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Getting an education is extremely vital at any kind of level, and also many stars ensured that they secured a diploma or a degree prior to aiming for the large time.

You are watching: Celebrities who dropped out of school

However, numerous others proved that friend don"t need a degree to attain your dreams.

Whether it was leaving university with simply a few credits short, or dropping out to follow Hollywood, here are 25 celebs who never ever quite made it to university graduation.


Brad Pitt attends the premiere the 20th Century Fox"s "Ad Astra" in ~ The Cinerama Dome top top September 18, 2019 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo byGetty Images)Matt Winkelmeyer/Getty ImagesBrad Pitt is one of the greatest movie stars in the world, but prior to he broke onto the large screen the was actually planning on ending up being a journalist.

He enrolled in ~ the college of Missouri, house to one of the country"s finest J-schools, but just two weeks before graduation, the dropped out.

Pitt later on told NPR: "It just pertained to the time that graduation and also everyone — every my friends to be committing to tasks — and I just realized i was not all set for that yet. ..I packed up mine car. Ns didn"t graduate — I had actually two main left — and also I relocated out come LA.

"I just felt ns was done; ns was done v it. Ns knew whereby I wanted to go. I had a direction. I constantly liked those moment of epiphany once you have actually the next destination."

Luckily, relocating to Hollywood worked out for him.

Reese Witherspoon


Honoree Reese Witherspoon attends The Hollywood Reporter"s strength 100 women in Entertainment in ~ Milk Studios top top December 11, 2019 in Hollywood, California. Alberto E. Rodriguez/Getty photos for The Hollywood ReporterReese Witherspoon"s mother has no much less than 3 degrees, so the made sense as soon as the actress headed to Stanford university as one English literature major.

However, she left after one year at the period of 19 to seek an exhilaration career.

30 gibbs Who adjusted Their Names
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30 gibbs Who readjusted Their Names

Witherspoon told Ellen DeGeneres: "Oh, my mom was so mad at me that ns dropped out of college due to the fact that she want me to it is in a doctor, specifically a plastic surgeon. Mine dad to be an ear, nose and also throat surgeon, however my mommy was just really figured out for me to it is in a plastic surgeon.

"And she was mad about it for more than likely 10 years, and also then i bought her a house so she acquired over it. In ~ some suggest it turned into a much better deal because that Betty."

Gary Busey


Gary Busey enters the Celebrity large Brother residence at Elstree Studios on respectable 18, 2014 in Borehamwood, England.Karwai Tang/WireImageGary Busey an initial attended a community college prior to enrolling in ~ Pittsburg State university on a football scholarship. That was here he came to be interested in acting, and his love of exhilaration took over as soon as he switched to Oklahoma State college on a drama scholarship ~ an injury declared his athletics scholarship.

The theater major left school just one class short of graduating and also began drumming for a band before his exhilaration career took turn off in 1974.

Jake Gyllenhaal


Jake Gyllenhaal attends the "Everest" photocall throughout the 72nd Venice film Festival top top September 2, 2015 in Venice, Italy. Vittorio Zunino Celotto/Getty ImagesGyllenhaal complied with his sisters Maggie come Columbia University, and studied east religions and philosophy.

However, after ~ his sophomore year, that dropped the end to focus on exhilaration (whereas Maggie perfect her studies in literature and Eastern religions).

He has because said that would like to end up his degree at some point.



Madonna performs onstage throughout the 2019 Billboard Music Awards at MGM grand Garden Arena on may 1, 2019 in ras Vegas, Nevada.Kevin Mazur/Getty images for dcpIt"s hard to think of Madonna as anything other than the Queen the Pop, and also her directly As and cheer experience collection her ~ above her way as she earn a dance scholarship at the college of Michigan, to examine dance.

However, she dropped out of she course and moved to new York City to go after stardom and also well, that settled pretty well for Madge.

Four year after dropping out, she released her debut single "Everybody," and also went top top to become one that the biggest selling artists of every time.

Tom Hanks

actor Tom Hanks attends the People"s choice Awards 2017 at Microsoft theater on January 18, 2017 in Los Angeles, California. Christopher Polk/Getty photos for People"s choice Awards)Knowing his career would involve the arts, Tom Hanks learned theatre at Chabot university in Hayward, California, before transferring come California State University, Sacramento after two years.

However, the left college before finishing his degree to start a three-year internship at the good Lakes theater Festival in Cleveland, Ohio, whereby he learned about everything from set design to lighting.

Soon ~ his internship, he moved to new York to seek acting, and the remainder is history.

Kanye West

Kanye West performs onstage at the power 106 Powerhouse show at Honda facility on June 3, 2016 in Anaheim, California. (Photo through FilmMagic)Scott Dudelson//FilmMagic because that MTVKanye called his debut album The college Dropout because that a reason.

After graduating indigenous high school, Kanye West got a scholarship to attend Chicago"s American Academy of art in 1997 and began taking paint classes, and also soon after, he transferred to Chicago State college to research English.

However, he establish his class were taking time the end of his occupational on his music career, and also he dropped the end of college to pursue music full time.

His mom Donda was pretty peeved, considering she teach at the very same college. However, she later wrote in her publication Raising Kanye: "It to be drummed right into my head the college is the ticket to a great life ... However some career purposes don"t call for college. For Kanye to make an album dubbed College Dropout it was much more about having the guts to adopt who you are, fairly than adhering to the path culture has sculpted out for you."

Kanye went on to become one of the biggest names in music, and last year, the ran for President of the united States.

Ben Affleck

Actor Ben Affleck attends the premiere that Warner Bros Pictures" "The Accountant" in ~ TCL Chinese Theatre top top October 10, 2016 in Hollywood, California. (Photo by /Getty Images)Frederick M. Brown/Getty ImagesBen Affleck determined to to visit the college of vermont solely due to the fact that a girl he favored attended school nearby, therefore he wasn"t exactly setup himself up because that success.

After researching Spanish for a few months, the dropped out and also moved come Los Angeles to study center Eastern affairs in ~ Occidental College.

A year and also a half later, Affleck dropped out again, yet luck was about the corner, together he started working ~ above a screenplay through pal Matt Damon referred to as Good will certainly Hunting.

Affleck is the proud owner that a degree now, though, together he to be awarded an honorary degree from Brown college in 2013.

Julia Louis-Dreyfus

Actress Julia Louis-Dreyfus, winner the the awards for exceptional Lead Actress in a Comedy series for "Veep" and Outstanding Comedy series for "Veep", poses in the push room at the 67th annual Primetime Emmy Awards in ~ Microsoft theatre on September 20, 2015 in Los Angeles, California. Mark Davis/Getty ImagesJulia Louis-Dreyfus learned theatre in ~ Northwestern college in Evanston, Illinois, and had the full college experience, even pledging to the Delta Gamma sorority and also performing v a college student revue.

However, in she junior year, she dropped the end of college without consulting she parents... But it to be to take a task at Saturday Night Live, which cleared up pretty well for Julia.

After ending up being the youngest female cast member top top the display at that time, Julia walk on to land her duty in Seinfeld, and also thanks to that, SNL and Veep, she is currently one the the many decorated actress in television.

She"s also officially a Northwestern alum now, together she got an honorary physician of arts level from the university in 2007.

Ashton Kutcher

Ashton Kutcher speaks onstage during WeWork Presents 2nd Annual Creator an international Finals at Microsoft theatre on January 9, 2019 in Los Angeles, California. Michael Kovac/Getty pictures for WeWorkAshton is now a TV star, a movie star, a heartthrob and a successful venture capitalist, however he might have had actually a job in biochemical engineering.

If Ashton Kutcher Hadn"t worked Hard during College He may Not it is in An Actor
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If Ashton Kutcher Hadn"t functioned Hard during College He might Not be An Actor

While he to be keen on theatre in high school, Ashton pursued this degree at the university of Iowa because he wanted to uncover a cure because that his brother"s condition; his twin brother Michael has actually cerebral palsy and also cardiomyopathy, and also underwent a love transplant when they were children.

However, ~ a year of studying, he dropped out to relocate to LA and pursue a job in modelling, ~ winning a modelling competition.

Speaking to, Kutcher said: " I pursued something i was passionate about and for 22 years, ns haven"t felt favor I"ve functioned a day even though I job-related every day. So, that was the appropriate decision for me."

Lady Gaga

Lady Gaga come at the Premiere the Warner Bros. Pictures" "A Star Is Born" at The Shrine Auditorium top top September 24, 2018 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by/)Neilson Barnard/Getty pictures for WeWorkBack when she was Stefani Germanotta, Gaga gained early admission to cooperation Arts task 21, a music college at brand-new York University"s Tisch school of the Arts, aged simply 17, and lived in one NYU dorm.

However, she dropped out in her second semester of her 2nd year to pursue her music career complete time.

At first, that seemed favor Gaga"s danger wasn"t walking to salary off, together she was dropped from Def Jam three months after ~ she was signed, however she persevered. After year of gigging and burlesque performances in brand-new York, she to be snapped increase by a label in 2007, and in 2008, Gaga dropped she debut album The Fame.

Fast front 13 years, and also Gaga has 12 Grammys, one Oscar, two golden Globes and a Bafta.

Jennifer Lopez

Jennifer Lopez attends the 2018 American Music Awards at Microsoft theater on October 9, 2018 in Los Angeles, California. Kevork Djansezian/Getty images For dcpJennifer enrolled at new York"s Baruch college to study organization but her heart wasn"t in it.

After one semester, she dropped the end to come to be a permanent dancer, and her decision put a strain on her connection with her mother.

JLo told W newspaper in 2013: "My mom and also I butted heads. Ns didn"t desire to go to college. I wanted to try dance full-time. So she and I had a break.

"I started sleeping on the sofa in the dance studio. I was homeless, but I told her, "This is what I need to do.""

However, her danger paid off, together she landing a job touring Europe through a show, before getting her large break top top In living Color.

Zooey Deschanel

Zooey Deschanel attends the premiere of focus Features" "Emma." at DGA theatre on February 18, 2020 in Los Angeles, California. Getty Images/Jon KopaloffAfter gift bullied in school, Zooey enrolled in ~ Northwestern University, but it seems school just wasn"t the location for her.

She dropped the end after nine months and later said Allure: "I checked out Northwestern because I had gone to a really nontraditional high school. Ns was like, "It"d be cool to have a traditional college experience.

"Then ns was like, "Oh, but none of these world understand what"s cool about me. Mine specialness is no appreciated in this place.""

The civilization did, however, understand Deschanel"s brand that coolness, and also her quirky nature landed her the roles in films like 500 days of Summer and Elf, and also the leading function of Jess in New Girl.

Joseph Gordon Levitt

Joseph Gordon-Levitt speaks onstage throughout the Band together with Logic 2019 SXSW Conference and Festivals at Paramount Theatre on march 15, 2019 in Austin, Texas. Matt Winkelmeyer//Getty photos for SXSWMany stars dropped the end of college before moving into acting, yet Joseph was currently a booked actor when he attended Columbia University.

After starring in 3rd absent From The Sun and also the classic teen movie 10 things I Hate around You, he started attending the university in 2000 to examine history, literature, and also French poetry, and lived in dorms in new York.

However, in 2004, he dropped out, and his reason is quite surprising. He told Glamour: "I teach myself to modify when ns was 21. I always wanted to since I constantly played through my family"s video camera, but it wasn"t until the early 2000s that video editing software lastly became available to anyone through a computer.

"Once that became easily accessible to me, I got a copy that Final reduced Pro, and I dropped the end of college. Honestly, if there"s one point that influenced me dropping out of college much more than something it"s as soon as I acquired Final reduced Pro. I could either be creating a record for a course or modifying this video, and also it"s addictive. At the very least it is for me."

After dropping out, his exhilaration career stepped increase a notch, with films like 500 job Of Summer, The Dark article Rises and Looper.


Sean Combs attends the "Killing castle Softly" Premiere during 65th yearly Cannes movie Festival in ~ Palais des Festivals on might 22, 2012 in Cannes, France. Gareth Cattermole/Getty ImagesAs well as being a hip-hop legend, Diddy, aka Sean Combs, is one entrepreneur, v restaurants, fashion, drinks and also television networks in his portfolio.

So it will come together no surprise that Combs actually visited college to examine business.

He enrolled in ~ Howard college as a organization major, however left ~ his sophomore year to pursue a job in music.

In 2014 Diddy claimed he was "speechless" as soon as he was awarded through an honorary doctorate in liberal arts from Howard, and was asked to supply the University"s 146th commencement Address.

Ryan Seacrest

Ryan Seacrest receives the Honorary doctor of Humane Letters level during university of Georgia start at Sanford stadion on may 13, 2016 in Athens, Georgia. (Photo by Marcus Ingram/Getty Images)Marcus Ingram/Getty ImagesRyan Seacrest was currently a budding radio presenter once he enrolled in the college of Georgia to research journalism.

During his time in ~ college, he ended up being the weekend hold for a sports game display on ESPN, and also in his small year, he dropped the end to move to LA to seek broadcasting, where he got his breakthrough hosting KYSR-FM"s afternoon drivetime show.

Ryan to be awarded an honorary doctorate from the university of Georgia in 2016, and said during his beginning speech: "I was never much more sure of anything in my life. Once you try something new, once you take it a risk, or opportunity your course, there will be naysayers and well-meaning skeptics.

"But thank them for your advice. Yet whatever friend do, don"t allow them silence you or her intuition. And also just favor me, understand that trusting her gut is the ideal decision the you could make. Years from now, come your own amazement, because you trusted your gut, you could end up questioning the most famed person in the world, "Who are you wearing?""

Ellen DeGeneres

Ellen DeGeneres attends the 77th Annual golden Globe Awards at The Beverly Hilton Hotel top top January 05, 2020 in Beverly Hills, California. (Photo by WireImage)Steve Granitz/WireImageEllen enrolled in the university of brand-new Orleans to examine communications, but dropped out after just one semester.

She later told Parade: "School just was not exciting to me."

Ellen worked a number of jobs if gigging ~ above the comedy circuit, and also just a couple of years later, she do a surname for herself nationwide through her stand up comedy.

Oprah Winfrey

Oprah Winfrey speaks throughout Oprah"s 2020 Vision: her Life in emphasis Tour gift by WW (Weight Watchers Reimagined) at Chase facility on February 22, 2020 in mountain Francisco, California. (Photo through Getty Images)Steve Jennings/Getty ImagesA billionaire, a media mogul, an Emmy winner, one icon... Oprah has actually done nice well for herself, therefore it may surprise you come hear the she dropped the end of college.

After functioning at a local radio terminal through high school, she enrolled in Tennessee State university on a scholarship to study communications.

However, in her sophomore year, Oprah Winfrey obtained a project offer from a local television station, and left institution to start her media career, i m sorry turned the end to be a risk that would certainly pay off massively.

Salma Hayek

Salma Hayek attends the 90th annual Academy Awards in ~ Hollywood & Highland center on march 4, 2018 in Hollywood, California. Frazer Harrison/Getty ImagesHayek enrolled in Universidad Iberoamericana in Mexico, whereby she studied global relations, but dropped the end to go after acting.

Soon afterwards, she landed her breakthrough duty in the telenovela Teresa, i beg your pardon turned her into a star in Mexico.

Jessica Biel

Jessica Biel attends the 70th Emmy Awards at Microsoft theater on September 17, 2018 in Los Angeles, California. Axelle/Bauer-Griffin/FilmMagicAfter becoming a teenage TV star through her role on 7th Heaven, Jessica enrolled in Tufts college in Massachussetts for over a year.

However, she dropped out when she was offered the lead duty in a remake of The Texas Chainsaw Massacre, and admits the she regrets she decision to leaving college.

Biel said Allure: "I great I would have had actually that time that my girlfriends all had. I wish ns would have actually lived in that crappy, nasty brownstone that they all lived in. If I had actually to carry out it again, i would have actually stuck around and finished that out."

Vin Diesel

Actor Vin Diesel speak at Hunter college 2018 start ceremony and also receives his Honorary medical professional of Humane letters at Radio City Music hall on may 30, 2018 in brand-new York City. (Photo by /Getty Images)Roy Rochlin/Getty ImagesVin Diesel learned English at Hunter college in new York for 3 years before he dropped the end to seek acting.

While the decision worked out pretty well because that him, he still hold a soft spot for the college, and in 2018, he to be awarded through an honorary PhD.

At his graduation, he said: "While I was in Hollywood I always had this pride of Hunter College. I would tell everyone that i learned and took so lot away from my experience at Hunter College. I was young, ns was a bouncer, once I wasn"t bouncing I remained in these classrooms with the most varied student human body on the planet."

Kristen Bell

Actress Kristen Bell attends the People"s selection Awards 2017 in ~ Microsoft theatre on January 18, 2017 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo through /Getty pictures for People"s choice Awards)Christopher Polk/Getty ImagesBell enrolled at the prestigious Tisch school of the arts to study musical theatre, yet left simply a few credits quick of graduating to accept the function of Becky Thatcher in the Broadway musical The Adventures that Tom Sawyer.

The display closed after a month, yet just 3 years later, she landed the lead duty in the collection Veronica Mars.

Rebecca Romijn

Rebecca Romijn arrives to the Humane culture Of The United claims To The Rescue! brand-new York Gala 2019 in ~ Cipriani 42nd Street ~ above November 15, 2019 in brand-new York City. (Photo by /Getty Images)Getty Images/Mike CoppolaRebecca specialty in music at the college of California, Santa Cruz, yet dropped out after a year to go after modelling.

She moved to Paris and ended increase hitting the big time, landing top top the consist of of Elle and Marie Claire.

Mila Kunis

Mila Kunis attends The Screening that "The Spy that Dumped Me" at Hearst Tower on July 12, 2018 in brand-new York City. Dimitrios Kambouris/Getty ImagesMila was just 14 once she was cast as Jackie on That "70s Show and also 15 when she started voicing Meg ~ above Family Guy, for this reason later, she decided to return to greater education and enrolled in ~ the university of California, Los Angeles, and Loyola Marymount University.

However, she stated she "never went to class" and also told Collider: "I didn"t fail out. Ns dropped out. Ns did no fail. I was in reality a pretty great student. My problem was that i didn"t know what I want to study. What was ns going to walk in? Undecided? i took a class on Zionist theory. Ns took classes that interested me, that weren"t necessarily because that a certain degree. Then ns realised and also spoke to mine parents and I said, "I do love what ns do and I desire to go after it.; They to be like, "Oh, why don"t you just drop out.""

John Mayer

John Mayer performs onstage throughout "Mac Miller: A celebration Of Life" Concert benefits The beginning Of The Mac fearbut Circles fund at The Greek Theatre top top October 31, 2018 in Los Angeles, California. Kevin Winter/Getty pictures for LiveNationJohn Mayer enrolled at Berklee university of Music in 1998 to go after his dreams, but became overwhelmed by the workload and also dropped out.

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He called MTV: " were pronounced like "d-d-d-f-f-f-f-f " — favor static. So I had to sort of entirely burn the bridge due to the fact that I didn"t understand what ns was doing. Yet Axl rose wore a kilt and like a catcher"s outfit and also no one really questioned that, so ns hope no one ever before questions the Berklee thing."

Mayer moved to Atlanta to start a band, but ended up performing solo, and three years later on he released his debut album to an important and commercial acclaim.