A shocking number of billionaires never got their college degree— and an entirely different crop of successful peopledropped out of school along the way.
In fact, many wealthy people believe that formal education isn’t a critical component of the success formula.
“Many world-class performers have little formal education, and have amassed their wealth through the acquisition and subsequent sale of specific knowledge,” explains Steve Siebold, a self-made millionaire who has spent his career studying over 1,200 of the world’s wealthiest people.
“Meanwhile, the masses are convinced that master’s degrees and doctorates are the way to wealth,” he continues in his book “How Rich People Think.” “The wealthy aren’t interested in the means, only the end.”
With college tuition skyrocketing — many of today’s top colleges ask for more than $60,000 a year — and student debt at a record high of about $33,000 per borrower, the question of college value is becoming more and more relevant.
What’s more, a recent study from the Georgetown University Center on Education and the Workforce breaking down the median earnings of students 10 years after starting their studies provides evidence that graduates from the priciest colleges aren’t always the ones bringing home the fattest paychecks.
Out of the 20 most expensive colleges in America, only one of these schools — Harvey Mudd College — cracked the top ten list of colleges where students are earning the most 10 years after enrolling, and only seven made it into the top 50 list of post-school earnings, which requires a median salary exceeding $63,700.
Here are the seven:
That doesn’t say much for an expensive college’s impact on earning potential.
Salary potential is far from the only factor to consider when college searching — in addition to a degree, college can offer a vibrant social scene, competitive athletics, and a strong, diverse alumni network, all of which can affect your career path and opportunities.
For many, the benefits of attending college will outweigh the costs, even with the debt load.
The important thing to keep in mind is that even after completing your formal education — if that’s the path you choose — you’re never done learning.
The wealthiest, most successful people appreciate the power of learning and challenging their minds long after college is over. It’s an idea that journalist Napoleon Hill preached nearly a century ago after studying hundreds of millionaires: “Successful men, in all callings, never stop acquiring specialised knowledge related to their major purpose, business, or profession,” he writes in his bestseller “Think and Grow Rich.”
The idea is still holds true today. As Siebold explains, “Walk into a wealthy person’s home and one of the first things you’ll see is an extensive library of books they have used to educate themselves on how to become more successful.”