6 College Dropouts Who Made Millions

Before I go on, I want to make sure we make this clear: I am in no way advocating that anyone drop out of college.

I am a  strong believer in the value of a college education, both in its contribution to personal development and to future success. And in monetary terms, the numbers bear us out: People who go to college, in general, go on to earn more money than those who don’t.

A 2002 U.S. Census, for example, found that someone with a bachelor’s degree earns, on average, over $20,000 more a year and nearly $1 million more over her or his lifetime than a high school graduate.

But then there are those few exceptions who defy convention, dropping out of college or graduate school and becoming gazillionaires anyway.

While I’m not in favor of dropping out of college, I do like a good story, and here I have a chance to tell five of them.

So here are the flukes, the statistical freaks, the six wayward college dropouts who went on to find computer-geek fame and make multibillion-dollar fortunes on some of the most innovative technology platforms of the last 20 years.

1) Bill Gates, Microsoft

Possibly the most world-renowned example of post-dropout success, Bill Gates made the bold decision to leave Harvard his junior year, in 1977. Long before Windows became a worldwide rampant technology, contested monopoly, and household name, Gates was just a slacker college student.

“I had this terrible habit of not ever attending classes,” Gates said.

Gates left Harvard to devote his time to what would later become the world’s largest software company in Microsoft, a venture he had started in 1975 with his childhood friend Paul Allen.

Now 53, Gates is worth an estimated $50 billion. Forbes has ranked Gates as the richest man in the world every year for over a decade, and Gates has given millions to various philanthropic causes.

The foundation he and his wife created in 2000, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, has embarked on what some are calling the most ambitious charitable project in history, with an endowment from the Gates’ of more than $28.8 billion (as of January 2005) earmarked for global health and learning initiatives.

2) Steve Jobs, Apple

Just eight months older than Gates and the father of the Mac, that technological nemesis to Gates’ Windows, Steve Jobs followed a similar path to post-dropout mega-riches.

Jobs’ biological parents were dead-set on his getting a college education, and before Jobs was adopted, his adoptive parents had to promise that they would send him to college.

In the fall of 1973, Jobs’ adoptive parents spent their life savings to send him to Reed College in Oregon, where Jobs found the mandatory college courses pointless and uninspiring.

As he told Stanford University’s graduating class of 2005 in his commencement address, “After six months, I couldn’t see the value in it. I had no idea what I wanted to do with my life and no idea how college was going to help me figure it out.”

Although he formally dropped out of Reed, Jobs hung around the campus for another year, showing up only at the classes that piqued his interest.

Jobs got his first job with Atari in 1974 and then in 1976 co-founded Apple Computer with his high-school friend, Steve Wozniak.

Jobs was ranked 49th in the Forbes 400 Richest Americans of 2006 list and has a current estimated net worth of over $5 billion.

With the trendsetting family of iPods and iPhones, sleek laptops and desktops, intuitive and user-friendly apps, and a series of visually stunning OS X operating systems, Apple continually sets the industry benchmark for innovations in hardware design, user interfaces, and digital entertainment.

3) Mark Zuckerberg, Facebook

With a net worth estimated at $1.5 billion and believed by some analysts to be the country’s wealthiest man younger than 25, Mark Zuckerberg, like Gates, is a Harvard dropout.

After launching Facebook school-wide from his dorm room at Harvard in February 2004, Zuckerberg began devoting more and more time to his program, gradually spreading it to other schools.

By that summer, Zuckerberg and his roommate Dustin Moskovitz had released Facebook to nearly 30 schools, and the website was growing too popular to be run part-time. Like Gates before him, Zuckerberg dropped out to make his technology start-up his sole focus.

Since then, Zuckerberg has received (and turned down) a $900 million buyout offer from Yahoo and pushed Facebook toward overshadowing MySpace as the most popular and fastest growing social networking site in the U.S.

Only 23, he’s Facebook’s CEO and retains control of the company.

4) Shawn Fanning, Napster

Widely known as the man who delivered peer-to-peer file sharing to the masses, Fanning is the mastermind behind Napster, the first-of-its-kind music-sharing application.

In the spring of 1999, as a 19-year-old freshman at Northeastern University in Boston, Fanning wrote a simple program that would allow users to search for and share music files over a peer-to-peer network.

The test version of Fanning’s program was a viral hit, downloaded by thousands of users and with traffic quickly outstripping Napster’s capacity. By the fall of that year. Fanning decided to drop out of school to move to Silicon Valley.

Although Napster drew the enmity — as well as the many-headed legal team — of the Recording Industry Association of America and of member band Metallica, in particular, for allowing users to illegally download free music, Napster forever changed the entertainment industry, forcing it to contend with the advent of digital media.

Fanning resigned from Napster in 2002 and went on to found SNOCAP, another music-sharing platform designed to let users access music inexpensively and legally.

5) Larry Page and Sergey Brin, Google

Larry Page and Sergey Brin were busy cooking up Google while they were still aspiring Ph.D. students in the computer science program at Stanford. The pair later went on leave from the Ph.D. program to make Google their primary focus.

Since its launch in 1998, Google has become the world’s dominant online search engine, a provider of popular free e-mail and Web tools, a cutting-edge innovator, a highly sought-after employer, and a profitable public company with stock prices reaching almost $750 a share at their recent peak.

Both just 33 years old, Page and Brin are now billionaires with net worths of about $13 billion each, ranked 27th and 26th on the Forbes World’s Richest People of 2006 list, and still pushing the Google monolith and fortune-making machine forward.

courtesy:  NextStudent.

Free! 100 Best iPhone Apps for Students

“College students today are swamped with social calendars, budgeting nightmares, job searching, party planning, sports, study abroad, food shopping, and of course, studying. On top of everything, students need to stay extremely organized if they want to keep up with classes and maintain a little sanity. Our list of 100 best free iPhone apps for college students can help you do it all, including reviewing for tests, storing your notes, sharing grocery lists with roommates, staying healthy, mixing drinks, getting a date and graduating on time.

Study Help

These language tutors, flash card packs, and art history resources will help you with last minute cramming and consistent vocabulary practice wherever you go.

  1. Sparky: Sparky lets you browse SparkNotes easily on your iPhone.
  2. Mathemagics Lite: Use this tool to figure out squares, complicated multiplication problems and more.
  3. Free Spanish Tutor: This tutor features native speaker audio, puzzle games, multiple choice quizzes, and more.
  4. USA Presidents: Review names, numbers, dates, political parties and other facts about the U.S. presidents when you have these virtual flash cards.
  5. History: Maps of the World: Find detailed maps of Africa, Europe, Asia, the U.S., the Middle East and more.
  6. Word of the Day Lite: Expand your vocabulary with this app.
  7. Art Lite: Study the histories, works and significance of artists like Leonardo da Vinci, van Gogh, Cezanne and more.
  8. Brain Tutor 3D: Anatomy and pre-med students can study the brain terms and more with this app.
  9. planetFacts: Find out mass, diameter, orbiting speed and other information for the planets.
  10. Free French Word of the Day: Practice your French with this app.
  11. StudySets – Psychology Lite: Psych students will appreciate this bundle of psychology learning resources.
  12. Vocabolistic: Look up words or hide the definition to quiz yourself with Vocabolistic.
  13. Answers: powered by Yahoo! Answers: This app opens your iPhone to the Yahoo! Answers portal so that you can ask questions about anything.
  14. Pocket Lawyer Lite: Law and political science students can use this real-life law reference as a study tool, too.
  15. gFlash + Flashcards and Tests: Create your own flashcards and share them with study partners.

Staying Current

Keep up with the news stories that affect your time at school and relate to your classes.

  1. NYTimes: Get your news from the New York Times online for free.
  2. BBC Reader: Keep up with the top stories in Europe and globally with this app.
  3. HuffingtonPost.com: Access the authoritative, but sometimes snarky, stories from the Huffington Post.
  4. NPR Addict: Do your homework before class or talking with professors by getting your news from NPR.
  5. Variety: Stay current on entertainment news with Variety’s app.

Classifieds

Look up apartments and more with these tools.

  1. Apartments by ForRent.com: Look up apartments to rent in your college town here.
  2. CraigSearch v1.0: Search Craigslist from your iPhone. Includes standard search options.
  3. Apartments: Apartment guide’s app will help you locate properties in your area.

Shopping Deals

Save money when you find coupons and deals on books.

  1. Yowza: This app uses GPS to find coupons for stores in your area.
  2. Dial Zero: Get connected to customer service lines for credit cards, health insurance companies and more.
  3. Book Bargain: Find deals on books from Amazon and other online stores.
  4. Flashlight: Turn your iPhone into a flashlight that shines white, red, green or blue light.
  5. Relax Alarm Clock Lite: Wake up on time to soothing guitar music, the sound of birds, bamboo flute music, and other options. This app also lulls you to sleep for a quick nap.
  6. iHourglass Free: Time practices tests, study breaks and more with this tool.
  7. TouchCloset: Keep your closet organized on your phone by cataloging photos and shopping lists and picking out your party clothes ahead of time even when you’re away from home.

Local Guides

Learn more about your college city or the town you’re visiting with these tools.

  1. Pizza!: Find the closest, cheapest pizza near you.
  2. Free Wi-Fi finder: Use this tool to find places you can bring your laptop to study.
  3. FastFood – Top Restaurant Finder: This fast food directory will connect you to cheap, satisfying food quickly.
  4. Have2P: Find nearby restrooms and flag businesses that do not have open restrooms.
  5. Fandango: Find local movies and tickets here.
  6. iRecycle: Find local recycling stations here.
  7. WhosAround: Use WhosAround to find friends who are in the same area as you. Supports messaging, profile photos and more.
  8. Local Concerts: Find out when and where your favorite bands are going to play with this free app.
  9. Local Picks by TripAdvisor: USe this app when traveling or if you live in a popular vacation destination. You can look up restaurants, bars, and other spots that are favorites for the locals.
  10. Slifter Local Shopping: Use this app to look up stores that carry whatever it is that you’re searching for.

Partying and Social

This list of free apps has everything you need to be the life of the party at college.

  1. Drunk-Dial: Spin the dial on your app to get free drink recipes.
  2. Who Called?: If a phone number doesn’t pop up when someone calls you, do a reverse lookup and find out what the caller wanted with you.
  3. Love Poem Generator: Prove to your date that college guys can be romantic when you use this tool.
  4. Birthday Notification: Rely on this tool to keep track of all of your college friends’ birthdays.
  5. Drinking Games Free: Look up drinking games to play at your next party.
  6. Spin the Coke: This version of Spin the Bottle involves a Coca-Cola bottle.
  7. a.k.a. Your Favorite Name Generator: Come up with fake names for theme parties and more.
  8. 5800+ Drink and Cocktail Recipes Free: Never get bored with mixing drinks when you have this directory of cocktail recipes.
  9. Beer Brands: Catalog your favorite beer brands and keep up with microbreweries and emerging brands.
  10. Hello Vino – Wine Pairing Guide: Impress your guests by making appropriate wine and food pairings.
  11. Perfect Date: This guide to the perfect date helps you with conversation and more.

Reference

Keep these reference tools close so that you’re prepared to discuss constellations, the periodic table, or world facts.

  1. USA Factbook Free: This reference packet is great for anyone in a civics, history or political science course that covers the U.S. Access key documents, lists of the flags, state capitals and other stats.
  2. Stars: Anatomy students can use this tool as a resource when studying constellations.
  3. The Chemical Tough: Lite Edition: View the periodic table when you download this free app.
  4. Formulas Free: This app brings you free calculus formulas.
  5. iQuotations: Look up quotes to use in papers or just as general inspiration.
  6. Math Ref Free: Get free reference packs for geometry, algebra, trig, derivatives and more.
  7. AllTheCountries: Get facts about literacy rate, economy, population, area and more for every country.
  8. Your Rights: Use this app for political science courses or just as backup when you get into trouble at school.
  9. iTranslator: Study abroad students and panicked foreign language students can use this tool to connect to Google Translator, Babel Fish or Free Translation.
  10. Quickpedia Lite: This app makes it easier and faster to use Wikipedia.

Games and Quizzes

Prepare for the GMAT or your next Xbox championship tournament here.

  1. GMAT Practice Quiz: Use your iPhone to study for the GMAT when you use this tool.
  2. Xbox Achievement Guide: Become the ultimate Xbox champion on your hall when you have this tool.

GPS

Find your way around town with these valuable GPS apps.

  1. GasBag: Find the cheapest gas nearest your location.
  2. Take Me Home, I’m Lost!: If you’re too new in town or just too confused, use this app to find your way back home.

Health and Fitness

In college, it’s easy to forget about your health. These free apps will help you eat right and find the time to exercise.

  1. Restaurant Nutrition: Make healthier decisions even when your friends want to eat out.
  2. Stress Reducer: Listen to the ocean through a virtual shell to relieve stress.
  3. Am I Pregnant Quiz: This pregnancy quiz is currently free and could save your sanity.
  4. Natural Cures: Try these natural cures if you’re too broke to go to the doctor.
  5. iMapMyRun: Track your runs, including pace, location, speed and overall progress.
  6. Sleep Diary: This app helps you get back on a normal, healthy sleep schedule.

Organization

Stay organize with these tools, which help you manage task lists, homework, shopping, errands and more.

  1. myHomework: View your homework lists, project task sheet, test schedule and more with this organizer.
  2. Blackboard Learn<: Access your school’s Blackboard system from your iPhone with this app.
  3. Evernote: Take picture, text and audio notes that are searchable with Evernote.
  4. AppGmail: Quickly access your Gmail account and view it as a wider display with this app.
  5. ShopShop: Keep a running shopping list that tracks your purchases and marks them off.
  6. Smart ToDo: Manage a to-do list with notes and due dates with this app.
  7. To Do’s: This app lets you customize your to-do list according to priority level, ordering and more.
  8. A Personal Assistant: This free organizes your accounts, including online shopping, banking, Netflix and more. It also tracks cell phone minutes, frequent flyer miles, travel itineraries and more.
  9. Organizer Lite: View several organizers in a single, streamlined display with this app. You can manage a calendar, birthdays, appointments, contacts and more.
  10. mySticky Lite: This iPhone version of Mac’s sticky notes let you tack reminders and lists over a virtual bulletin board.

Search

Let your iPhone guide you in general searches, job hunts and more.

  1. Inquisitor: This super fast search tool also makes suggestions for your searches.
  2. Last.fm: Search music, artists and more with Last.fm for the iPhone.
  3. Repairpal: This app will help you find auto repair shop and support.
  4. Job Search: Indeed.com’s search application lets you find jobs by location and job description.

Miscellaneous

This list of free iPhone apps includes laundry guides, an ebook library, recipe guides and plenty more tools to make your life at college more exciting and organized.

  1. MyGPA Calculator: Calculate your GPA per semester and cumulatively.
  2. BookShelfLT: Check out ebooks for your iPhone.
  3. Salsa: Practice for your ballroom dance class or for a night out.
  4. Laundry Pro Free: Look up North American and European laundry symbols and figure out how to care for your different garments.
  5. wikiHow: How to and DIY Survival Kit: Survive anything, including a hotel fire, long fall and nuclear attack, when you download this pack.
  6. Guitar Tuner: Use Guitar Tuner to tweak your guitar and get ready for gigs on campus.
  7. Intelliremote: Control your home theater that runs Windows with your iPhone.
  8. Free Driver’s Ed: Students practicing for the driving test can review topics and questions here.
  9. F-MyLife: This popular tool lets you commiserate with others who’ve had a bad day on F-MyLife.
  10. Allrecipes.com Dinner Spinner: Get ideas for cheap, healthy and/or comfort food meals.
  11. Hairstyle Lite: Instead of paying for an expensive visit to the salon, try out a new hairstyle by using this free app.
  12. iWrecked – Auto Accident Assistant: Log details from your car accident, call for help, take photos of the accident, and more.
  13. College Football Live!: Keep up with all the stats, scores and more for college football.”

-courtesy Best Universities

Tuition is Recession Proof!

With many colleges and universities raising tuition by as much as 30 percent this year, how does this play in with the “recession” that you and I are facing today? Also, if you remember, back in February $17 billion was appropriated to federal student aid, yet in light of this, why is my fee bill from this year significantly higher than that of last years?

Recent studies have come to the conclusion that increase in federal financial aid actually causes an inevitable increase in tuition, so in a sense, colleges are raising the cost of tuition in an effort to compete with the “charitable” efforts of government. The government actually subsidized these tuition hikes, after all a college is not different from any other business that wants to maximize its profits. For example, if the government guaranteed that anyone who wants to buy plasma televisions from Best Buy would get aid from the government, you can bet that Best Buy would raise the price of plasma televisions, in order to make as much money as possible.

“The $17 billion that will be appropriated to federal student aid will continue to fuel skyrocketing college tuitions. Federal financial aid has created a catch-22 for those trying to help students and their families pay their way through college. The goal of federal aid is to reduce the cost that students have to pay to attend college, but the irony is that more federal aid leads to an increase in tuition.
The reason this happens is supply and demand. More aid means more demand. Higher demand leads to a higher price.  Suddenly students that might not have been able to afford college can suddenly afford to pay. Colleges can raise tuition because they know that the government will give more aid if tuition becomes more expensive.”

To back up these claims, I went to the actual College Board website to do some research….of course I had to do some snooping around to find the two different pages that deal with increasing tuition and increasing aid…funny they don’t put them on the same page. They say that “both total grant aid per undergraduate and total federal loans per undergraduate increased by about 5.5% in 2007-08, after adjusting for inflation,” however, just a few clicks over, they also say, “private four-year [tuition is] $25,143 (up 5.9 percent from last year) [and] public four-year [tuition is]$6,585 (up 6.4 percent from last year).”

And so with all this going on, I have made it my duty to bring such news to the average college student….and not just bad news, but good news as well from smart ways to make money to smart ways to save money.

“Waste neither time nor money, but make the best use of both. Without industry and frugality, nothing will do, and with them everything.” Benjamin Franklin