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Academia? Bring it on!


Q: What is a Devil’s Advocate?

A: Jacob values thoughtful intellectual dialogue and contemplative conceptual interchange. The Devil’s Advocate Program (DAP) is set up to facilitate these interactions.


Q: Why are you offering this program?

A: Bona fide academic discussions appeals profoundly to Jacob. Yet, it is the unfortunate reality that many de facto factors serves to limit the breath and depth of intellectual discussions taking place. To address this, the DAP is a reciprocal program in which you will present and be presented with controversial and at times provocative perspectives. As a commitment to ongoing scholarly debate, you may be eligible for access to resources as appropriate for topics you are interested in. For example, if you are researching the remnants of ancient Greek comedy in today’s society, you may request access to online journals and articles on this subject matter.


Q: Can I utilize these benefits for personal use?

A: This will be determined on a case-by-case basis, depending on a wide variety of factors such as: potential for intellectual growth, potential to benefit others, the nature and extent of the resource in question.


Q: Do I qualify?

A: If you are directed to this page by a post from Jacob, chances are that you do. If you just happen to wander to this site, please know that the program is selective. While there is no limit on the number of people who can enroll in this program, successful candidates will demonstrate intellectual vitality in a field they’re enthusiastic about. This typically entails extensive research, clearly articulated and personal opinions, and openness to engage in dialogue.


Q: How is the DAP different from the ICP and the BFP?

A: The main difference is that the ICP and the BFP are more selective and expect continual commitments. Participants in either programs must demonstrate continued interest and engagement with consequential topics. On the contrary, DAP operates on a case-by-case basis and supporting resources are provided specifically to the project the individual is working on. Like the ICP and the BFP, the positions taken in intellectual debates don’t matter nearly as much as do the quality and  can never be held against them. Needless to say, the BFP is a long-term commitment. The ICP, on the other hand, is dependent on the depth of your discussions. Your ability to access material is mainly dependent on how often and how thoughtful your deliberations with Jacob are. You will also not be required to commit to regular and frequent sessions, so the ICP offers more flexibility in this regard. You may read more about different programs here​.


Q: How do I apply?

A: If you are invited, you may respond to this question: What matters to you? Why? or any other question of your choosing, as long as it demonstrates intellectual potential. There is no word limit, so please explain yourself in as short or as long as you wish. If you are not invited, you may respond to the same question and attach:

    — A standardized test score (SAT/SSAT/ACT/TOEFL), or a written explanation that you have not taken any such tests,

    — A list of activities you feel passionate about. This doesn’t need to be world-changing or anything formal even, as long as you explain your reasons and show dedication,

    — Any additional information that you feel would be helpful. 

Feel free to reach out to with queries and comments.


Q: What happens after I accept the offer?

A: You will have access to one of the benefits as determined by a conversation with Jacob. You will retain access for as long as they are available. Changes in availability may be induced by external factors, such as copyright complaints, discontinued services, or changes in contents offered. You usually wouldn’t be denied access solely on the basis of reasons such as the perspectives you espouse in intellectual discussions, perceived changes in your level of intellectual rigor, or changes in your personal qualities. However, please note that there will be an expectation to engage in contemplative intellectual discussions with Jacob. The frequency of which is determined by, and in turn influences, your ability to access additional resources.


(depends on the specific project)

  • Books from the Bacon Library and the List Library

  • Handpicked selection of PPT templates

  • AP, SAT & SAT II Resources folder

  • Popular courses by the College Essay Guy

  • Most IGCSE and IB textbooks and some A-level textbooks


If you would like to apply for the DAP, you may

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