Bill Gates Dropped Out of School but Successful.
Bill Gates applied to just three colleges after graduating from high school: Harvard, Princeton, and Yale.
He was accepted to all three.
In the end, it was Harvard's campus that Gates chose to stroll onto in the fall of 1973. But within a couple years, earning a degree from one of the most prestigious universities in the world would take a back seat to another opportunity: Creating a programming language (Altair BASIC) for one of the world's first personal computers, the Altair 8800.
Originally working out of his Harvard dorm room, Gates would formalize his partnership with long-time friend Paul Allen in 1975 under the banner "Micro-soft." The two then set up shop in Albuquerque, New Mexico, which was where their first customer -- Micro Instrumentation and Telemetry Systems (MITS), maker of the Altair 8800 -- was located. And while Gates did initially try to balance academics with business, and would travel back to Harvard to take classes, the business inevitably started taking up more and more of his time. (He was a CEO, after all.) So Gates made the decision to drop out of school for good.
Today, Gates has an estimated net worth of $77.6 billion. And you might be surprised to learn that he also has a Harvard degree: Gates received an honorary doctorate from the school in 2007.