If the traditional 4-year college path isn’t in the cards for you, there are many interesting alternatives.

Alternative Colleges

These are still accredited colleges—they’re just a bit different.

Wayfinding Academy: innovative new 2-year alternative college in Portland, Oregon. Listen to my interview with founder Michelle Jones.

The 9 Most Flexible Colleges in the Country

7 Colleges for Homeschooled, Unschooled and Self-Directed Learners9 {More} Colleges for Homeschooled, Unschooled and Self-Directed Learners

Although it’s a bit dated, Cool Colleges: For the Hyper-Intelligent, Self-Directed, Late Blooming, and Just Plain Different by Donald Asher is a wonderful book.

Another popular book is Colleges That Change Lives by Loren Pope.

Alternatives to College

Instead of doing college, do this!

Open Master’s: a self-declared master’s degree & a grassroots community of adult self-directed learners. Listen to my interview with co-founders Alan Webb and Sarah Jane Bradley.

Mycelium: retreats and “learning journeys” for aspiring social entrepreneurs.

Knowmads: an “alternative business school” based in Amsterdam.

Praxis: “Professional bootcamp + paid apprenticeship = awesome job. Praxis is a 9 month startup apprenticeship program that leads directly to a full time job at a fast growing company. Sidestep boring classes, degree requirements, and college debt to get 4 year head start on your career. Build a credential in the real world that stands out from dime a dozen degrees. Graduates launch businesses, write books, land amazing jobs, and earn more 1 year out of the program than the average college graduate.”

See Also

Student cooperative living houses: not an alternative but rather a supplement to higher education, living in student co-ops can provide entire educations in and of themselves. See for example the Berkeley Student Co-ops (where I lived for 4 years), the co.space (in State College, PA), and ICC (in Ann Arbor, MI).

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