28-year-old Guillaume Dumas is a strong critic of the higher education system. In an attempt to make a political statement about how universities exclude people who cannot afford them, he spent four long years as a wandering scholar. He hopped campuses across North America, attending lectures and seminars for free, as an unregistered student. And although he didn’t receive a degree at the end, Dumas has used his education to start a successful online dating business in Montreal.
Dumas, who hails from Quebec, said that he first started campus hopping because it was fun. His parents didn’t even want him to attend college. “My mother got it in her head that I should become a butcher,” he said. “Her friend’s son was a butcher’s apprentice and he seemed to make good money. My father thought I should become a lumberjack in rural Quebec.”
But Dumas had other ideas. He applied to LaSalle College in Montreal and got in. And although he started college like any other 18-year-old, he soon got restless and was unsure of what he wanted to do with his life. He liked psychology, physics and philosophy, so he couldn’t decide on a major. He was spending $4,000 a year on his education, which he felt was a colossal waste. So he dropped out of LaSalle and started attending a few classes at the nearby McGill University. “It was so easy to look at the course listing and them show up for a class,” he recalled. “I thought, why couldn’t I do this at other schools?”