This month, colleges and universities throughout America will be letting their prospective students know whether they made the cut. Of all the Ivy League and elite universities in the world, some seem to attract the richest kids in the world like no other. Sure, these kids still join in on crazy college parties and turn up to class with a hangover – but there’s a few big differences. They’re probably sitting on huge inheritance, they may well have a Porsche parked up outside class or they may be planning a no-holds-barred vacation to the other side of the world.
Rich parents from all over the world are increasingly sending their children to the most elite universities possible. Education is highly valued and desired in every country from the USA to India to Australia and everywhere in between. In China, for example, there’s an increasing trend for super rich parents to send their kids overseas to get an elitist education, no matter what the cost. A Chinese Luxury Consumer White Paper, published in 2012, found that 85% of families worth at least $1 million said they’d send their kids abroad to study.
There are 10 universities in the world that stand out from the rest and attract rich kids from far and wide.
10 American University in Dubai – Full of Luxury Cars
Dubai is a country of considerable wealth thanks to its oil-rich natural resources. So it goes without saying that some of the local colleges are filled with super rich kids. American University in Dubai is one such college, which is known to have a parking lot jam-packed with flashy, luxury cars. On the walk to class you’ll saunter past Range Rovers, Porsches, Aston Martins, Ferraris and more – all belonging to students in their early 20s. Canadian student Meeka Nasser told Rex Features that she attended the university and that the cars Dubai students drive are “just ludicrous”.
9 University of London – Training Future Millionaires
With a student population of about 120,000 students, the University of London is big and considered to be a world leader. Its most famous institution is the highly-competitive London School of Economics (LSE), which has trained the likes of billionaire investor George Soros. More than half of LSE undergraduate students don’t take out a loan and about 45% of LSE students are foreign students (who tend to be wealthy). About 7.5% of all UK-based millionaires attended the University of London.
8 Stanford University – Rich & Ambitious Kids
With undergraduate fees easily topping $60,000 each year, many of Stanford University’s students in California are extremely wealthy. The New Yorker recently referred to this university as “Get Rich U” because it feeds so many bright grads into Silicon Valley. The reason that Stanford is full of kids from wealthy families is most likely because of its “legacy admissions” policy. As mentioned in its recent alumni magazine, “the percentage of alumni children admitted to Stanford is roughly three times the overall percentage of acceptance”. It’s all about money – if you’re an alumni and you've donated money, there’s probably a better chance that your kid will get in too.
7 Oxford University – A Long, Rich History
Oxford University in England can claim to be one of the universities that consistently educates UK-based millionaires. It’s the longest running university in the English-speaking world and some of its alumni include the world’s greatest ever academics, businessmen, scientists and more. In late 2013, the head of undergrad admissions told the UK Telegraph newspaper that the university chooses it students on merit alone – and that they don’t just want a school full of “thick rich” kids. Despite its attempts to not enroll students based on how wealthy they are, a huge portion of its students are super rich. For example, in late 2013 a very rich Arab man advertised for a private tutor to help him earn his place at Oxford, offering a salary of more than $200,000.
6 University of Mumbai – India’s Most Elite
This prestigious university based in Mumbai, India, has more multi-millionaires as alumni than Cambridge or Brown, according to The Times of India. What’s more, it’s not considered to be a hot spot for those wanting to become a millionaire – many of the students passing through the walls of University of Mumbai actually inherited their fortunes and their status as multi-millionaires. Nonetheless, it is considered to be an “incubator” for rich Indians, having trained plenty of super-rich kids from super-rich families.
5 University of Pennsylvania – 30% Super Rich
This Ivy League college in West Philadelphia reels in its fair share of super-rich kids every year. A Cooperative Institutional Research Program (CIRP) study of freshmen at Penn, showed that almost 30% had parents who earn $250,000 or more, and that about 65% of all freshmen were from middle-to-upper class backgrounds. Donald Trump, a billionaire businessman, attended Penn himself and also sent two of his children there. Other rich, famous people to send kids here include actor Denzel Washington and comedian Joan Rivers. It costs about $60,000 to attend the school each year as an undergraduate (including board) but the outlook is good once you graduate. Research shows that about 1,500 University of Pennsylvania graduates are collectively worth over $240 billion.
4 Brown University – Full of Trust Funds
When it comes to rich celebrities and their college of choice, many people will immediately call Brown University to mind. Who’s been here? Jack Nicholson, Steven Spielberg, John Kerry’s daughters, Allegra Versace and many more of America’s wealthiest. Based in Rhode Island, it’s been consistently ranked as one of the richest colleges in the USA based on the number of students who require financial aid (fewer than 50% of students). Anyone who’s watched Gossip Girl may recall Blair Waldorf’s comments on Brown; she referred to it as being filled with “trustafarians” (which is a mix between Rastafarians and trust-funders) and “children of celebrities”.
3 Yale University – 69% From Wealthy Families
Yale University in New Haven is one of the richest colleges out there, with its long history and long list of celebrity graduates including George W. Bush. Among Yale’s freshmen this year, 69% are from wealthy families with annual incomes of $120,000 or more. Fewer than 10% of Yale students receive Pell Grant loans. As a result of these startling figures, Yale’s alumni magazine from January/February 2014 announced that the university was seeking “smart students from poor families” perhaps in an attempt to balance things up. They received a lot of criticism for the cover article and issued an apology.
2 Columbia University – Rich and Brainy Students
When it comes to that top 1% of society, Columbia University in New York is where you’ll find them. Known specifically among college students as being full of rich and clever students, Columbia has a low admission rate (hovering around 11%) and nearly all its students would've scored 2050 or more on their SATs. As well as getting excellent grades, you’ll also need to fork up $64,000 or more per academic year as an undergraduate student. Some famous (and rich) celebs who went to Columbia include Jake Gyllenhaal, Alicia Keys and Casey Affleck as well as a ton of Cabinet members and governors.
1 Harvard University – Secret Society of Rich Kids
This Ivy League college based in Boston, Massachusetts, has long been one of the world’s top universities. Figures show that rich students form the biggest chunk of Harvard’s population. About 45% of its undergraduate students are from families earning $200,000 or more per year. That’s up there with the top few per cent of all Americans. As reported by the New York Times in late 2013, there’s a “secret society of ultrawealthy students” who go on weekend-long party vacations to Iceland, Moscow and more. MBA graduate Christina Wallace told the New York Times that class was a bigger divide than gender at Harvard and that she would need to spend tens of thousands of dollars to fully participate socially. On top of that, Harvard is the go-to college if you want to be a multi-millionaire one day. Of its graduates to date, almost 3,000 are worth $200 million or more. Many of these may have had a kick start from their rich parents.