These 12 colleges have produced more billionaires than any other (2024)

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Talia Lakritz and Mykenna Maniece

These 12 colleges have produced more billionaires than any other (1)

  • In June 2024, Forbes compiled a list of colleges with the most billionaire alumni.
  • Of the 12 universities represented, seven are Ivy Leagues.
  • University of Pennsylvania ranks No. 1, with 36 billionaires.

These 12 colleges have produced more billionaires than any other (2)

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These 12 colleges have produced more billionaires than any other (3)

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The US is home to over 700 billionaires, so unsurprisingly, many ultra-rich elites attended the same top universities.

In June 2024, Forbes released a list of the colleges with the most billionaires in their alumni network. Ivy Leagues dominated the list, as seven of the most prestigious institutions had upwards of 11 billionaire graduates. (Brown University was the only Ivy not included.)

The billionaires across the 12 colleges listed have a combined net worth of nearly $1.7 trillion. This number only includes the net worths of graduated alumni, so the contributions of college dropouts like Bill Gates and Mark Zuckerberg are not included in the calculations.

From Harvard to USC, here are the colleges with the most billionaire alums, per Forbes' report. (The net worths were accurate as of June 2024.)

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The richest man in the world, Elon Musk, is just one of 36 billionaires to graduate from the University of Pennsylvania.

These 12 colleges have produced more billionaires than any other (5)

With a net worth of $211.1 billion, the Tesla and SpaceX founder is one of three dozen billionaires who graduated from the University of Pennsylvania, having studied economics and physics, Forbes and BI reported.

Other notable alumni include former president Donald Trump, designer Tory Burch, and Estée Lauder heirs Leonard, William, Aerin, and Ronald Lauder.

The billionaires who've graduated from this school have a net worth of $367 billion.

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Located in Silicon Valley, Stanford University has produced 30 billionaires, including tech giant Evan Spiegel.

These 12 colleges have produced more billionaires than any other (6)

Snap Inc. CEO Evan Spiegel created Snapchat alongside fellow Stanford University undergrad Bobby Murphy in 2011.

Forbes reported that Spiegel dropped out in 2012 to pursue the app's development full-time, but he returned in 2018 to finish his remaining credits and graduate with a degree in product design.

Spiegel is just one of many Stanford alums who have pursued careers in tech entrepreneurship. DoorDash founders Andy Fang and Stanley Tang also attended the university during undergrad.

Stanford's billionaire graduates have a total net worth of $90 billion.

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One of Harvard University's 28 billionaires is Airbnb cofounder and CSO, Nathan Blecharczyk.

These 12 colleges have produced more billionaires than any other (7)

Blecharczyk graduated from Harvard in 2005 with a degree in computer science.

The university's alumni page reported that during its 2015 Summer Camp program for students interning in Silicon Valley, Blecharczyk said he was drawn to the university because "there were people who were not just passionate about what I was interested in but about so many different topics."

Other billionaires who have graduated from Harvard include Tom Werner, cofounder and chairman of Fenway Sports Group, and Jim Koch, creator of Sam Adams.

While famous names like Bill Gates and Mark Zuckerberg also attended the prestigious Cambridge Ivy, both are dropouts, so their net worths are not included in the alumni total of $261 billion.

Yale University has produced 19 billionaires, who have a total net worth of $149 billion.

These 12 colleges have produced more billionaires than any other (8)

It includes members of the Mars family — the second-richest family in the US and best known for making iconic candy like M&M's, Snickers, and Twix — FedEx founder Fred Smith and Pinterest founders Ben Silbermann and Paul Sciarra.

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Robert F. Smith, the richest Black man in America, is one of 13 billionaires who attended Cornell University.

These 12 colleges have produced more billionaires than any other (9)

Robert F. Smith graduated from Cornell in 1985 with a degree in chemical engineering.

Although he accumulated wealth as the founder, chairman, and CEO of Vista Equity Partners, he credits Cornell and his engineering background with his success.

"I have had the privilege of being a Cornell graduate with a degree in engineering. I credit much to my career success to being an engineer by training. Engineers solve problems and fix things," Smith said after the university named the School of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering after him in 2016, per the Cornell Chronicle.

Other ultra-rich alumni include fifth-generation members of the SC Johnson family, Moderna cofounder Robert Langer, and Workday and PeopleSoft cofounder David Duffield.

Cornell's billionaire alums have a total net worth of $60.4 billion.

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The University of Southern California isn't just known for its athletics; the private university has produced 12 billionaires.

These 12 colleges have produced more billionaires than any other (10)

George Lucas, the renowned storyteller behind the "Star Wars" universe, graduated from USC's School of Cinematic Arts in 1967, per the Lucas Museum of Narrative Art.

The first "Star Wars" movie was released 10 years later, and now Lucas has a net worth of $5.3 billion.

Outside entertainment, the university has produced several real estate moguls, including Rick Caruso and Edward Roski Jr., and Salesforce chairman and CEO Marc Benioff.

USC's 12 billionaire alums have a total net worth of $72.5 billion.

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Princeton University in New Jersey has produced 12 billionaires, including Amazon founder Jeff Bezos.

These 12 colleges have produced more billionaires than any other (11)

Princeton's 12 billionaire alum have the second-highest combined net worth of $292 billion thanks to Bezos, the second-richest man in the world with a $203.6 billion fortune.

Other notable Princeton alumni who have achieved billionaire status include investor Carl Icahn, former Google CEO Eric Schmidt, and former eBay CEO Meg Whitman.

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The Massachusetts Institute of Technology's list of prestigious graduates includes 11 billionaires.

These 12 colleges have produced more billionaires than any other (12)

With a total net worth of $88.3 billion, MIT's alumni network features prominent entrepreneurs in tech and engineering.

MIT's nanoscience research building on the Cambridge campus is named after billionaire Lisa Su, the CEO of Advanced Micro Devices, who graduated in 1994. Dropbox founders Drew Houston and Arash Ferdowsi also met as students at MIT.

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Two of Dartmouth College's 11 billionaire alumni have served on its board of trustees.

These 12 colleges have produced more billionaires than any other (13)

Lone Pine Capital hedge fund founder Stephen Mandel Jr., a third-generation Dartmouth graduate, chaired the board of trustees from 2010 to 2014, per Forbes.

Apollo Global Management cofounder Leon Black also served as a trustee of Dartmouth and donated $48 million to build the Black Family Visual Arts Center on campus in Hanover, New Hampshire, Forbes reported.

Dartmouth's wealthiest alumni have a net worth of $48.5 billion.

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Among Columbia University's 11 billionaires is New England Patriots owner Robert Kraft.

These 12 colleges have produced more billionaires than any other (14)

Kraft, worth an estimated $11.1 billion, has donated $8 million to Columbia since graduating in 1963. Those funds contributed to the construction of Columbia and Barnard's Kraft Center for Jewish Student Life in New York City.

HIG Capital CEO Sami Mnaymneh, Mediacom founder Rocco Commisso, and Third Point hedge fund founder Daniel Loeb are also Columbia graduates.

The net worth of Columbia's billionaire alumni is $49.5 billion.

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Ten graduates of the University of Michigan went on to become billionaires.

These 12 colleges have produced more billionaires than any other (15)

Google cofounder Larry Page remains the University of Michigan's wealthiest graduate with a net worth of $146.1 billion, according to Forbes.

Other billionaire alumni, including Related Companies founder Stephen Ross and Groupon cofounder Eric Lefkofsky, bring the total net worth of the University of Michigan's richest graduates to $181 billion.

The University of California, Berkeley has also produced 10 billionaires.

These 12 colleges have produced more billionaires than any other (16)

The net worth of all 10 billionaire graduates of UC Berkeley totals $30.4 billion. Charles Simonyi, one of the Microsoft developers behind Word and Excel, is the university's richest graduate, with a net worth of $7.7 billion.

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These 12 colleges have produced more billionaires than any other (2024)

FAQs

Which degree have most billionaires? ›

KEY FACT: Engineering is the most common degree among billionaires. 22% of the world's top 100 billionaires studied engineering.

How many billionaires went to MIT? ›

The Massachusetts Institute of Technology has produced the fourth-most billionaire alumni, at 38. Famous MIT alumni include Buzz Aldrin, the second man to walk on the moon.

Which college has the most successful graduates? ›

1. Harvard University: Harvard has produced numerous successful graduates across various fields like business, politics, law, science, and the arts. Notable alumni include Barack Obama, Mark Zuckerberg, and Natalie Portman.

What college has produced the most CEOs? ›

No College or University has more alumni who are now the CEOs of Fortune 500 companies than Harvard University, with 41 former students in those coveted spots at their respective companies. In fact, this is nearly double than the 2nd most amount, which goes to the University of Pennsylvania with 23 alumni.

Who has the richest college? ›

Harvard University's endowment grew to more than $49.5 billion last year, making it once again the nation's wealthiest college.

What is Jeff Bezos' degree? ›

He graduated from Princeton University in 1986 with degrees in electrical engineering and computer science. He worked on Wall Street in a variety of related fields from 1986 to early 1994. Bezos founded Amazon in mid-1994 on a road trip from New York City to Seattle.

Which field produces most billionaires? ›

In broader terms, the finance and investment profession has the most millionaires. It also has the most billionaires, with 371. Here's a list of the seven best careers if you want to be a millionaire.

Do most billionaires go to college? ›

About a quarter of the 813 American citizens on Forbes' billionaires list received their undergraduate degrees from one of just 12 universities. The University of Pennsylvania has the most billionaires among its alumni, with 36, including Elon Musk and Donald Trump.

How many billionaires did Harvard produce? ›

According to a 2022 Forbes report, among the alumni of Harvard University there are 188 billionaires. This is more than any other school in the world.

Who is the richest black American? ›

The wealthiest African American, Robert Smith, has an estimated net worth of $5 billion in 2021, almost twice that of Oprah Winfrey and Jay Z, who are the wealthiest Black entertainers.

Which degree do most billionaires have? ›

The net worths are accurate as of November 20, 2023. Key Findings: The most common college degrees among billionaires are business (22), economics (12) and engineering (11).

What college has produced the most billionaires? ›

Counting all degrees, Harvard University comes in first place in terms of the total number of billionaire alumni.

Who was the first billionaire? ›

The American oil magnate John D. Rockefeller became the world's first confirmed U.S. dollar billionaire in 1916. As of 2018, there are over 2,200 U.S. dollar billionaires worldwide, with a combined wealth of over US$9.1 trillion, up from US$7.67 trillion in 2017.

What school has the most living alumni? ›

Penn State has the largest alumni association in the country and very passionate fan base.

Who is the richest IU alumni? ›

Entrepreneur extraordinaire Mark Cuban, 63, is worth more than $4 billion, placing him 655th on Forbes magazine's 2021 World's Billionaires List. A Pittsburgh native, Cuban worked his way through college by providing disco lessons, among other endeavors, and graduated from the IU School of Business in 1981 with a B.S.

What is the net worth of Harvard University? ›

The Harvard University endowment, valued at $49.444 billion as of June 30, 2022, is the largest academic endowment in the world.

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