With the rising cost of student loans, many are looking for an alternative route to success that doesn’t require a college degree. Some have even decided to forego the higher education process and design their own education. Proponents of designing your own education tote that you can save money while still receiving a quality education and applicable job skills.

At a TED Talk in Klagenfurt, Tim H. Groß tells his story about how he didn’t go to college and he still received a quality education. He makes a lot of elusions to preparing for sports and how the same principles and fundamentals can be used for education as well—all while not requiring a college education. Currently, Tim is somewhat of a public speaker and appears to have found his calling. Specifically for Tim, he skipped out on higher education but did study in high school.

There is also a book titled Hacking Your Education: Ditch the Lectures, Save Tens of Thousands, and Learn More Than Your Peers Ever Will by Dale J. Stephens that talks about ditching college in order to achieve success. Stephens is accustomed to not being in school: in an interview with Forbes he states that he first dropped out of school in the 5th grade, then went to college for six months and dropped out again. When not in school, he filled his life with fulfilling, educational experiences. Eventually he went on to found UnCollege, a movement that aims to change the perception that going to college is the only way to achieve success.

But is this a good idea for the average person? Is this a legitimate alternative to the entire educational system? While these individuals have had success with designing their own educations, it is probably unreasonable to assume that every student could achieve the same level of success. It is, however, great to know that it is possible to have a successful and fulfilling life without needing to attend college.

What do you think about personally designed education?