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The 20 American universities that produce the richest grads

A man waves a U.S. flag with a dollar bill tied to it as he graduates from Harvard's Business School.
REUTERS/Brian Snyder v

The U.S. is home to some of the richest colleges — and people — in the world. According to the Department of Education, Harvard University has the biggest college endowment in the U.S. with about $37.6 billion.

And according to research firm Wealth-X, Harvard also has the highest number of super rich alumni.

Each year, Wealth-X identifies the colleges and universities with the highest number of "ultra high net worth" (UHNW) alumni, defined as those with a net worth of greater than $30 million.

Wealth-X first collects a sample of ultra-wealthy individuals known to have a diploma, including both undergraduate and graduate degrees, from colleges and universities around the world, and tallies their total wealth as a group. Researchers then use this sample and Wealth-X's database to estimate how many super-rich alumni each school has graduated in total.

Here are the 20 U.S. universities with the most ultra-wealthy alumni:

Harvard University
DenisTangneyJr | iStock | Getty Images

1. Harvard University

Known UHNW alumni: 1,830
Known UHNW alumni wealth: $1.9 trillion

Estimated total UHNW alumni: 13,650
Estimated total UHNW alumni wealth: $4.8 trillion

2. Stanford University

Known UHNW alumni: 775
Known UHNW alumni wealth: $1.1 trillion

Estimated total UHNW alumni: 5,580
Estimated total UHNW alumni wealth: $2.9 trillion

3. University of Pennsylvania

Known UHNW alumni: 744
Known UHNW alumni wealth: $731 billion

Estimated total UHNW alumni: 5,575
Estimated total UHNW alumni wealth: $1.8 trillion

4. Columbia University

Known UHNW alumni: 516
Known UHNW alumni wealth: $621 billion

Estimated total UHNW alumni: 3,925
Estimated total UHNW alumni wealth: $1.5 trillion

5. New York University

Known UHNW alumni: 456
Known UHNW alumni wealth: $279 billion

Estimated total UHNW alumni: 3,380
Estimated total UHNW alumni wealth: $712 billion

6. Massachusetts Institute of Technology

Known UHNW alumni: 351
Known UHNW alumni wealth: $380 billion

Estimated total UHNW alumni: 2,785
Estimated total UHNW alumni wealth: $990 billion

7. Northwestern University

Known UHNW alumni: 365
Known UHNW alumni wealth: $145 billion

Estimated total UHNW alumni: 2,725
Estimated total UHNW alumni wealth: $389 billion

8. University of Southern California

Known UHNW alumni: 319
Known UHNW alumni wealth: $188 billion

Estimated total UHNW alumni: 2,645
Estimated total UHNW alumni wealth: $548 billion

9. University of Chicago

Known UHNW alumni: 326
Known UHNW alumni wealth: $286 billion

Estimated total UHNW alumni: 2,405
Estimated total UHNW alumni wealth: $707 billion

10. Yale University

Known UHNW alumni: 358
Known UHNW alumni wealth: $311 billion

Estimated total UHNW alumni: 2,400
Estimated total UHNW alumni wealth: $777 billion

A general view of the University of California Berkeley campus including Sather Towe. The Haas School of Business is visible in foreground and the San Francisco Bay in the background.
David Madison/Getty Images

11. University of California, Berkeley

Known UHNW alumni: 295
Known UHNW alumni wealth: $249 billion

Estimated total UHNW alumni: 2,385
Estimated total UHNW alumni wealth: $760 billion

12. Cornell University

Known UHNW alumni: 299
Known UHNW alumni wealth: $179 billion

Estimated total UHNW alumni: 2,245
Estimated total UHNW alumni wealth: $483 billion

13. The University of Texas at Austin

Known UHNW alumni: 332
Known UHNW alumni wealth: $185 billion

Estimated total UHNW alumni: 2,195
Estimated total UHNW alumni wealth: $463 billion

14. Princeton University

Known UHNW alumni: 309
Known UHNW alumni wealth: $496 billion

Estimated total UHNW alumni: 2,180
Estimated total UHNW alumni wealth: $1.1 trillion

15. University of Notre Dame

Known UHNW alumni: 316
Known UHNW alumni wealth: $61 billion

Estimated total UHNW alumni: 2,085
Estimated total UHNW alumni wealth: $179 billion

16. University of Michigan

Known UHNW alumni: 281
Known UHNW alumni wealth: $282 billion

Estimated total UHNW alumni: 1,970
Estimated total UHNW alumni wealth: $691 billion

17. University of California, Los Angeles

Known UHNW alumni: 277
Known UHNW alumni wealth: $140 billion

Estimated total UHNW alumni: 1,945
Estimated total UHNW alumni wealth: $375 billion

18. University of Miami

Known UHNW alumni: 248
Known UHNW alumni wealth: $1.1 trillion

Estimated total UHNW alumni: 1,700
Estimated total UHNW alumni wealth: $309 billion

19. University of Virginia

Known UHNW alumni: 251
Known UHNW alumni wealth: $100 billion

Estimated total UHNW alumni: 1,650
Estimated total UHNW alumni wealth: $246 billion

20. Boston University

Known UHNW alumni: 203
Known UHNW alumni wealth: billion $92

Estimated total UHNW alumni: 1,640
Estimated total UHNW alumni wealth: $277 billion

Students pass by the Boston University John Hancock Student Village on the school's campus in Boston, Massachusetts, U.S.
Keyur Khamar/Bloomberg via Getty Images

Harvard stands out as having the highest number of ultra wealthy alumni by far. According to Wealth-X's projections, the Ivy League school has an estimated 13,650 alumni who are worth more than $30 million, more than double the number of super rich alumni from Stanford University and the University of Pennsylvania, which came in second and third place on Wealth-X's rankings respectively.

Even though Harvard tops the list of the most super-rich alumni, the University of Chicago stands out as having the highest percentage of "self made" alumni with net worths above $30 million, as opposed to those who have reached this status through inheritance. Wealth-X estimates that 84% of University of Chicago alumni who are worth more than $30 million made their fortunes on their own and 12% were considered self made while also benefiting from substantial inheritance. The remaining 4% of super rich alumni from the University of Chicago were wealthy solely from inheritance.

The University of Virginia (UVA) came in second on Wealth-X's measure of super rich self made alumni. Wealth-X estimates that 84% of ultra-wealthy UVA alumni are fully self made, 10% both inherited wealth and are self made and 6% simply inherited wealth.

Six of the eight Ivy league schools made the list while only five public universities did. The only two Ivy League schools not to crack the top 20 are Brown University and Dartmouth College.

California is home to the highest number of schools on Wealth-X's ranking including Stanford, University of Southern California, UC Berkeley and UCLA.

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