This is one clever way to avoid student loans.

From the Daily Breeze.

Tech-minded El Segundo teen granted $100,000 to not go to college

Like so many parents, Tanya and Jim Latta expected their son Zach to go on to college after graduating from high school. As social workers with master’s degrees, the pair places a high value on education.

But after their son began to excel in computer science classes at West Los Angeles College at 13 and win college-level hackathons at 15, they realized his gifted mind may lead him on a different path.

“We realized that we ran out of resources for him to continue to grow,” Tanya Latta said. “He had all these aspirations and goals and he really wanted to be immersed in the tech world, and we couldn’t provide that for him so much here.”

So last year, they moved their 16-year-old son into his new group home in Silicon Valley so that he could start to work full time on his tech start-up, hackEDU.

And that’s when Zach’s different path started to pay dividends.

He recently was awarded a Thiel Fellowship that will pay him $100,000 not to attend college for two years. Created in 2011 by entrepreneur and PayPal co-founder Peter Thiel, the fellowship is awarded to 20 up-and-coming tech entrepreneurs younger than 23.

Zach’s company, hackEDU, is a nonprofit that helps high school students start coding clubs at their schools. In the start-up’s first year, Zach and his four-person team brought coding clubs and education to 40 high schools and more than 1,300 students.

“Right now, if you’re in high school, if you’re into music, you join band. If you’re into sports, you join one of the athletic teams. But if you’re into coding or building things, or maybe you want to learn, you have to go home and do it alone,” 17-year-old Zach said. “And I don’t think that’s right.”