10 Billionaires Who Dropped Out Of College

Dropping out of school and making a million or two has nearly become something trivial for young entrepreneurs. You will be amazed by the number of millionaires, who dropped out of college and got rich. Many of them even made billions from their businesses. Below you can read about 10 of the most famous, super-successful college dropouts, who became billionaires. But first, let me share some thoughts on the matter. I am not telling you to quit your education. I think it’s really important and in fact, the millionaires, who earned a degree are more than those, who did not. Quitting college was not the thing that made these people rich. Hard work, dedication, and passion were the factors that helped with that. What I am actually saying is just that you don’t need to go to college to become rich. Also, in many universities, you are taught to be a successful employee, rather than an entrepreneur. In these cases, this could spoil your bigger plans for your future. Whatever, here are the successful dropouts:

The Billionaire Dropouts

Steve Jobs 2010

Steve Jobs 2010, Wikimedia.org

Steve Jobs – he attended Reed College for a short period of time (one semester), but soon he dropped out to work for the video game company called Atari. He was amazed by the idea of the personal computer and decided to dedicate his time to it entirely. He started visiting some lectures at Hewlett-Packard where he actually met Steve Wozniak. The rest is history.

Bill Gates – after graduating from high school, gates was accepted at one of the most desired universities – Harvard. He spent most of his time messing with the computers there. In 1975, the computer MITS Altair 8800 was released and soon Bill quit his education to start his own company making software for that machine. In college, he met Steve Blamer, who would later become the CEO of Microsoft. His net worth in 2015 is $79.3 billion.

Mark Zuckerberg – he attended Harvard University and there he created Facesmash – an online application, where students could vote for the best-looking photo. The site became so popular, that it was shut down by the university, because of causing problems with its servers. Mark dropped out during the second year to entirely dedicate his time to the project that would later become known under the name Facebook. He had $36.8 billion of net assets in 2015.

Michael Dell photo

Michael Dell, picture Wikimedia.org

Michael Dell – he was studying biology because his parents wanted him to become a doctor. During the first year, he began assembling computers for friends and this turned out to be a really lucrative occupation. Soon, he realized that medicine was not his vocation and he quit college because he needed time to manage his more lucrative computer business. 2015 net worth – $18.8 billion.

Richard Branson – he didn’t drop out of college, but he dropped out of high school. He had dyslexia and couldn’t cope well with lessons. Instead of studying, he started his own business. Ironically his first successful business venture was issuing a magazine called “Student”.

Ty Warner – the famous American toy manufacturer (the father of Beanie Babies, Beanie Baby) and currently a billionaire was accepted at Kalamazoo College but dropped out during the first year to do business. Today his net worth is around $2.5 billion.


Sir Richard Branson

Mark Rich – one of the most famous international traders of commodities. Although he is a questionable personality because of some legal issues, since he quit college, he has made $2.5 billion.

Ted Turner – the founder of the CNN empire didn’t earn a degree, too. This was not an obstacle for him to create one of the most popular news networks in the world and make $2 billion in net worth.

Lawrence Ellison – The founder and currently the manager of the software giant Oracle attended the University of Illinois but dropped out at the end of his second year. He couldn’t pass his exams, because of the death of his adoptive mother during that time.

larry Ellison, Oracle

Larry Ellison, Oracle. Source: Wikimedia.org

Kirk Kerkorian – he has never even been close to a college. He dropped out of high school in 8th grade. Back in 1962, he bought 80 acres of land in Las Vegas for $1 million and sold it 6 years later, earning $9 million in 1968. This was actually his start. The manager of Tracinda Corporation doesn’t like publicity and he gives interviews really rarely. Although he has made millions in donations, he never allowed something to be named in his honor. His net worth is around $3.3 billion dollars today.

Finally, musical talent Bob Dylan has accomplished far more than just an Emmy or Grammy award – he dropped out from Minnesota University after one year without ever graduating or pursuing any sort of degree. He followed his passion for music which distinguished him from other musicians over the past five decades – Dylan got into music festivals such as the Monterey Pop Festival and The Isle Of Wight festival which enabled him to achieve superstardom status and made millions within the next few years after dropping from college without finishing his education.

Most people believe that having a college degree is the surest path to success, but there are notable exceptions. Many people have become wildly successful and attained millionaire status without ever graduating from college. Here are some inspiring examples of college dropouts who became millionaires. These dropouts prove that wealthy individuals don’t need to hold a bachelor’s degree or higher to succeed; passion, hard work and dedication are sometimes more important than formal education. Although not everyone will take this unconventional route to riches these inspiring stories provide proof that sometimes it pays off big time!