There are many reasons why a student is out of school. First, it can be caused by financial difficulties. Second, it is due to the personal desire of the student himself. However, regardless of the cause, it should not make their future bleak. The Thiel Fellowship sees this phenomenon and intends to change it.
Photo: @rodnae-prod on pexels.com
Peter Thiel, a businessman and co-founder of PayPal, is the initiator of this grant. Thiel and his team believe that students who are expelled from school deserve a second chance, regardless of the cause.
By joining The Thiel Fellowship, Peter Thiel hopes that his participants will get many benefits, including:
- Different paths to achieve their goals
- Freedom to do whatever they want instead of following the traditional educational path
- A wide network
If this is you, then we encourage you to apply today. But before that, read the guide below to find out more about how The Thiel Fellowship works and what you should prepare before applying.
The Thiel Fellowship: Program Overview
The Thiel Fellowship (originally named 20 under 20) is a fellowship created by billionaire Peter Thiel through the Thiel Foundation. The fellowship is intended for students under the age of 23.
It helps them to drop out of school and pursue other work, which could involve scientific research, creating a startup, or working on a social movement. Selection for the fellowship is through a competitive annual process, with about 20–25 fellows selected annually.
Peter Thiel announced the fellowship at TechCrunch Disrupt in September 2010.
The first round of fellows, based on applications made at the end of 2010, was announced in May 2011.
Then, the second round of fellows, based on applications made at the end of 2011, was announced in June 2012.
The third class (announced in May 2013) includes 22 fellows working on projects from garment manufacturing and B2B web products to ARM-powered servers and biomedicine. The class includes 7 fellows from outside of the US.
In December 2013, Lora Kolodny wrote an article for the Wall Street Journal reviewing the Thiel Fellowship, where she wrote: “64 Thiel Fellows have started 67 for-profit ventures, raised $55.4 million in angel and venture funding, published two books, created 30 apps and 135 full-time jobs, and brought clean water and solar power to 6,000 Kenyans who needed it.”
Lastly, the 2014 Thiel Fellows were announced in June 2014.
The Thiel Fellowship offers the successful candidates a total of $100,000 over two years, as well as guidance and other resources.
There are two major requirements to be considered for a Thiel Fellowship.
First, an applicant must be 22 years old or younger.
Secondly, applicants must have a concrete vision for what they are trying to create and be in the process of making meaningful progress toward the completion of their vision.
In fact, because the Thiel Fellowship doesn’t have a deadline, they encourage applicants working on something cool to share it with them. Applications can be updated even after submission. In other words, you can submit your application any time of the year.
Furthermore, you don’t need a team to apply. The Thiel Fellowship’s recruitment team reviews and accepts applicants as individuals. However, most successful candidates do build teams during their Fellowship. It consists of small groups of people working towards the same vision are the people who get stuff done.
Also, please note that you need to drop out to accept the Fellowship. Besides, at first, you don’t need to have incorporated a company or built a full product yet. But, at a minimum, you’ll need to demonstrate meaningful progress toward a concrete vision.
How to Apply for The Thiel Fellowship
To apply, follow the steps below.
First of all, visit the official website of The Thiel Fellowship at www.thielfellowship.org. Then, in the top menu line, you will see several pages from the website. Next, click on “Apply ” to start. Alternatively, you can also scroll through the page and find the “Apply Now →” button. Either way will send you to the application page.
On the new page, you will be asked to log into your account. However, if this is your first time, click on “Sign Up”.
Then, enter an email address and choose a password to create a new account. Click on “Sign Up” to continue. Once your account is ready, you will proceed to a new page where you will have to create a new profile to get started.
In this section, you must provide basic information, for example, your full name, email address, and date of birth. Click on “Create Profile” to save your data. Next, a new button will appear on the dashboard. Finally, click on “Get Started” to begin the real application. You just need to follow the instructions on the screen to complete your form.
Here is some of the information you should provide.
- Full name
- Email address
- Date of birth
- Current location
- What are you working on now?
- Project/company link
- LinkedIn link
- What cool stuff have you worked on in the past?
- Would you be open to co-founding a startup with a different idea?
- Are you currently attending college?
- Do you currently have any eligible cofounders (22 and younger and without a college degree)?
- Would you like to recommend someone (22 or younger and without a college degree) for the Thiel Fellowship?
- How did you hear about the Thiel Fellowship?
Once you completed all the blank fields, click “Mark Complete” to finalize your registration. Ultimately, you will need to wait a few days to hear further news about it.
As we mentioned earlier, there is no deadline for submitting your form. In other words, you can apply for The Thiel Fellowship any time of the year. Therefore, you will have plenty of time to prepare your project as best you can.
Sadly, a common misconception about the Thiel Fellowship is that it’s only for programmers. However, Thiel Fellows have also created consumer products, launched media companies, and built hardware.
Another fallacy is that a recipient of a Thiel Fellowship must be based in the Bay Area. In actuality, Thiel Fellows are located across the globe. Thus, international students are welcome to apply, too.
What’s more, because the application is online, everyone has the same chance to win the prize.
Do you have any questions regarding this program? Submit your questions via the official Twitter account of The Thiel Fellowship at https://twitter.com/thielfellowship.
The Thiel Fellowship’s Official Website
Visit the official website at www.thielfellowship.org for the latest information on the program. Alternatively, you can also bookmark this page for future updates.