By Gary Shapiro
Entrepreneurs don’t need a particular pedigree to get their start or leave their mark on the world. While many successful entrepreneurs attended top business schools to learn about starting and running a company, some of today’s most successful entrepreneurs studied at less well-known colleges or state universities, or never went to college at all. And skyrocketing prices at many colleges and universities are prompting some young entrepreneurs to seek other avenues to success.
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Earning a degree at a top-ranked school can be a huge financial burden. Many Ivy League graduates today are seeking jobs in higher-paying fields like finance and investment, instead of launching into the startup space. Often they are forced to make this choice because they have massive student loans and are afraid they can’t afford to venture out on their own. Top business schools are continually improving their entrepreneurial classes and workshops to attract would-be entrepreneurs and encourage students to launch startups – yet tuition at the leading business programs in the U.S. can cost more than $55,000 per year.
Meanwhile, several of today’s most successful entrepreneurs graduated from state universities and smaller colleges. One recent study found that the three public universities in Michigan turn out double the national average of entrepreneurs.