A Princeton dropout describes the kind of student who should leave college


Eden Full Thiel Fellow Princeton Student

Courtesy of Eden Full

Former Thiel Fellow and Princeton student Eden Full

Eden Full dropped out of Princeton University to start a global nonprofit based on a high school science fair project when she was 19, so she has some insight into what kind of student should leave college.

Now 23 years old, Full fulfilled her vision with support from billionaire entrepreneur Peter Thiel through a program that gives students $100,000 to take two years off from college.

While Full knows the Thiel Fellowship was the right move for her as a student, she doesn't think it's for everyone.


"It's for people who are naturally antsy to start on something, and they have a vision for how they want to impact the world and it can't wait," Full told Business Insider in a recent interview about the program.

For these people, she said, "real life is a distraction, whether it's finishing college or getting a job."

However, the reality of working on your own project comes with a ton of responsibility. If you don't show up to work, Full explained, nobody will know except for you.


"There's no one babying you and holding your hand," she said. "It can be a very personally and professionally tumultuous time, so I wouldn't recommend it to the faint of heart."

Full's project, the SunSaluter, provides both clean water and electricity for poor communities. While the SunSaluter started as a science fair project, it can now be found in 15 countries around the world.

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