The number of billionaires who went to prestigious universities might surprise you.

The Washington Post explores:

Billionaires show that going to a top college isn’t very important

For the kind of student who stresses over Ivy League college applications, economists have some good news: Attending an “elite” institution probably won’t have much impact on your future earnings.

The best research on this subject comes from Stacy Dale and Alan Krueger, who have shown that after controlling for individual ability, the selectivity of your alma mater doesn’t particularly matter. Their work, which has been widely publicized, has also been somewhat misunderstood.

At first glance, the data analyzed by Dale and Krueger shows a clear advantage to attending a top college like Yale or Williams. Between students with similar SAT scores and GPAs, the ones who end up at more selective institutions earn more after graduation on average.

But that’s because SAT scores and GPAs give an incomplete picture of a student’s potential. It’s hard to measure things like grit, or creativity — or intelligence that’s literally off the charts. When elite applicants have indistinguishably sterling transcripts, top colleges have to use other information, like teacher recommendations, personal essays, and participation in extracurricular activities.