NEW YORK ( MainStreet) — 19-year-old Kevin Petrovic turned down the chance to attend college, and he likely never will. The story is not what you might think—it was Princeton. And while society might shame the typical teen with horrid tales of the opportunity wasted and how he'll smell like French fries for the rest of their days—Petrovic is not your average teenager. He and two other Ivy League dropouts raised $6.1 million dollars in venture capital — from the likes of Ryan Seacrest, no less — in order to found their own car sharing start-up, Flight Car.

Although seemingly counterintuitive, Petrovic's decision is not unusual for those with an entrepreneurial bent. Rutgers University's recent study on college graduates revealed that today's schools are graduating a mere 3% of the self-employed.

Is College Right For Everyone?

Michael Greenstone, who directs the Hamilton Project and serves as a professor at MIT, says when you look at college like an investment it makes the most cents (yes, that kind) for everyone.

"The rate of return of attending college is very high," says Greenstone. He also finds that it "exceeds the rate of return" for "stocks, bonds, real estate" and "gold."

However, some experts are more cautious in their recommendation of four-year college education for all.

Research from The Brookings Institute tells a different story:

"If a student is able to get into a school with high graduation rates, generous financial aid, and he or she chooses a major with high expected earnings – such as engineering or science -- they can greatly improve their lifetime prospects. But an expensive degree at a non-selective four-year school with a low graduation rate may not be a wise decision."

With regular reports of graduate unemployment in the news, it has become clear to many of us, that employers are seeking more than people with expensive ideas and theories. They want technical and hard skills.

In a recent survey of some 50,000 employers conducted by The Chronicle For Higher Education and American Public Media's Marketplace they discovered:

  • All industries and hiring levels place slightly more weight on student work or internship experiences than on academic credentials.
  • Extracurricular activities, like professional clubs, athletics, and service, are valued more than GPA, relevance of coursework to position, and college reputation...
  • Job candidates are lacking most in written and oral communication skills, adaptability and managing multiple priorities, and making decisions and problem solving

It also says employers are placing less of the blame on colleges for preparedness and "more on the individual to acquire these high-demand skills."

Thus, it is the individual that catapults him or herself toward success.

Why One Goes To College

College is ultimately a sacrifice of time with the expectation earnings will increase. Popular findings attribute as much as $125,000 of extra lifetime income per each educational year completed.