Who Said Getting Rich Means Going to College?The general consensus from people in society is that if you graduate college you will make more money than if you did not. However, as we’ve seen, this topic is somewhat subjective because there are those who bring in tons of cash without college degrees and others who still work fast food jobs without that college degree.
On the other hand, you have those who go to college but abruptly decide to quit and then end up making more money than those who finished and those who never even went. Of course, dropping out doesn’t mean you’ll make billions. But for these billionaires, it apparently didn’t hurt.
So for all of you familiar with said polo, can any of you name the guy behind the brand? That’s right, his name is Ralph Lauren. And if you see someone wearing a Ralph Lauren polo, that lets people know they spent a little extra money to look good that day.
The creator, Ralph Lauren, went to Baruch College for two years but dropped out to join the army. Then, once he was done with the army, he designed neckties for Beau Brummel which lead to the launch of Polo. He has a net worth of $7 billion thanks to that horse.
If you thought Bill Gates was the only one behind Microsoft, think again. Paul Allen might be the single important factor as to why Microsoft even came about. He and Bill Gates became friends while attending a private school and then once it was time to go to college, Allen went to Washington State and Gates went to Harvard.
After only two years, Allen dropped out and convinced Gates to do the same. He believed the two could make it major and they did. He has stakes in tons of tech and media companies so Microsoft is not the only way he brings in his $12.7 billion net worth.
If you attended one of the most prestigious universities in the world would you consider dropping out to work advertising for your parents? If your answer was, “It depends on what is being advertised” then you are like Ted Turner. He left school at Brown University to go work for his father at Turner Advertising.
Years after his dad committed suicide, Turner bought television stations and flipped them into Turner Broadcasting which was eventually bought by Time Warner Inc. Turner has a net worth of $2 billion and is dedicated to philanthropy. He has even pledged to give $1 billion to the United Nations.
If you ever needed a rental car chances are you may have considered going to Enterprise Rent-A-Car. Thanks to Taylor, people around the world can get great deals on rental cars. Taylor attended Washington University in St. Louis but he decided to drop out to participate in World War II.
While in the war he was a pilot but once he got out, he returned to St. Louis to start Enterprise with only seven cars to begin with. He named it Enterprise after the aircraft carrier he served during World War II. Taylor passed away in 2016 leaving his family with a net worth of over $5 billion.
If you have heard of Oracle then it is crucial to know of their CEO, Larry Ellison. Ellison went to school at the University of Illinois and even received Science Student of the Year while attending. Once he finished his second year he decided he was finished for good and dropped out once his adoptive mother passed away.
Ellison is considered the third richest man in America with $43 billion as his net worth. The funny thing is, he enrolled back into the same school the next fall session but ended up dropping out again. Technically he’s a two-time dropout.
Mukesh Ambani is the ninth richest man in the world. In 1979, Ambani enrolled at Stanford but dropped out to concentrate on his father’s business. The name of his father’s business is Reliance Industries and today it is ranked second as most valuable company in India. Ambani currently holds a 44.7 percent stake in the company.
His net worth is at $23 billion and it just recently went up. He also has served on the board of directors of Bank of America and the advisory board of the Council on Foreign Relations. In June of 2016, Ambani launched the third highest selling smartphone in India.
It seems like many of these dropouts dropped out of prestigious colleges. Here we have Elizabeth Holmes who attended Stanford. When she was a sophomore in 2003, she decided to drop out after she founded Theranos. Theranos is a healthcare technology company and clearly now a highly successful one.
Holmes net worth is $.46 billion and she is the youngest female billionaire at 32 years old. Theranos is privately-held and is a blood test company in Palo Alto. The sad news is that in 2016, Holmes was banned from directing a diagnostic lab for two years but that is under appeal.
Dude, you’re getting a Dell! That one catch phrase stuck in your head in the late ’90s and early 2000s, right? Now Dell’s advertising schemes involve using high-profile celebrities in their commercials. The CEO Michael Dell probably pays out of pocket to get them in the commercials. There is nothing wrong with that if you are making the type of money he is.
Dell dropped out at the University of Texas and has a net worth of $15.3 billion. While he was in college he started a company called PCS Limited. The success of it was enough for him to drop out and turn it into Dell.
Oprah Winfrey is widely loved and respected in the entertainment world. For good reason too; she has given out gifts to her audience and she is probably one of the richest people in the media field. She didn’t get there solely with luck; she also followed her passion which is something many people don’t do.
In high school, she worked at the local radio station and that is when her passion grew. While she was at Tennesse State University, she got a job offer from a local TV station and left school to pursue her career her sophomore year. Oprah’s net worth is $2.9 billion.
Marc Rich may have passed away, but we are not going to leave him off of this list (much like someone else who you will see later on). In 1954 Rich dropped out of New York University to go work in a mail room of a trading firm where he started his career.
What he was best known for was founding the company Glencore. He was indicted for tax evasion and illegal oil deals, but didn’t George Bush do the same thing? He passed at age 79 in 2013 and had an estimated net worth of $1 billion but that was said to be a low estimate.
Maybe as a toddler, you had a Beanie Baby. Maybe even now you know a young kid who has one of those adorable toys. Well, the billionaire behind those toys is none other than Ty Warner. That is why you see that red heart shaped tag with the huge “ty” on it.
Warner was attending Kalamazoo college for only one year before he decided to call it quits and create those mega-successful soft toys. They are collectibles and some people have dozens of rare ones that you can probably sell for a lot of money. Not as much as the $2.7 billion Warner is worth.
Roman Abramovich is Russian and he means business. He founded many people’s favorite soccer team, Chelsea Football Club. He also owns the private investment company, Millhouse LLC. He was an orphaned child and dropped out of the Moscow State Auto Transport Institute. He got his money from controversial oil export deals back in the ’90s.
His net worth is staggering at $8.5 billion. Pretty impressive for someone who spends most of his days looking over a soccer team. For any sports lover, that is the life; be a billionaire and the founder of a highly successful sports team. What is better than that?
You may not know too much about this guy but he is rolling in the dough. He is a gambling connoisseur and the CEO of Las Vegas Sands casino empire. He was already in business when he was 12 selling toiletries but gave that up to go to college. He dropped out of City College of New York in less than two years. He too joined the army, similar to Ralph Lauren.
Net worth at $26.5 billion, Adelson is a man who is all about moves. He went through various career paths before buying Sands Casino to add to his travel companies.
Mark Zuckerberg’s Facebook
Where would we all be without good old Facebook? Facebook keeps more people connected than other social media site today and brings people back into your life that you may have forgotten about. Without Facebook, how would we know how to cook those delicious looking meals that are shown to us in fast motion?
We have Mark Zuckerberg to thank for that. Thanks to the college dropout, we are able to keep in touch with people who recently just lost their phone and have no other means to communicate with us. Facebook changed the way we connect with people and did it better than MySpace could have.
If you have seen the movie then you know how this went down. Mark Zuckerberg started Facebook from his dorm room while attending Harvard with his roommate. Come his sophomore year, he dropped out to pursue it full time in 2004. And according to the numbers, by the end of that year, Facebook had reached well past one million users.
Mark has a net worth of $13.3 billion. In 2011, Time magazine called Mark the person of the year. That is a great accomplishment for someone his age. The young billionaire changed the way we use social media forever.
Bill Gates is an awfully kind soul. You read it earlier how Gates was forced to drop out by his long time buddy Paul Allen and the rest is history as the duo went on to create the largest software business. There is no secret that Gates knows computers as he was debugging corporate software while still in preparatory school.
Those smarts got him far as his net worth is estimated at $58 billion dollars! He is very giving, though, as far as philanthropy goes, and he has an amazing scholarship program for college students. It’s funny that he sponsors kids to go college, which he quit. But he knows that his story is a rare one.
Dean Kamen can be thanked for many things but we’re sure he wants to thank himself for dropping out of Worcester Polytechnic Institute. He is the man responsible for the invention of the Segway. You know, that annoying thing that mall cops ride on all day to get on your nerves. He also came up with the AutoSyringe and iBOT robotic wheelchair.
His net worth is unknown but it is estimated somewhere in the billions, of course. The guy has his own island near Connecticut that creates its own energy from the wind. He has two helicopters that he chooses between each day he goes to work. The man is on another level.
One of the more popular and famous college dropouts we have the late great, Steve Jobs. Unlike the others, Jobs dropped out of college because it put major stress on his parents’ savings so he was done after six months of higher education in Portland. He was first a video game designer with Atari but figured that was not for him. Good choice, Jobs.
In 1976 he started Apple Computers from his garage with Steve Wozniak. The computer world was forever changed thanks to him as he made machines cheaper and smaller. There may never be another quite like Jobs.
The College Dropouts
Based on this list, college is not everything. If you decide to drop out that is fine. Just make sure you have a backup plan up your sleeve and you are confident in what you are doing. If your pal tries to convince you to drop out, maybe think twice about it and fully consider why he or she is making you do so.
This does not mean going to college you cannot become as rich as some of these people. There are just certain paths others take because they feel it is the right path. And dropping out was right for them.