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8 Luminaries who didn’t get into their Dream College

Plenty of successful people have had their Ivy League dreams dashed, but turned out just fine.
Here are eight achievers who found acceptance after rejection



Warren Buffett

Buffett was initially crushed when he was rejected from the Harvard Business School.But, as he told The Wall Street Journal, “Everything that has happened in my life … that I thought was a crushing event at the time, has turned out for the better.“ Buffett went to Columbia instead. “You learn that a temporary defeat is not a permanent one. In the end, it can be an opportunity.“

Sergey Brin

The Google co-founder wanted to attend MIT for graduate school, but his application was denied. He ended up getting a master’s degree at Stanford University, where he met Larry Page. The two would soon change the Internet.

Tom Hanks

In 1974 Hanks sent his SAT scores to MIT and Villanova, “knowing such fine schools would never accept a student like me but hoping they’d toss some car stickers my way for taking a shot,“ he wrote in The New York Times. Hanks instead attended Chabot, a two-year community college in Hawyard, California. “That place made me what I am today,“ he wrote. Hanks later attended Sacramento State.

Steven Spielberg

One of the most successful film directors of all time, Spielberg was rejected from i the University of Southern California School of Cinema Arts not once, but twice. He instead went to Cal State Long Beach, but dropped out just before graduating when he got a movie deal. He retu r ned to get his diploma in 2002.

John Kerry

The secretary of state was one of the many people rejected from Ha r va rd each yea r.“Rejected is such a strong word,” Kerry joked to ABC News. “I prefer to think of it as crimson-challenged …besides I never would have fit in at a total jock school.“

Kerry graduated from Yale University and later went to Boston College Law School.

Barack Obama

The POTUS was rejected from Swa r t h more Col lege, t he school’s paper reports. “Ah, Swarthmore, great school.They rejected me,“ he said to an alumni interning at his Senate office. When another graduate asked if the rumour was true, Obama said it was. “It really broke my heart, actually.“ He went on to attend Occidental College, transfer to Columbia University, and become the leader of the free world.

Matt Groening

The creator of The Simpsons is a member of the RejectedF r om -H a r va r d Club t o o, accordi ng to a maga zi ne published by two Harvard alums. Groening ended up attending The Evergreen State College in Olympia, Washington.

Jerry Greenfield

One ha l f of the ice crea m duo behi nd Ben & Jerry’s -was pre-med at Oberlin College, but when it came time to move on to medical school, he applied to 20, and was rejected from every one.Even after he got a lab technician job to boost his resume and re-applied, he was met with another 20 rejection letters. So instead he partnered with his junior high school .friend to make ice cream. The rest is delicious history