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These Colleges Produce The Most Millionaires & Billionaires

cornell university
Cornell University | Shutterstock
Cornell University | Shutterstock

The college you attend doesn't necessarily dictate how much money you'll end up earning after you graduate, but it is true that some schools disproportionately turn out alums who go on to build immense fortunes. Now, thanks to a new study from a research firm that tracks rich people, we know which 20 schools in the world create the richest graduates. And no, they aren't all international or in the Ivy League.

The report was tallied by Wealth-X, a research firm dedicated to tracking anything and everything about the world's ultra high net-worth individuals (who for us plebs, are known in the industry simply as UHNWs). To be counted, an alum needs to boast a net worth of at least $30 million and hold an undergraduate or graduate degree from the institution (meaning billionaire dropouts like Bill Gates and Mark Zuckerberg weren't included). In cases where a person has degrees from multiple schools, those institutions may have been counted more than once. To be clear, some of the schools on the list won't shock you one bit (what up, Harvard), but there are also a few surprises.

20. UCLA
UHNW alumni: 235
Combined wealth: $63 billion

19. Boston University 
UHNW alumni: 241
Combined wealth: $62 billion

18. University of Cambridge 
UHNW alumni: 271
Combined wealth: $69 billion

17. University of Michigan
UHNW alumni: 272
Combined wealth: $141 billion

16. University of Notre Dame
UHNW alumni: 277
Combined wealth: $44 billion

15. UC Berkeley
UHNW alumni: 290
Combined wealth: $125 billion

14. UT Austin
UHNW alumni: 290
Combined wealth: $71 billion

13. University of Southern California
UHNW alumni: 294
Combined wealth: $98 billion

12. University of Virginia
UHNW alumni: 300 
Combined wealth: $64 billion

11. Cornell University
UHNW alumni: 319
Combined wealth: $101 billion

10. Princeton University 
UHNW alumni: 330
Combined wealth: $188 billion

9. Yale University
UHNW alumni: 360
Combined wealth: $156 billion

8. Northwestern University 
UHNW alumni: 365
Combined wealth: $80 billion

7. University of Chicago
UHNW alumni: 271
Combined wealth: $93 billion

6. MIT
UHNW alumni: 375
Combined wealth: $215 billion

5. Stanford University
UHNW alumni: 466
Combined wealth: $404 billion

4. New York University 
UHNW alumni: 488
Combined wealth: $155 billion

3. Columbia University
UHNW alumni: 578
Combined wealth: $307 billion

2. University of Pennsylvania
UHNW alumni: 832
Combined wealth: $369 billion

1. Harvard University
UHNW alumni: 1,906
Combined wealth: $811 billion

The findings also point to some interesting trends. For instance, 5.5% of the world's billionaires count Harvard as their alma mater, and of the global top 20 schools, just one is outside the United States (University of Cambridge). It also found that the representation of UHNWs skews heavily male, with women making up less than 15% of them at all of the top 20 institutions.

However, it's important to keep in mind that the way net worth is calculated for this research takes into account both self-made fortunes and inherited wealth, meaning both people who were born super-rich (and have managed to stay that way) and those who bootstrapped their way into the 1% are counted as equals. Despite all that, the fact remains that these schools should have little trouble raking in enough dough during their annual fundraising campaigns to build many a new library and student center. 

h/tBusiness Insider

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Joe McGauley is a senior writer for Thrillist. Follow him @jwmcgauley.