Review of ‘Better Than College: How To Build A Successful Life Without A Four Year Degree’ by Blake Boles

Many people, young and old, are well aware that college is both overpriced and overemphasized both here in Ireland and the UK, and also across the Atlantic in the US. But the idea of taking any route other than the traditional one, the one everybody expects you to take, can seem daunting. College provides a safety net, and an excuse not to worry about any important life decisions for a couple more years; its a temporary shield from the ‘real world’. Of course this doesn’t apply to everyone – if your heart’s desire is to be a surgeon then chances are you’ll require some specialist training and accreditation before people are gonna let you cut holes in them. But for many people, this is not the case. For journalists, writers, entrepreneurs and any number of other ways to make a living, college is often little more than an expensive cop out.
But isn’t a life without college equivalent to walking a tight rope without a safety net? Sure if you succeed you’ll get a round of applause but your no circus performer, you’ve had no training and chances are you’re going to fall and not break your neck, no, its much worse than that – you could break the bank.
That’s where Blake Boles comes in with ‘Zero Tuition College’. All in all, a bit of a character
, Boles has created a social network for self-directed learners to provide and seek mentorship from each other on their way, and written a kind of users manual for anyone interested in that path. ‘Better Than College: How To Build A Successful Life Without A Four Year Degree’, is a well researched and thoughtful book with both practical and inspirational content. Here’s how it describes itself –
Do you need college in order to be taken seriously and earn a real living?

Conventional wisdom says yes. But true success relies upon self-knowledge and entrepreneurship: two qualities that you can obtain effectively and inexpensively without traditional college.Better Than College provides the step-by-step guidance and inspiration necessary to design your own higher education. This book teaches you how to find community, stay on track, and get hired or start your own venture, all without a four-year degree. Curious college students will learn to think clearly about their motivations, plan a gap year, or navigate life after school. And Better Than College will show parents how self-directed learning can lead to a lifetime of achievement no expensive institution required.”Now if you’re understandably a bit distrustful of a book’s opinion of itself (lacking brains, books are notorious for self-bias and other not very brainy behavior) then consider mine -If you or someone you know have their doubts about college or school than this book will provide you with useful info on how to figure out what you really want to do, how to be financially secure without college, how to structure your life when you are free of imposed structure and well… Read the book!What’s that I hear you say?

“I can’t just go buying any old book Bernard, think I’m made of money?”

Not at all. Boles has made it so that anyone can download his book for free as a PDF (if they can’t afford it themselves, that’s where a bit of personal honesty comes in). Skint as I am, this is what I did, however I recommend buying the print version, it’s well worth it. And that’s what I’ll be doing when next I have a tenner in my account and dinner in my fridge.

So if you’re curious about the book (And you should be by now!) to read a snippet or find out more then have a mosey on over here.

He’s written an earlier book as well called College Without High School, and references a number of other people with interesting relevant work, so there’s no harm in having a look.

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