15 Richest People Who Didn’t Finish College

15 Richest People Who Didn’t Finish College
User Rating: 0 (0 votes)


Most people live the traditional high school experience: go to school, maybe play a sport, go to dances, and around junior year think about applying for colleges or trade schools. Then when you get to college you can decide what you want to be when you grow up. Right? Well, not for everyone. Some people knew what they were destined to do since they were kids. And some went to college and found something what they were truly passionate about and made a huge decision to… drop out of college to pursue their dreams. Here’s 15 Richest People Who Didn’t Finish College.



Susan Lyne
College: George Washington University, University of California at Berkeley
Net worth: N/A

If you enjoyed watching hit tv shows like Lost and Desperate Housewives, you can thank Susan Lyne. She was the executive that green-lighted these hit shows and many more while she was working for ABC. She went on to work as the CEO of Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia, CEO of Gilt Groupe and CEO of AOL’s Brand Group. Amazing that she was able to land these roles being a college dropout.



Kanye West
College: Chicago State University
Net worth: $130 million / £83.5 million

We all recognize Kanye West from his overly dramatic interruption of Taylor Swift’s award acceptance speech and most recently being the married to the most famous of the Kardashian crew and father of North West. But, many people would have no idea that West was only three semesters away from graduation when he decided to drop out of Chicago State University.



Lady Gaga
College: New York University
Net worth: $230 million / £147.8 million

As the wrangler of all her Little Monsters, Lady Gaga is known for being the Queen of some pretty weird things. But, before she was creating The Fame Monster with hits like Bad Romance and Alejandro on the album, Gaga was just a girl who loved performing. Her love compelled her to withdraw from the program in her sophomore year to pursue music career.



Ellen DeGeneres
College: University of New Orleans
Net worth: $285 million / £183 million

Ellen DeGeneres is one of the Queen’s of Funny and currently the undisputed Queen of talk shows. But, even DeGeneres thought it was a good idea to go to college. She lasted a whole semester at University of New Orleans before dropping out to work for a cousin. Then bounced around retail, painting houses, and bartending while working on her stand-up routine.



Russell Simmons
College: Manhattan City College
Net worth: $325 million / £210 million

Many people know Russell Simmons for being one of the co-founders of Def Jam and his new website Global Grind. But, what most people may not know is that he was once a student at City College of New York in Harlem. Even though he was only there for a brief moment, he met Kurt Walker aka Kurtis Blow, a big influence on the hip-hop world.



Oprah Winfrey
College: Tennessee State University
Net worth: $3.0 billion / £1.9 billion

By now, most people across the world know the name Oprah Winfrey. From her days hosting The Oprah Winfrey Show, to her stellar acting career, to all the residences that she owns around the world, it’s easy to say that she has just about everything in the world, except her college degree. So, after building The Oprah Winfrey Show into a huge hit, she went back and completed her studies after dropping out years earlier.



Elizabeth Holmes
College: Stanford University
Net worth: $4.6 billion / £2.9 billion

Elizabeth Holmes recently joined the list of youngest self-made billionaires in 2015 with her company Theranos. While in her sophomore year at Stanford, she had a revolutionary idea for a company and dropped out. Her diagnostics company is on the way to changing the way blood is tested, making it happen faster and cheaper than what traditional labs are capable of.

Heat Practice for Game 3 of NBA Finals


Micky Arison
College: University of Miami
Net worth: $7.1 billion / £4.6

You could say that Micky Arison has been on quite a ride. He is a dropout of The University of Miami. As the CEO and son of the founder of Carnival Corporation, which is the largest cruise operator in the world, Arison had it pretty good. That is until one of the ships sank off the coast of Italy in 2011. He’s also been the owner of the Miami Heat since 1995.



Roman Abramovich
College: Moscow State Auto Transport Institute
Net worth: $9.2 billion / £6 billion

Roman Abramovich is one of the wealthiest men in all of Russia. He’s a businessman that owns an investment company called Millhouse LLC and most known for being the owner of Chelsea Football Club, one of the top English Premier football teams. He dropped out of college and began building a career in the oil industry, buying Sibneft oil in 1995.



Gina Rinehart
College: University of Sydney
Net worth: $12.5 billion / £8.1 billion

As the daughter of a mining magnate, Gina Rinehart is the heiress to Hancock Prospecting group. She’s the current Chairman of the group and has stake in Fairfax Media and Ten Network Holdings. She’s one of the richest women in the world and briefly studied at the University of Sydney, before she dropped out to learn the family mining business from her father.



Michael Dell
College: University of Texas at Austin
Net worth: $18.7 billion / £12 billion

Michael Dell has always been quite the savvy businessman, saving his money as a teen and teaching himself to invest. He’s the founder and CEO of Dell, a company that sells personal computers. Dell fell in love with computers as a teenager, as he enjoyed taking them apart and putting them back together. He dropped out of college to work his business that was already booming when he started college.



Sheldon Adelson
College: City College of New York
Net worth: $28.7 billion / £18.4 billion

This guy has a bit of a different story behind being a college dropout. While these other million and billionaires dropped out of college for their dreams, business magnate Sheldon Adelson dropped out of City College of New York after two years to join the army. Now the current Chairman and CEO of Las Vegas Sands, he’s into giving back as a philanthropist.



Mark Zuckerberg
College: Harvard University
Net worth: $34.8 billion / £22.3 billion

Mark Zuckerberg is easily the most known person in the Internet world. Probably because he’s the chairman and one of the co-founders of a website you probably spend way to much time on. Zuckerberg was a programming prodigy in computers growing up and later enrolled at Harvard University, majoring in computer science and psychology. He created the website in his dorm room during his sophomore year and dropped out soon after.



Larry Ellison
College: University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, University of Chicago
Net worth: $54.9 billion / £35.3 billion

Larry Ellison is quite the historic figure. He was the CEO of the mega software company, Oracle Corporation. Ellison is also a double college dropout from University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign after losing a close family member. Then again dropping out of the University of Chicago after he fell in love with computer design that past summer.

College Dropouts - 010


Bill Gates
College: Harvard University
Net worth: $80.4 billion / £51.7 billion

And topping the list of the richest person who didn’t finish college – is the richest man in the world – Bill Gates. And with the last name like Gates, you already know that he’s behind one of the most successful software companies ever, Microsoft. Gates is one of the most talked about college dropouts in the history of school dropouts, leaving Harvard to propel his company forward.