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Ivy League For Free: What One Man Learned By Crashing Elite Colleges For 4 Years

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College is expensive but friendships are free.

And speaking of expense, Dumas notes that U.S. college tuition and fees have gone up 1,120% since 1978, which is four times faster than the inflation rate. The average cost of attending a four-year private college could go up to $334,000 by 2018. At the same time, college graduates are not getting jobs. Dumas was crashing at colleges during the height of the recession, so he saw generations of recent graduates face a harsh job market, where many ended up either underemployed or unemployed. And since then, the problem has only gotten worse. In 2008, over 35% of college graduates were underemployed and by mid-2013, the number had risen to 44%.


One reason that elite colleges are able to charge so much is because they give people access to a powerful network of alumni and other bright, ambitious students who may go on to do great things with their lives. Dumas gets it, but he insists that it is possible to gain access to all of that without having to pay for it. He took the time to make friends in the classroom and at campus parties. In his conversations, he revealed himself to be an interesting, thoughtful, and pleasant person. As a result, he has built a community of friends that will be a valuable network throughout his career. Dumas insists that anyone can build lifelong relationships with smart, interesting people outside a campus environment; all it takes is going out to different social events, conferences, lectures, even bars, and taking the time to get to know people. After all, part of the reason that college students make friends easily is that they force themselves to be social, since they are away from home for the first time. Outside of college, the principle of leaving your comfort zone to make new friends can yield the same results.

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