17 Celebrities Who Went Back To School After Being Famous

As a college graduate, I find it extremely important to inform the youth on the benefits of going to college. Though I technically am not utilizing the degrees I received in my undergraduate pursuits, I'm able to give the firsthand information on why it was still important for me to head off to college after high school. Like most children who pay attention to the media, they argue the success of celebrities who didn't graduate school. As true as it is, I always rebuttal their claims with a list of celebrities who went back to school after being famous.

With so many celebrities getting their start early on, many of them didn't have the opportunity to go to college or even graduate high school. Although they didn't take the conventional route that I took, that didn't mean some of them weren't dedicated to receiving their degrees in the long run. Whether it was going back to receive their GED, finishing their bachelor's degree after decades of leaving the university, or just deciding to take a break from what they became famous for, some celebrities have vowed to go back to school, despite their celebrity status.

If you need a little inspiration to head back to further your education or need to show your kids that even famous people get their education too, these 17 celebrities will definitely do the trick.



During his hiatus from the music world, R&B singer Lloyd went back to school and received his GED in Atlanta, GA earlier this year, according to his Instagram feed.


Natalie Portman

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Business Insider reported that Natalie Portman graduated from Harvard with a degree in Psychology in 2003, which was years after her starring role in Star Wars: Episode II.


Miranda Cosgrove

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According to MTV, the famed Nickelodeon actress decided to pursue a degree at University of Southern California over New York University so that she could act at the same time.


Dylan Sprouse

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Suite Life of Zack and Cody star Dylan Sprouse graduated from New York University with honors in 2015 with a degree in video game design, Us Weekly reported.


Cole Sprouse

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Us Weekly also noted that Dylan's twin brother Cole Sprouse also graduated from New York University with honors in 2015, majority in archaeology.


Tyra Banks

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Though she's amassed a huge amount of success as a supermodel and mogul, Tyra Banks enrolled in and completed Harvard's Owner/President Management extension program in 2012, according to Huffington Post.


L.A. Reid

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Music mogul L.A. Reid has had more success in the music industry than most realize, but that didn't stop Reid from enrolling in Harvard's Advancement Management Program, according to Black Enterprise.


Tia Mowry-Hardrict


According to Cooking Channel TV, Tia Mowry-Hardrict graduated from Pepperdine University with a degree in Psychology after wrapping production on the famed show, Sister-Sister.


Tamera Mowry-Housley

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Just like her twin sister Tia, Tamera Mowry-Housley graduated from Pepperdine University with an honors degree in Psychology, according to her website.


Ashley Olsen

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Known for taking over the world with her twin sister Mary-Kate in the '90s and early 2000s, Ashley Olsen's overwhelming success would cause one to think that there would be no need to head off to college.But as Entertainment Weekly noted that Olsen enrolled in New York University's Gallatin School of Individualized Study in 2003.


Mary-Kate Olsen

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Just like her sister Ashley, Mary-Kate Olsen enrolled in New York University in 2003, but ended up taking a leave of absence to focus on their company, DualStar, USA Today wrote.


Dakota Fanning


New York University seems to be the school of choice for many young actresses, and Dakota Fanning can be added to the list. Business Insider wrote that as of 2015, Fanning was enrolled as a senior at the illustrious university.


Steven Spielberg


Back in 2002, the Los Angeles Times wrote that famed director Steven Spielberg graduated from Cal State Long Beach with his bachelor's degree — a mere 34 years after he originally dropped out.


Emma Watson

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According to Huffington Post, Harry Potter star Emma Watson graduated from Brown University with a degree in English Literature.


Oprah Winfrey

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Despite already being successful in her career, mogul Oprah Winfrey went back to the same school she dropped out of — Tennessee State University — to receive her degree in Communications, according to Mashable .


Shaquille O'Neal

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According to ABC News, now retired basketball star Shaquille O'Neal went back to school to receive his bachelor's, master's, and as of 2012, his doctorate degree.


Tatyana Ali

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After stealing the hearts of many in the '90s as The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air's Ashley Banks, Tatyana Ali attended Harvard University and graduated with a degree in African-American history and government in 2002, BET wrote.