03/06/2013 04:14 pm ET Updated May 06, 2013

New York's Enstitute rethinks college education

College has been getting a bad rap lately. Graduates - and drop outs - often leave the hallowed halls of learning with massive debt and few skills outside of beer pong and sleeping in.

New York's Enstitute is experimenting with an alternative - the non-profit offers college-age individuals a two year apprenticeship with digital startups like Thrillist,, and Flavorpill.

Each of the inaugural 2012 class' fellows works full-time under a "C-Level" executive (don't think C-List, think CEO, CTO, etc.). In the first year, fellows get a high-level overview of the business, and in year two they choose a field in which to focus their skills. The students live free of cost in a loft in the financial district, and receive meals and a small stipend.

"I was seeing friends graduating from university with 60k in debt and not finding a job they could love," Enstitute's co-founder Kane Sarhan told us. "[Co-founder] Shaila [Ittycheria] was a hiring manager, and she was seeing all these well-educated graduates who had no problem-solving skills, no reasoning skills, and were totally useless in the workplace."

Today, the company is opening applications for the second class. 30 fellowships are being offered at a wider variety of companies in the digital media, advertising, and non-profit spheres.

If you're interested in applying - it's a September start - you can get the details here.

Now go forth (and skip the debt).