Harvard Boasts the Most Billionaire Graduates in the World


bill gates

Harvard dropout Bill Gates doesn’t even count. (Via Flickr)

Harvard President Drew Gilpin Faust recently warned New York Times readers not to place emphasis on how much a school’s graduates earn out of college in order to measure the quality of their education, but if she were a smugger lady, she might have added, “because, ha ha, if you did look at whose graduates end up filthy rich, well, we’d be smoking you all.” Indeed, a new study from market research firm Wealth-X finds that Harvard has graduated more “ultra-high-net-worth individuals”—their term for people worth more than $30 million—than any other university in the world. “Equating the value of education with the size of a first paycheck badly distorts broader principles and commitments essential to our society and our future,” Faust wrote in the Times. Much better, she might have said to equate the value of an education with the size of the last paycheck. (Just kidding, she presumably wouldn’t say that either.)

Perhaps you aren’t surprised that Harvard turns out a bunch of Uncle Pennybags. It’s a top university, after all. But actually, even among its esteemed peers, it leads by a healthy margin. Harvard counts 2,964 ultra-high-net-worthies overall among its alumni (and 52 billionaires, also the most of any school). The University of Pennsylvania takes a distant second with 1,502 UHNWs. Meanwhile, Yale, Princeton and Cornell have only 1,604 UHNWs altogether. (Some of their graduates, tragically, decide to become journalists …) [The Atlantic]