Hacking your own education

October 20, 2012

Dale J. Stephens‘ Hacking Your Education: Ditch the Lectures, Save Tens of Thousands, and Learn More Than Your Peers Ever Will is now available for pre-order on Amazon.com.

In Hacking Your Education, Stephens speaks to a new culture of “hackademics” who think college diplomas are antiquated.

Hackademics abandon society’s linear path to success and bend institutions to fit their own reality. Stephens shows how he and dozens of others have hacked their education, and how you can too.

Stephens — who leads UnCollege.org and is a Thiel Fellow — also notes that the 2013 Thiel Fellowship applications are now open. This is a program recognizing the top 24 entrepreneurs around the world under the age of 20.


Stephens left school at age 12 to become an unschooler. He has appeared at TED 2012 and in news outlets including CNN, ABC, NPR, The New York TimesWashington Post, Fast Company, and Forbes.

If you want to be unremarkably average, go to college, turn in your homework, and graduate summa cum laude. You’ll have a college degree to your name, but you won’t be any closer to changing the world. 

The path to wild success does not involve jumping through hoops.  If you want to succeed you cannot be a lemming. We all have something that makes us different in one way or another — and society has trained us to be ashamed of our unconventional quirks. 

By using your unique qualities to your advantage, you can turn the conformist paradigm on its head and speed along the path to success. Ultimately the only authority you need is your own, and by defining success for yourself you’ll make happiness readily achievable. — Dale J. Stephens