Ex­plor­ing ed­u­ca­tion and suc­cess through the lens of The Forbes 400. Plus: How bil­lion­aires paid for col­lege.

Forbes - - CONTENTS -

HOW MUCH school­ing do you need to suc­ceed? If The Forbes 400 is any mea­sure, just a bach­e­lor’s de­gree. Most of the 400 got noth­ing more than an un­der­grad­u­ate de­gree (al­though 84% have a 4-year de­gree, com­pared with just 33% of Amer­i­can adults). Amer­ica’s wealth­i­est are also far more likely to have grad­u­ated from a su­per-elite univer­sity. A full 23% of The Forbes 400 have an un­der­grad­u­ate de­gree from an Ivy League in­sti­tu­tion, a feat achieved by less than 0.8% of the U.S. class of 2015. Many of the 400 (Bill Gates and Mark Zucker­berg most fa­mously) dropped out of col­lege to start their ca­reers. In all, there are 47 high school and col­lege dropouts on this year’s rich list.

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