A good number of the richest people in the world attended Ivy League universities while others attended high ranking state schools.
WoK looks at the academic journey, from elementary to college, of the 20 richest Americans.
Elon Reeve Musk (June 28, 1971)-52 Years
The founder of SpaceX was born in Pretoria, South Africa. He attended Waterkloof House Preparatory School, Bryanston High School, and Pretoria Boys High School, from where he graduated. He then joined the University of Pretoria for five months before moving to Canada.
In 1990, he joined Queen’s University in Kingston, Ontario. Two years later, he transferred to the University of Pennsylvania (UPenn), where he obtained a Bachelor of Arts degree in physics and a Bachelor of Science degree in economics from the Wharton School.
In 1995, he was accepted to a PhD program in Materials Science at Stanford university but dropped out two days later to join Internet Boom.
Jeffery Preston Bezos (12th January 1964)-59 Years
The Amazon founder was born in New Mexico. Jeff attended a Montessori school in Albuquerque when he was 2-years-old. From 4th to 6th grade, he went to River Oaks Elementary School in Houston, Texas.
When his family moved to Miami, Florida, Jeff attended Miami Palmetto High School and undertook training at The Student Science Training Program at the University of Florida. He was high school valedictorian and a Silver Knight Award Winner.
After high school, he attended Princeton University. He initially majored in physics but later switched to electrical engineering and computer science. Bezos graduated from Princeton in 1986 with a Bachelor of Science in Engineering (BSE), summa cum laude.
Larry Ellison-(born August 17, 1944)-79 Years
Ellison attended South Shore High School in Chicago and later was admitted to University of Illinois at Urbana–Champaign and was enrolled as a premed student.
He did not take his final exams as he withdrew following the death of his adoptive mother. The co-founder of Oracle Corporation later attended the University of Chicago for one term, where he studied physics and mathematics. It also became the first time he encountered computer design.
Warren Edward Buffet-(30 August 1930)-93 Years
Born in 1930, the American businessman is the chairman and CEO of Berkshire Hathaway. He joined the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania in 1947 before graduating from the University of Nebraska at 19.
He went on to graduate from Columbia Business School and later attended the New York Institute of Finance.
Lawrence Edward Page (Larry Page)–(born March 26, 1973)-50 Years
The Google co-founder and former CEO attended Okemos Montessori School, now called Montessori Radmoor, in Okemos, Michigan, from ages 2 to 7 (1975 to 1979).
Larry Page attended East Lansing High School, graduating in 1991. In summer school, he attended Interlochen Center for the Arts at Interlochen, Michigan.
He received a Bachelor of Science in a major in computer engineering with honors from the University of Michigan in 1995 and a Master of Science in computer science from Stanford University in 1998. Later, he joined a computer science PhD program at Stanford university.
William Henry Gates III-(born October 28, 1955)-68 Years
Once the richest person in the world, 13-year-old Bill Gates enrolled in the private Lakeside prep school, where he wrote his first software program.
When he graduated high school, he was a National Merit Scholar. He enrolled at Harvard College in the autumn of 1973 and chose a pre-law major but took mathematics (including Math 55) and graduate level computer science courses. He dropped out after two years.
Sergery Brin-(August 21, 1973)-50 Years
The Google co-founder emigrated to the United States at the age of 6 from the Soviet Union. He pursued Mathematics and Computer Science and obtained a Bachelors degree from the University of Maryland, College Park. After enrolling for. PhD at Stanford, he met Larry Page and the two dropped out and formed the Google search engine.
Mark Zuckerberg-(14 May 1984)-39 years
Zuckerberg first attended Ardsley High School before transferring to Phillips Exeter Academy. He was captain of the fencing team and began building programs in high school. In 2002, he joined Harvard university to pursue Psychology and Computer Science.
Steve Ballmer-(24 March 1956)-age 67 years
The former Microsoft CEO attended college prep and engineering classes at Lawrence Technological University in 1973. He graduated as valedictorian from Detroit Country Day School, a private college preparatory school in Beverly Hills, Michigan, and was a National Merit Scholar.
The first in his family to graduate college, he went to Harvard University. In 1977, he graduated magna cum laude with a Bachelor of Arts in applied mathematics and economics.
Michael Bloomberg-(14 February 1942)-81 years
The Bloomberg co-founder graduated from Medford High School in 1960. He went on to attend Johns Hopkins University, and graduated with a Bachelor of Science degree in Electrical Engineering.
In 1966, he graduated from Harvard Business School with a Master of Business Administration (MBA) degree.
Michael Saul Dell-(23 February 1965)-58 years
Michael is the founder of one of the world’s largest technology companies, Dell Technologies. He attended Memorial High School in Houston.
He took pre-med in 1983 at the University of Texas, wanting to please his parents who envisioned him a doctor. He started a business and dropped out of university.
James Carr Walton-(born June 7, 1948)-75 Years
Popularly known as Jim Walton, he is an heir to the world’s largest retailer Walmart. According to Bloomberg’s Billionaire Index, he is the 15th richest person in the world as of November 2023.
Walton graduated from Bentonville High School in 1965, where he was president of his junior class, played football at all-state level and also learned to fly a plane. He later got a Bachelor’s degree in Business Administration in Marketing from the University of Arkansas in Fayetteville, Arkansas in 1971.
Rob Walton-(October 27, 1944)-79 Years
The eldest son of Hellen and Sam Walton and heir to Walmart has been ranked 16th richest in the world.
Rob Walton attended The College of Wooster and graduated from the University of Arkansas in 1966 with a Bachelor of Science degree in business administration.
Alice Walton-7 October 1949-(74 years)
The heiress to the Walmart empire was ranked by Forbes as the third richest woman in the world.
Alice graduated from Bentonville High School in 1966 and later graduated from Trinity University in San Antonio, Texas, with a B.A. in economics.
Charles Koch-1 November 1935 (88 years)
The chairman of Koch Industries attended private schools before joining Massachusetts Institute of Technology. He obtained a Bachelor of Science (B.S.) in General Engineering in 1957, a Master of Science (M.S.) in Nuclear Engineering in 1958, and another M.S. in Chemical Engineering in 1959.
Jensen Huang-(17 February 1963)-60 years
The electrical engineer and CEO of Nvidia corporation attended Onelda Elementary School in Onelda, Kentucky. When his family moved to Oregon, he went to Aloha High School.
In 1984, Jensen received his undergraduate degree in electrical engineering from Oregon State University, and his master’s degree in electrical engineering from Stanford University in 1992.
Phil Knight-(24 February 1938)-85 years
Philip Hampson Knight is the Co-Founder of Emeritus of Nike inc. He attended attended Cleveland High School then proceeded to the University of Oregon where he got a business degree (BBA).
Jacqueline Mars-(10 October 1939)-84 years
She is the daughter of Audrey Ruth (Meyer) and Forrest Mars, Sr., and the granddaughter of Frank C. Mars, founders of the American candy company Mars, Incorporated.
Jacqueline graduated from Miss Hall’s School in Pittsfield, Massachusetts. The Bryn Mawr College alumni also has a degree in Anthropology.
John Mars-(October 15, 1935)-88 Years
The heir and chairman of Mars Inc attended the Hotchkiss School in Lakeville, Connecticut in 1953 and Yale University.
MacKenzie Scott-(April 7, 1970)-53 Years
She is a novelist and philanthropist who owns 4% stake in Amazon, the company founded by her ex- husband Jeff Bezos.
She attended the Hotchkiss School in Lakeville, Connecticut. In 1992, Scott earned her Bachelor’s degree in English from Princeton University.