How do billionaires become billionaires? Is it creativity? Education? Family life? Some, like Larry Ellison, founder of Oracle, and Bill Gates, co-founder of Microsoft, did not get college degrees at all. However, several universities dominate the list of places from which the world’s 100 richest billionaires went to school.
Match College looked at the world’s 100 richest billionaires based on net worth data from Forbes. It then matched them with the colleges from which they graduated. Their methodology was such that the people on the list did not have to graduate, which means people in the Gates category of no degree made the cut. Data were available on 70 of the 100. People who gained a graduate degree from a university counted along with those who got bachelor’s degrees.
Harvard was the top school by far. It had eight people on the list. This should be no surprise. Harvard often ranks among the world’s best universities, and it tops several lists. US News ranks Harvard number one among its 2021 Best Global Universities Rankings. Its list includes approximately 1,500 universities across 80 countries and uses 13 metrics. It is the only university to score 100 in the rankings. The list’s editors commented: “The university has the largest endowment of any school in the world. Harvard research takes place across a range of disciplines in more than 100 centers.”
Harvard ranks third on The Times Higher Education World University Rankings 2021, which includes 1,500 universities in 83 countries. Oxford and Stanford topped it.
Wall Street Journal/Times Higher Education College Rankings 2021 also ranks Harvard first among almost 800 universities measured on 15 performance indicators. Its data shows that Harvard graduates make a salary of $92,033 a year. That is high, but not nearly billionaire level.
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