Home Business NewsBusiness Exit right: here are 5 Harvard drop-outs you need to know about

Exit right: here are 5 Harvard drop-outs you need to know about

by LLB Editor
12th Mar 15 11:41 am

Formula to be rich and successful? Quit Harvard

Harvard has many reasons to polish its halo.

It’s been the top university in the world since you and I were in our nappies.

The Ivy League university has produced 335 Rhodes Scholars and 150 Nobel Laureates, and the most number of billionaires (64) last year.

However, the formula for success for some serious power brokers in the world has actually been quitting Harvard.

Take a look at some of them:


Robert Frost

1. Robert Frost

Year of quitting: 1897

Favourite Robert Frost poem? Everyone has one. But if Frost hadn’t quit his liberal arts degree in 1897, he probably wouldn’t have gone on to win four Pulitzer Prizes in his lifetime.

His reason for quitting? “They [Harvard] could not make a student of me here, but they gave it their best.”


Bill Gates

2. Bill Gates

Year of quitting: 1975

The poster boy for all billionaires – and drop-outs – a 20-year-old Bill Gates quit Harvard in favour of pioneering the software industry.

Considering he’s the richest person in the world, bidding Harvard goodbye wasn’t such a bad decision. His wealth pile today? $79.2bn



Matt Damon

3. Matt Damon

Year of quitting: 1991

When Damon won a part in the film Geronimo: An American Legend, he ditched his degree at Harvard for Hollywood.

Best known for his role in Good Will Hunting, he’s tried going back to finish his English degree but something or the other always came up. Click here to watch a video on Damon’s thoughts on his Harvard days




Mark Zuckerberg

Mark Zuckerberg

4. Mark Zuckerberg

Year of quitting: 2004

We all know how Zuckerberg launched Facebook from his Harvard dorm in 2004. After his social network gained some serious clout, he left Harvard to set up Facebook’s HQ in Palo Alto, California.

Today, with his $33.4bn fortune, Zuckerberg is 23 times what he was worth in 2008 ($1.5bn).



Alexa von Tobel

5. Alexa von Tobel  

Year of quitting: 2008

Alexa von Tobel dropped out of Harvard Business School to set up LearnVest, a personal finance website. So far, LearnVest has raised $69m in five Rounds from 15 investors.

She is also a founding team member of file-sharing service Drop.io, acquired by Facebook in 2010. She became a New York Times-bestselling author with her book Financially Fearless.




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