Even the most influential politicians, CEOs and celebrities had to start somewhere — and just like a lot of people, that somewhere is sometimes college. It’s no surprise that the best of the best, as well the wealthy, went to top-tier universities. Their motivation and talents allowed them to make the most of their time at school, and as a result, they are now enjoying the benefits realized by their hard work.
Click through to see where these wealthy and influential people went to college.
1. Arnold Schwarzenegger – University of Wisconsin
Most notable for his bodybuilding achievements and blockbuster movie roles, Arnold Schwarzenegger earned a degree from the University of Wisconsin-Superior in 1980, according to the Los Angeles Times. Prior to that, he earned some credits at Santa Monica College, a community college in LA, and via UCLA’s extension program, according to the LA Times.
Around this time, Schwarzenegger also became a U.S. citizen. He eventually put his education to good use when he was elected the 38th Governor of California. During his time as governor, Schwarzenegger increased the state’s minimum wage and introduced legislation to reduce California’s greenhouse gas emissions.
Schwarzenegger’s alma mater has an acceptance rate of 53 percent, U.S. News reported. The 2017-18 tuition and fees at the University of Wisconsin cost $10,533 for in-state attendees and $34,782 for out-of-state attendees.
2. Hillary Clinton – Wellesley College
Former first lady Hillary Clinton graduated from Wellesley College in 1969 with a degree in political science. During her time at the college, she was active in student politics and even held the office of class president in her senior year. She was the college’s first-ever student speaker at a commencement ceremony. In her speech, Clinton gave an indication that she would someday become a political powerhouse. “For too long our leaders have used politics as the art of making what appears to be impossible, possible,” she said in her speech.
After graduating from Wellesley College, Clinton went on to earn her J.D. from Yale Law School where she met her husband, Bill Clinton. Wellesley College has an acceptance rate of 22 percent, and annual tuition and fees are $51,148 for the 2017-18 school year.
3. Natalie Portman – Harvard University
In 2003, actress Natalie Portman, one of the richest celebrity immigrants, earned a degree in psychology from Harvard University and went on to become the first Harvard College graduate to win an Oscar for best actress. She has since earned another Oscar nomination for her portrayal of Jackie Kennedy in the 2016 film “Jackie.” Portman — born in Jerusalem, Israel — not only speaks Hebrew and English fluently, but she can also hold conversations in French, Spanish, German and Japanese.
By the time she enrolled in the university as a freshman in 1999, Portman was already an accomplished actress with roles in “Star Wars: Episode 1” and “Mars Attacks!” under her belt. Despite her rise to stardom, Portman was dedicated to her studies throughout her years at Harvard, and as a result, she graduated with honors.
4. Mindy Kaling – Dartmouth College
Mindy Kaling entered Dartmouth College as a Latin major but graduated in 2001 with a B.A. in playwriting, instead. In college, she earned the Eleanor Frost Playwriting Award, wrote a popular comic strip called “Badly Drawn Girl” for her college newspaper, The Dartmouth, and even interned at “Late Night with Conan O’Brien” during her sophomore year.
In her memoir — “Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me?” — Kaling reveals that she overcame her shyness while attending college.
Dartmouth College currently has a 10.4 percent acceptance rate. As of the 2017-18 school year, annual tuition and fees were $52,950.
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5. Nick Foles – University of Arizona
Super Bowl LII MVP Nick Foles not only obtained his degree in communication from the University of Arizona, but he’s also currently working on his pastoral degree through Liberty University’s online program. Foles accomplishments have earned him the NFL Greatness on the Road and the Pro Bowl Offensive MVP awards.
Off the field, while in Arizona, Foles served as a mentor to four brothers who came from an underprivileged home. “It was a great experience for me,” he said. “I still mentor and talk to them and help them in any way I can.”
Tuition and fees for the 2017-18 school year at the University of Arizona are $11,644 for in-state students and $32,449 for out-of-state students. The school has a 79 percent acceptance rate.
6. Sheryl Sandberg – Harvard University
Facebook’s chief operating officer, Sheryl Sandberg, graduated summa cum laude from Harvard University — which has a small acceptance rate of 5.8 percent and cost $43,280 in tuition and fees for school year 2016-17 — in 1991 with a degree in economics. She also earned the John H. Williams Prize for the top graduating student in economics. She returned to Harvard and earned her MBA, graduating with the highest distinction in 1995.
During college, Sandberg founded a group called Women in Economics and Government and taught aerobics. According to Fortune, she taught classes wearing a “silver leotard, leg warmers, shiny headband, and all.”
7. The Hodge Twins – American InterContinental University
Keith and Kevin Hodge are identical twins known for their YouTube channel, Twin Muscle, which focuses on fitness and diet advice. The Hodge twins are certified by The International Sports Sciences Association. In addition, the duo are accomplished comedians with tours scheduled in America, Canada, Australia and the United Kingdom.
Before the Hodge twins reached celebrity status, they received bachelor’s degrees in 2012 in Business Administration, Accounting and Finance from American InterContinental University. The school reports that applicants are typically notified within one week of their acceptance. Tuition for the 2017-18 school year is listed at $15,872, which includes all fees. Add room and board and the total increases to $17,291.
8. Oprah Winfrey – Tennessee State University
It is no surprise to learn that Oprah Winfrey studied communications at Tennessee State University, as her show, “The Oprah Winfrey Show,” both grew in popularity and had staying power. Winfrey actually won a full scholarship to the school after competing in an Elks Club speaking contest. Tennessee State University currently has an acceptance rate of 53 percent with 2017-18 tuition and fees of $7,458.
Because Winfrey values education, she opened the Oprah Winfrey Leadership Academy in 2007 for disadvantaged girls in South Africa. She continues to use her fame to inspire others through the programming her production company produces, and the commencement addresses she gives while attending various college graduations.
Winfrey might be a rich now, but a lot of people don’t realize Oprah grew up poor before becoming a billionaire.
9. Garrett Camp – University of Calgary
The StumbleUpon and Uber co-founder earned his degree in electrical engineering from the University of Calgary in 2001 and returned to pursue his master’s degree in software engineering, graduating in 2005. After his junior year, he moved to Montreal to intern with Nortel Networks and worked on speech recognition technology until the year 2000. While pursuing his master’s degree, he joined forces with classmates Geoff Smith, Justin LaFrance and Eric Boyd to found StumbleUpon. Eight years later, he founded Uber with Travis Kalanick.
The University of Calgary has a 62 percent acceptance rate, according to Peterson’s, a resource on colleges and college prep, and tuition is $5,386 CAD per year.
If you’re looking to save money on college tuition, consider these overseas universities that are cheaper than American colleges.
10. Kourtney Kardashian – University of Arizona
Reality star Kourtney Kardashian graduated in 2002 from the University of Arizona with a degree in Theater Arts and a minor in Spanish, according to the Phoenix New Times. Kardashian continues to film for “Keeping Up With the Kardashians” and run a successful chain of clothing stores called DASH along with sisters Khloe and Kim. In January 2018, the star announced her collaboration with her sister, Kylie Jenner, to put out a new line of cosmetics.
The eldest Kardashian sister told US Weekly back in 2010 that she failed two classes in college because she was “too nervous to give speeches.” Despite that, Kardashian is considering plans to attend law school in honor of her famous father, the late Robert Kardashian, US Weekly reported.
Click to find out which Kardashian or Jenner is the richest of them all.
11. Mark Cuban – Indiana University
Mark Cuban attended Indiana University, where he earned a bachelor’s degree in management and administration from the Kelley School of Business in 1981. He chose IU because tuition was the most affordable of the top 10 business schools at the time, Business Insider reported. In the 2017-18 school year, the university had a 79 percent acceptance rate, and annual tuition and fees were $10,533 for in-state students and $34,845 for out-of-state students, according to U.S. News.
While in college, Cuban was a member of the rugby team and started several businesses, including teaching disco lessons to sorority girls for $25 per hour and setting up a chain letter company that paid for one semester’s tuition. In 1980, Cuban and a few friends opened a pub in Bloomington, Ind., called Motley’s Pub.
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12. Hoda Kotb – Virginia Tech
Recently promoted to co-host of the “Today” show, Hoda Kotb has risen in fame since she received a Bachelor’s in broadcast journalism in 1986 from Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University, also commonly known as Virginia Tech. The school charged $13,320 in tuition and fees in the 2017-18 school year and boasts an acceptance rate of 73.4 percent.
After college, Kotb immediately got a job working for CBS as a news assistant. She continued to climb the ladder and eventually ended up at NBC, where she’s worked for the last 20 years. Kotb uses her stardom to give back, supporting such charities as the American Cancer Society, the International Justice Mission and the Children’s Miracle Network.
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13. Sergey Brin – Stanford University
Co-founder of Google Sergey Brin has earned a spot on several of Forbes famous lists, including “2017 Richest in Tech,” “2017 Forbes 400” and “2016 Power People.” Brin began his journey when attending Stanford University, where he earned a Master of Science degree. Brin and fellow student Larry Page created the search engine known as Google as part of a research project. Google quickly took off and continues to rank as the No. 1 search engine across the web.
Stanford University is extremely competitive with an acceptance rate of 5 percent. Tuition and fees for the 2017-18 school year are $49,617.
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14. Jeff Bezos – Princeton University
According to Forbes, Jeff Bezos became the richest man in the world at the end of October 2017. Bezos reached this fortune after founding Amazon and later purchasing The Washington Post. Before starting Amazon, Bezos attended Princeton University, where he graduated summa cum laude with a computer science degree in 1986.
Bezos recognizes the importance of getting an education — in January 2018 he donated $33 million to TheDream.US, which will help 1,000 individuals go to college and graduate with a four-year degree. Princeton University has an acceptance rate of 6.4 percent and estimates their tuition to be $49,330 for the 2018-19 school year.