If you want to increase your odds of becoming an ultra-high net worth individual (UHNWI), you should consider attending one of the Ivy League schools. Yes, they are the richest universities with billions of dollars in the endowment. But they also produce some of the richest graduates. Here we take a look at the top 10 universities with the richest graduates in the world. Surprisingly, all of them are in the United States.
Ranking the top 10 universities with the richest graduates
The ranking below is based on data from the research firm Wealth-X’s annual University UHNW Alumni Rankings 2019. Wealth-X describes an ultra-high net worth (UHNW) individual as someone having more than $30 million in assets. The report sheds light on the relationship between education and wealth levels across global universities.
To identify universities with the richest students, Wealth-X collected a large sample of actual UHNW individuals from each university known to have an undergraduate or graduate degree. It didn’t take into account certificates, diplomas, honorary degrees, or students who dropped out.
The research firm then used the sample data and Wealth-X database to estimate the number of super-rich alumni a university has produced and how much wealth they have collectively amassed.
Wealth-X also looked at whether the alumni were self-made super-rich or became rich through inherited wealth, or both. It ranked universities according to the number of UHNW individuals as well as the total wealth held by their alumni. Individuals who attended more than one school were counted twice.
Before taking a look at universities with the richest graduates, it’s worth pointing out that an individual’s earning potential is not entirely dependent on what school you went to. People who have never been to college or those who dropped out of college have also been able to build massive wealth.
10- University of Chicago
Total UHNW alumni wealth: $707 billion
Number of UHNW alumni: 2,405
According to Wealth-X, the University of Chicago’s super-rich graduates have a total wealth of $707 billion. The average wealth per UHNW graduate is $293 million. It has the highest percentage of “self-made” UHNW alumni. The research firm estimates that 84% of its UHNW alumni are self-made while only 4% became super-rich solely through inheritance. The remaining 12% were self-made but they also received an inheritance.
9- New York University
Total UHNW alumni wealth: $712 billion
Number of UHNW alumni: 3,380
The New York University is estimated to have 3,380 ultra-rich alumni with total wealth of $712 billion. The estimated wealth per NYU super-rich graduate is $210 million. The private university was founded in 1831
8- University of California, Berkeley
Total UHNW alumni wealth: $760 billion
Number of UHNW alumni: 2,385
The UC Berkeley’s ultra-rich graduates have an average wealth of $318 million. Founded in 1868, UC Berkeley is the flagship institution of the ten research universities in the University of California system. It has more than 300 undergraduate and graduate programs. At least 107 Nobel laureates, 25 Turing Award winners, and 14 Fields medalists have been associated with UC Berkeley.
7- Yale University
Total UHNW alumni wealth: $777 billion
Number of UHNW alumni: 2,400
Founded in 1701, Yale is one of the oldest universities in the United States. It’s one of the nine colleges that were chartered before the American Revolution. According to Wealth-X, Yale has 2,400 ultra-high net worth graduates who collectively hold $777 billion of wealth.
6- Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Total UHNW alumni wealth: $990 billion
Number of UHNW alumni: 2,785
The MIT was founded in 1861 and has since produced a number of innovative products and technologies to solve engineering problems. It also provides mentoring and funding opportunities to its students. The MIT is estimated to have 2,785 UHNW graduates with a total wealth of $990 billion.
5- Princeton University
Total UHNW alumni wealth: $1.1 trillion
Number of UHNW alumni: 2,180
This Ivy League research university in New Jersey was founded in 1746, making it one of the oldest institutions of higher education in the United States. Princeton University has produced many graduates that went on to change the world, including Alan Turing, Eric Schmidt, and Amazon founder Jeff Bezos. At least 65 Nobel laureates and 15 Fields medalists have been affiliated with the university as alumni, faculty members, or researchers
4- Columbia University
Total UHNW alumni wealth: $1.5 trillion
Number of UHNW alumni: 3,925
On average, a Columbia UHNW graduate has a net worth of $382 million. It was established as King’s College in 1754. Columbia has the highest proportion of female UHNW alumni at 12%.
3- University of Pennsylvania
Total UHNW alumni wealth: $1.8 trillion
Number of UHNW alumni: 5,575
The University of Pennsylvania was founded in 1740 by Benjamin Franklin. Some of its most notable alumni are Warren Buffett, Elon Musk, President Donald Trump, and Steve Wynn. The average wealth per Penn UHNW graduate is $319 million.
2- Stanford University
Total UHNW alumni wealth: $2.9 trillion
Number of UHNW alumni: 5,580
On average, a Stanford UHNW graduate has a net worth of $519 million. Thanks to its proximity to the Silicon Valley, Stanford has a strong culture of innovation and entrepreneurship. It has produced legendary entrepreneurs and researchers including Larry Page, Elon Musk, Peter Thiel, and Sergei Brin.
1- Harvard University
Total UHNW alumni wealth: $4.7 trillion
Number of UHNW alumni: 13,650
Harvard has the highest number of super-rich alumni, with per UHNW graduate wealth of $349 million. Harvard is the oldest institution of higher education in the United States. Studying at Harvard could be expensive, but its students attract fat paychecks out of college. It has produced several billionaires, former US Presidents, and Nobel laureates.