The University of Pennsylvania has produced more billionaire undergraduate alumni than any other school in the world, according to a recent report from Wealth-X.
25 current billionaires received their bachelor’s degrees at Penn, the most of any school on Wealth-X’s list. The only other colleges to produce similar numbers were Harvard University — with 22 undergrad alum billionaires — and Yale University — with 20.
Although UPenn is home to the Wharton School, which is considered to be a top business school for both undergraduate and graduate students, Wealth-X president David Friedman told Business Insider that the school’s powerhouse reputation doesn’t have a huge impact on its ultra-wealthy alumni base.
“On the surface I think that’s a contributing factor, but it’s definitely not a core driver” of UPenn’s high number of billionaires, Friedman said.
Rather, Friedman noted, UPenn’s billionaires represent successes in an array of fields, which suggests that the university isn’t focused entirely on channeling students into financial services or technology.
To this point, Friedman mentioned three billionaires who got their undergraduate degrees at UPenn — Tory Burch, Elon Musk, and Steven Cohen — who made their money in fashion, technology, and finance, respectively.
Other UPenn billionaires include Donald Trump, Charles Butt, Jon Huntsman Sr., Ronald Perelman, George Lindemann, and Leonard Lauder.
Whatever you attend school, Friedman emphasised the importance of actually finishing college and getting a bachelor’s degree.
“There’s this myth that if you want to be a tech billionaire, you drop out of school,” Friedman said. “This kind of dismantles that myth. It’s about people, relationships, networks.”
Additionally, Friedman highlighted something that he believes is not being discussed enough on college campuses — encouraging students to take a risk and fail.
“Most entrepreneurs have failed multiple times … I think it’s a very critical element, because emotional endurance is one of the most critical attributes for entrepreneurs,” Friedman said.
Here are the 20 universities with the most billionaire undergraduate alumni and how many alumni they have, via Wealth-X:
1. University of Pennsylvania — 25
2. Harvard University — 22
3. Yale University — 20
4. University of Southern California — 16
5. Cornell University — 14
5. Princeton University — 14
5. Stanford University — 14
8. University of California, Berkeley — 12
8. University of Mumbai (India) — 12
10. London School of Economics (United Kingdom) — 11
10. Lomonosov Moscow State University (Russia) — 11
12. Dartmouth College — 10
12. University of Michigan — 10
12. University of Texas — 10
15. Duke University — 9
15. New York University — 9
17. Brown University — 8
17. Columbia University — 8
19. Massachusetts Institute of Technology — 7
20. Eth Zurich (Switzerland) — 6
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