From the moment your parents tell you you’ll one day move out and go off to college to the time spent sitting in your high school guidance counselor’s office looking through university brochures, higher education is going to be on your mind. Whether you want it or you have bigger plans to take the fast track and become the next Zuckerberg, university is a topic of much debate.
This is especially true as news of 28-year-old Guillaume Dumas, who has attended classes for free at several Ivy League schools including Yale, Stanford and Brown, is spreading. Between 2008 and 2012 Dumas attended some of the best colleges in North America without being enrolled as a student. He reaped some great advantages too – learning, socializing, and most importantly, networking.
Yale has graduated 5 U.S presidents, 50 Nobel Laureates and 12 living billionaires.
At 18 years old Dumas applied to LaSalle College in Montreal and was accepted. He took some psychology classes but eventually started feeling restless and confused about what to do with his life. He left LaSalle and started dropping in on classes at McGill University. “It was so easy to look at the course listing and then just show up for a class,” said Dumas in an article for Fast Company. “I thought, why couldn’t I do this at other schools?”
Which is exactly what he did. He worked at cafes and did other odd jobs in order to pay for his daily expenses. He had a booming social life and attended many campus parties and he met tons of interesting and like-minded people. But his biggest takeaway? The belief that society has overstated the importance and value of a college degree.
Dumas understands that some careers require a degree, such as a doctor or a lawyer, but thinks that for other people, the money could be put to better use. An article by The Atlantic pegs the cost of full tuition at Yale at $63,250 per year. Talk about an expensive piece of paper. Instead of investing in a degree, Dumas, again in The Atlantic proposes another idea. “There might be a better interest in not paying tuition and keeping that money to travel the world and launch a business,” he said. “There’s never been so many career or business opportunities in the world that don’t require a proper diploma.”
Brown is one of the country’s most prestigious and selective, only accepting 8.6% of the undergraduates who have applied for 2018.
Since his days of campus crashing, Dumas has managed to make a name for himself, and not just because of his shenanigans. He has launched a successful business called Datective. This business helps wealthy clients with online dating by creating profiles for them and impersonating them in their early interactions with prospective dates. In his interview with Fast Company, Dumas claims to be fascinated with Frank Abagnale , Jr., the man who faked his way into numerous different careers by impersonating a pilot, a doctor and a lawyer. Seems Dumas has found his calling and he did it all sans college degree.