While modern civilization provides opportunities for education, a “formal education” (that is, a timely and organized program, under pre-written standards and supervision by professional educators, leading to diplomas, degrees, and the like) is not the only way to learn. During childhood, for example, many students are “home-schooled” or are educated by experience (travel, apprenticeships, and the like). There are also several college-level alternatives (in large part because of rising tuition costs): internships, work training experiences, government programs like the Peace Corps, and other learning opportunities for adults. One recent social trend is called IFNIS (Institute For Non-Institutional Studies) which exchanges topic learning in a major concentration with learning processes (taxonomies, logic patterns, epistemologies, etc.).
The real key to accepting and growing these alternatives is acceptance by the Human Resources departments of the Free Enterprise System. When “I can think, although I don’t have a degree from Harvard or the state university, but I have the educational equivalent and am willing to take any test to prove it” is taken as an eligible application statement, progress will have been made.