyone else in the middle class.


There are so many more productive things these kids could have blown $500,000 on, like starting a business and failing. They would have learned more from that single experience than spending four years at a fancy college that tells you how to think and feel.

Scenario: You are given $500,000 after you graduate high school but you can’t use it to go to college and you have to use it for something business related. What would you do with it? Comment below.