Exerpt from iJOBS (Steve Jobs by Walter Issacson):
Seventeen years earlier, Jobss parents had made a pledge when they adopted him: He would go to college. So they had worked hard and saved dutifully for his college fund, which was modest but adequate by the time he graduated. But Jobs, becoming ever more willful, did not make it easy. At first he toyed with not going to college at all. I think I might have headed to New York if I didnt go to college, he recalled, musing on how different his worldand perhaps all of oursmight have been if he had chosen that path. When his parents pushed him to go to college, he responded in a passive-aggressive way. He did not consider state schools, such as Berkeley, where Woz then was, despite the fact that they were more affordable. Nor did he look at Stanford, just up the road and likely to offer a scholarship. The kids who went to Stanford, they already knew what they wanted to do, he said. They werent really artistic. I wanted something that was more artistic and interesting. Instead he insisted on applying only to Reed College, a private liberal arts school in Portland, Oregon, that was one of the most expensive in the nation. He was visiting Woz at Berkeley when his father called to say an acceptance letter had arrived from Reed, and he tried to talk Steve out of going there. So did his mother. It was far more than they could afford, they said. But their son responded with an ultimatum: If he couldnt go to Reed, he wouldnt go anywhere. They relented, as usual.
Jobs quickly became bored with college. He liked being at Reed, just not taking the required classes. In fact he was surprised when he found out that, for all of its hippie aura, there were strict course requirements. When Wozniak came to visit, Jobs waved his schedule at him and complained, They are making me take all these courses. Woz replied, Yes, thats what they do in college. Jobs refused to go to the classes he was assigned and instead went to the ones he wanted, such as a dance class where he could enjoy both the creativity and the chance to meet girls. I would never have refused to take the courses you were supposed to, thats a difference in our personality, Wozniak marveled.
Jobs also began to feel guilty, he later said, about spending so much of his parents money on an education that did not seem worthwhile. All of my working-class parents savings were being spent on my college tuition, he recounted in a famous commencement address at Stanford. I had no idea what I wanted to do with my life and no idea how college was going to help me figure it out. And here I was spending all of the money my parents had saved their entire life. So I decided to drop out and trust that it would all work out okay. He didnt actually want to leave Reed; he just wanted to quit paying tuition and taking classes that didnt interest him.