10 Most Successful People Who Never Finished College

Higher education may be overrated. It's expensive, it doesn't necessarily stimulate critical thinking, and many people study for the sake of learning. While we don't recommend dropping out of college, there are times when education isn't necessary for success, as you'll learn from these 10 people who prove college isn't necessary for success in life.

According to official statistics, if you go to college and get a bachelor's degree or higher, you'll likely earn much more. However, the usual norms do not appear to apply to the richest of the rich. Actually, Wealth-X discovered in 2016, approximately a third of the world's billionaires did not have a bachelor's degree. Here are some very successful people you may not know who didn't go to college or dropped out once they got there.

Luckily for you, these businesses are easy to set up, don't require a significant initial financial investment, and require very little technical skill. As a result, all the small business ideas discussed in this article are low-cost online businesses that you can start from home.

Let's start right now.

10. Ellen DeGeneres

Ellen DeGeneres Influential American Women

Net worth: $370 million.

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Ellen Lee DeGeneres is an American comedian, television host, actor, writer and producer. She starred in the comedy Ellen from 1994 to 1998, and has presented her syndicated television talk program The Ellen DeGeneres Show since 2003. DeGeneres is one of the most popular entertainers and presenters in Hollywood history, but she had her work cut out for her. She attended the University of New Orleans but dropped out after just a year. She worked odd jobs, ranging from a cleaner to a vacuum cleaner salesman and an oyster shucker (source).

She performed in comedy clubs in the 1980s before gaining national attention on Johnny Carson's Tonight Show. Ellen finally has prospects in film and television after almost a decade of unsuccessful pursuit of her goal. This is one dropout who never lost his good attitude, a true testament to what hard work can take you to.

9. Brad Pitt

successful people who never graduated from college

Networth: $300 million

Brad Pitt is a famous American actor who has gained fame for his portrayal of unusual characters as well as his excellent looks. Just weeks before graduation, this acclaimed actor left the University of Missouri to pursue his passion for film. Brad Pitt worked odd jobs in Los Angeles for about five years, and also appeared in TV series as a guest star.

Brad Pitt landed a role in Thelma & Louise in 1991, 9 years after entering university, which opened the door for future film appearances. However, it took Brad another two years to gain recognition for his roles in A River Runs Through It and California. Brad Pitt's commitment to his passion has completely changed his career, just like another college dropout who needs persistence and perseverance.

8. Kim Kardashian

Kim Kardashian

Net worth: $1.8 billion.

Kim Kardashian is a reality TV star, businesswoman, and social media influencer. She became famous thanks to the TV series Keeping Up with the Kardashians in 2007. She is also the owner of KKW Beauty, KKW Fragrance and SKIMS. Kim Kardashian and her family epitomize millennial fame by putting their lavish lifestyle in front of the cameras for Keeping Up with the Kardashians and successfully founding a major company based on their personality.

Kourtney and Rob Kardashian are the only Kardashian-Jenner offspring to graduate from college. Kim was attending Pierce College in Los Angeles and working at the family business, Dash, when E! The reality program began and she quickly left them both behind. Kim, who has become almost synonymous with selfies, said that when she gets older, she will want to continue her studies and possibly get a law degree.

7. Ted Turner

business tycoons who dropped out of college

Net worth: $2.3 billion.

Robert Edward Turner III is an entrepreneur, television producer, media owner and philanthropist from the United States. He is best known as the creator of the Cable News Network, the first 24-hour cable news program. Turner didn't actually drop out of college. Instead, he was expelled from Brown University for having a female companion in his dorm room.

Fortunately, he was able to work for his father's lucrative advertising firm, which he eventually turned into the Turner Broadcasting Company, founding CNN, the first 24-hour cable news network.

6. Lady Gaga

Lady Gaga

Net worth: $150 million.

Lady Gaga is a Grammy and Oscar award-winning singer, songwriter, actor and entrepreneur who, at the age of 34, has an estimated net worth of $150 million. As for her abilities, she was born with them. Gaga began playing the piano at the age of four and began performing at open mics at the age of fourteen. Lady Gaga also dropped out of college.

Lady Gaga was one of twenty qualified conservatory students at New York University's arts campus when she was known as Stefani Germanotta. Lady Gaga, on the other hand, gave up her music career after her sophomore year. The singer-songwriter rose to fame with her debut solo album after working with two different bands, years of performing in clubs and pubs, and several failed record deals.

Consistently one of the best-selling musicians in the world, Lady Gaga is as successful as any other college dropout on our list.

5. Larry Ellison

business tycoons who dropped out of college

Net worth: $109 billion.

Larry Ellison is an American businessman who co-founded the software company Oracle Corp. in 1977. Under his leadership, Oracle grew from a startup with three programmers to the world's largest supplier of database software and the second largest provider of business applications.

Ellison had a busy life, from being born in the Bronx to a single mother to buying his own Hawaiian island. He also failed college twice. When his aunt died during his sophomore year at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, he moved away.

He attempted to return to school at the University of Chicago, but was only able to complete one semester. He was able to start his own software development firm, Oracle, gaining computer and programming skills through many jobs. He became a technical legend.

4. Henry Ford

Henry Ford

Net worth: $199 billion (in today's money)

Henry Ford was an American businessman, business leader and founder of the Ford Motor Company, and a major innovator of the assembly line method of mass production. Through his automobile company's breakthrough, the assembly line, Ford revolutionized manufacturing and transportation.

But he got there without a fancy engineering or business background: At age 16, he left his family's farm and moved to Detroit to work as an apprentice in a machine shop. In 1896 he built his first car.

3. Steve Jobs

Steve Jobs - the most influential people
Steve Jobs

Net worth: $250 million.

This guy needs no introduction, but Steven Paul Jobs was an American entrepreneur, industrial designer, media owner, and investor. He is also the creator of Apple Inc. and Pixar. In many ways, the Apple genius was a renegade, including school teaching. He was interested in computers from an early age and attended Reed College in Portland, Oregon, but dropped out after just one semester.

He eventually studied Eastern spiritualism in India before returning to the United States and convincing his buddy Steve Wozniak to join him in starting a company.

2. Mark Zuckerberg

Mark Zuckerberg

Net worth: $89.6 billion.

Mark Elliot Zuckerberg is a media mogul, Internet entrepreneur and philanthropist from the United States. He is best known for co-founding the social networking website Facebook and its parent company Meta Platforms, of which he is chairman, CEO and majority shareholder. Zuckerberg left Harvard in 2005 to focus on creating Facebook, which was not yet known as Facebook at the time.

While studying at a prestigious educational institution, he founded a social networking network. Zuckerberg began developing web applications for his friends and family at a young age. Zuckerberg created the communications app Zucknet at the age of 12 using Atari BASIC.

Edward Zuckerberg, Mark's father, used Zucknet in his dental practice to communicate with his secretary. The Zuckerbergs also used it in their home. Although Zuckerberg excelled in literature and led the fencing team throughout his high school years, he was fascinated by computers. He developed an earlier version of the Pandora music program while in high school.

1. Bill Gates

Bill Gates - the most influential people

Net worth: $131.7 billion.

William Henry Gates III is an entrepreneur, software developer, investor, author and philanthropist from the United States. He and his late childhood friend Paul Allen co-founded Microsoft. The billionaire is famous for dropping out of Harvard to found Microsoft.

Today, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation helps students make more informed decisions about where to go to college. When Bill Gates left Harvard University to create Microsoft in 1975, he essentially invented the cliché of the college dropout millionaire.

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10 Most Successful People Who Never Finished College