Why This MIT Dropout Started an Anti-College

Why This MIT Dropout Started an Anti-College

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Disenchanted with the out-of-date curriculum of traditional college, Jeremy Rossmann dropped out of MIT. Within a few years, he and co-founder Ashu Desai, started The Make School, a college replacement program for founders and developers.

“Our core philosophy is if you teach the same thing two years in a row, it’s got to be wrong because computer science as a field and software engineering as a discipline is moving so fast,” said Rossmann.

Instead of tests, there’s project-based work. Instead of tuition upfront, there’s a debt-free model charged to students only once they find employment after graduation. The Make School also claims to bring its students better access to top tech company functions, networking, and guidance as they shape their career.

Classes focus on developing desirable qualities and capabilities as expressed by current hiring managers in Silicon Valley. Beyond programming classes, subjects also include nutrition, health, writing, and exercise – tools to succeed in a professional life.

“And then some more general life skills, communication, empathy, understanding the history of tech and then a big segment on ethics. So Uber, what do we think? Airbnb, where do we stand? Is it okay to start a company in that way? Is it beneficial for society? Are the laws out of date? How does this all work behind the scenes?” Rossmann continued.

In September 2015, The Make School began its first academic year with nearly 30 full-time students in the founding class. Some students are fresh out of high school, some have left their colleges to pursue education here instead. They all live together in dorm-like housing in San Francisco, and though they may also be carrying fake IDs, it’s not to sneak into bars for fun like their university-counterparts. It’s usually to be able to hear a tech company founder speak at a networking event, or meet other contacts in the industry for a job.

Not everyone is on board with the new program, including some parents, who prefer their children still attend traditional, name-recognized universities. To which Rossmann responds, “When LinkedIn and Lyft and these companies with tens of millions of dollars of funding are all committing contractually to coming and recruit here, and they don’t come to the school where your child is studying, that means something.”

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20 Responses

  1. Ightty Aponte says:

    This is the future of college education right here

  2. Lucasif The Odd says:

    This already exists in the exact same form in Australia and is known as fee
    help. The charges of your student debt come out of your salary and does not
    require money up front.

  3. Tom Ato says:

    This is the future!

  4. RussianB3ar says:

    “Why This MIT Dropout Started an Anti-College”
    Are you serious? No wonder he is anti-college, he is a dropout., he
    couldn’t stay in it and got kicked out. He even says that this is more like
    a job rather than an university which means that this is the same as high
    school students starting work. This is his way to show he wasn’t treated
    fairly. This is actually stupid, if you do not want to attend university
    then don’t but also do not compare yourself on the same level as university
    students, if you wish to work instead of learn then do that instead of this
    makeshift “school” for people not willing to work hard and achieve
    greatness in their lives.

  5. ShamanNoodles says:

    Could this be the “pop” in the tuition bubble? I sure hope it is!

  6. Integrafreak1 says:

    Great idea and all,but how much of the salary do they keep and for how long
    do they keep doing so?

  7. keviar245 says:

    how do i enroll

  8. Hugh Janus says:

    So you are basically just a bank (giving out pseudo-loans which translate
    to paying back a big percentage of one’s salary) combined into a college?
    LOL. “anti-college” my asshole. this is just college + capitalism

  9. RedStar says:

    Honestly if we want cheaper colleges we need to kick the gov out so they
    have to compete with costs

  10. GoldJacketLuke says:

    Very cool.

    I really like the “take a percent of salary” style. That gives the
    professors real incentive. I’ve experienced lots of lazy professors in
    public university who have lost their creativity and passion and who seem
    stuck in old ways of thinking. Rather than inspiring kids to reach their

  11. uniqueunique28 says:

    That’s good

  12. Johnny says:

    Umm. Just because Make school has a 10% acceptance rate doesn’t mean its
    more competitive than Duke or Dartmouth. Duke and Dartmouth have much more
    competitive applicant pools so you can’t really compare.

    Also, does the Make school have premed or pre law programs? What about
    connections or alumni networks to get top jobs?

  13. Id Anima says:

    Cool guy, this is how it works in Australia.

  14. Flesh Sandwich says:

    “Tell us how college tuition costs effect you, in the comments”

    I finally learned how negative numbers work by checking my bank account.

  15. TheJaredtheJaredlong says:

    This doesn’t sound beneficial, merely a different method of doing the same
    thing. If I go to a traditional school, then I get debt, and a percentage
    of my paycheck goes to paying back for my education. If I go to the Make
    School, then I have no debt, but still a percentage of my paycheck goes to
    paying back for my education. How long do I have to continue paying back
    Make School? Forever? What if I just choose not to pay despite having a
    job? Do they sue me? What if I just lie about how much my job pays? Do they
    audit me? What I get a job then lose it? Do I have to continue paying what
    I was before? What if I want to pay upfront anyways instead of paying a
    percentage of future salary? Will they allow me? What if I choose to pay
    with student loans? Will they reject me? What if I attend one year and then
    transfer? Do I still have to pay a percentage to cover my brief time there?
    What if I transfer in for my final year? Do I have to pay less than people
    there for 4 years? With this many questions, this Make School model doesn’t
    sound like an actual innovation. In a lot of ways it sounds like a
    profiteering scam; an equivalent of free-to-play: the candy crush of

  16. Will ofone says:

    i like this way of doing things. no one should start the game with debt…
    its really annoying.

  17. MrPS3rules says:

    Sounds like Australia

  18. turkishdisco2 says:

    Great, but how IS it actually funded? How could they leave this out of the

  19. Nui Sance says:

    The problem is, America is too conservative in terms of education. They
    know the current system gives them alot of money, so they’ll stick to it.

  20. Greg Coleman says:

    I worked at UC Berkeley with many doctors. Had to say that most of them
    were the most closed minded, narrow minded, think within the box, cookie
    cutter morons I had ever seen! It’s like a new guitarist that takes lessons
    from some other guitarist for years and years and years only to sound
    exactly like them with the same limitations versus someone that plays
    guitar by ear, pics things up from other musicians and clubs they attend.
    Huge difference. Not saying that those with an education are all
    numbskulls, but many assume that those with an education are better than