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Tyra Banks is going back to school, and not just any school: The super-model-turned-mogul has been attending Harvard Business School since last year.

But why did Banks, who runs a successful multi-million-dollar empire, feel the need to further her education?

“In order for my company to grow and be the best, and to reach these women, and to serve them, I needed the best. So I went to the best,” Banks, 37, told CBS News recently.

Going back to school has been a long time coming for Banks, who started modeling at age 17, just months before she was supposed to start at L.A.’s Loyola Marymount University.

“The day that I put college on hold because I got discovered to go to Paris and try this whole modeling thing … was one of the most difficult decisions of my entire life,” she said.

But Banks turned that opportunity into dreamlike success: In 2009, Forbes listed her as the highest paid woman in prime time, with an annual income of $30 million.

Now, Banks can clearly afford the steep tuition at Harvard’s elite Owner/President Management Program, which requires students participate in intensive three-week sessions costing $31,000 a year for three years.

The America’s Next Top Model host admits that people are often shocked to hear she’s attending such a prestigious university – but Banks likes it that way.

“When people have low expectations, you’re just constantly going, ‘Ta-da!’ And they’re like, ‘Wow,’ ” she said. “It doesn’t take a lot to wow them when they have low expectations.”