Where Billionaires Became College Dropouts

Check out the six schools that America’s billionaires dropped out of in order to pursue their riches.

Even though he never graduated, Steve Jobs attributed much of his success to his time at Reed College in Portland, OR.

Finding success in most fields usually requires getting a college degree. However, in some cases, people strike it rich without ever making it to commencement. Learn more about the billionaires who found massive success after dropping out of these six schools.

We don’t normally condone dropping out of college, but in each of these seven instances, we think we can make an exception.

Reed College

Billionaire: Steve Jobs

The late Steve Jobs attended Reed College for six months before dropping out and co-founding Apple Computers when he was 21. Jobs may have dropped out, but that doesn’t mean he didn’t love Reed; on several occasions, he credited the liberal-minded, free-thinking school with playing a huge role in his personal formation and success.

University of Texas at Austin

Billionaire: Michael Dell

While he was a student at the University of Texas at Austin, Michael Dell started building personal computers and selling them to classmates and friends. After dropping out of school, he went on to found Dell, Inc., the world’s largest distributer of P.C. computers. We guess he wasn’t too distracted by the school’s serious party culture!

Brown University

Billionaire: Ted Turner

Ted Turner attended Brown University for three years before getting expelled for secretly living with his girlfriend (whoops!). We bet Brown’s rigorous yet liberal open curriculum helped him immensely as he went on to found news network CNN.

Ted Turner build his media empire on the foundations of his father's bill board business, which he took over when he was 24.

Kalamazoo College

Billionaire: Ty Warner

Remember beanie babies? Ty Warner does -- they made him billions. After spending a year studying drama at Kalamazoo College, a small liberal arts school known for its popular study abroad program and uniquely experiential curriculum, Warner moved to Los Angeles to try his hand at acting. Instead, he ended up founding Ty, Inc., a conglomerate whose plush toys took the toy world by storm.

Washington University in St. Louis

Billionaire: Jack Taylor

Jack Taylor dropped out of Olin Business School at Washington University in St. Louis. The school, which was ranked one of the best business schools in the country by U.S. News and World Report, must have taught him a thing or two before he left -- after all, he went on to make billions founding Enterprise Rent-A-Car.

Harvard University

Billionaires: Mark Zuckerberg and Bill Gates

Harvard University lays claim to two of the most famous college dropouts in history: Mark Zuckerberg and Bill Gates. Zuckerberg, who co-founded Facebook while still a college student, left the university to focus on the site (and on making billions of dollars). Bill Gates, founder of Microsoft (the world’s largest software business) studied applied math at Harvard. While in school, he wrote software code that helped usher in the age of the personal computer, and helped launch his career long before he could graduate. We’re not surprised that these two went on to find huge success -- after all, Harvard is widely recognized as one of the best universities in the entire country.

Mark Zuckerberg became a billionaire in his early twenties.

We don’t normally condone dropping out of college, but in each of these seven instances, we think we can make an exception!

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