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Getting an education and learning is extremely necessary at any kind of level, and many stars ensured the they secured a diploma or a degree prior to aiming because that the huge time.

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However, countless others showed that friend don"t require a degree to accomplish your dreams.

Whether it was leaving college with simply a couple of credits short, or dropping the end to chase Hollywood, below are 25 celebs who never quite made it to university graduation.


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

He enrolled in ~ the university of Missouri, home to one of the country"s ideal J-schools, yet just 2 weeks before graduation, the dropped out.

Pitt later told NPR: "It just involved the time the graduation and also everyone — all my friends to be committing to jobs — and I just realized i was not prepared for the yet. ..I pack up my car. Ns didn"t graduate — I had actually two mainly left — and I relocated out to LA.

"I just felt ns was done; ns was done v it. I knew where I want to go. I had a direction. I constantly liked those moments of epiphany as soon as you have the next destination."

Luckily, moving to Hollywood settled for him.

Reese Witherspoon


Honoree Reese Witherspoon attends The Hollywood Reporter"s power 100 females in Entertainment at Milk Studios on December 11, 2019 in Hollywood, California. Alberto E. Rodriguez/Getty pictures for The Hollywood ReporterReese Witherspoon"s mother has actually no less than 3 degrees, so that made sense as soon as the actress top to Stanford university as an English literature major.

However, she left after ~ one year in ~ the period of 19 to go after an acting career.

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30 gibbs Who adjusted Their Names

Witherspoon told Ellen DeGeneres: "Oh, my mother was for this reason mad in ~ me that i dropped out of college because she wanted me to be a doctor, specifically a plastic surgeon. Mine dad was an ear, nose and also throat surgeon, however my mom was simply really identified for me to it is in a plastic surgeon.

"And she to be mad around it for most likely 10 years, and also then i bought she a residence so she gained over it. In ~ some suggest it turned right into a far better deal because that Betty."

Gary Busey


Gary Busey start the Celebrity huge Brother residence at Elstree Studios on respectable 18, 2014 in Borehamwood, England.Karwai Tang/WireImageGary Busey very first attended a ar college before enrolling at Pittsburg State college on a football scholarship. That was here he came to be interested in acting, and also his love of acting took over as soon as he switched to Oklahoma State college on a drama scholarship ~ an injury asserted his athletics scholarship.

The theater significant left school simply one class quick of graduating and also began drumming for a band prior to his exhilaration career took off in 1974.

Jake Gyllenhaal


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

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

He has because said the would like to end up his level at some point.



Madonna performs onstage throughout the 2019 Billboard Music Awards in ~ MGM cool Garden Arena on might 1, 2019 in ras Vegas, Nevada.Kevin Mazur/Getty photos for dcpIt"s tough to think the Madonna as anything other than the Queen the Pop, and also her directly As and cheer experience set her top top her means as she deserve a run scholarship at the college of Michigan, to research dance.

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

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

Tom Hanks

gibbs 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 an option Awards)Knowing his career would certainly involve the arts, Tom Hanks learned theatre at Chabot university in Hayward, California, before transferring to California State University, Sacramento after two years.

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

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

Kanye West

Kanye West performs on stage at the power 106 Powerhouse display at Honda facility on June 3, 2016 in Anaheim, California. (Photo through FilmMagic)Scott Dudelson//FilmMagic for MTVKanye named his debut album The university Dropout for a reason.

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

However, he realised his class were taking time out of his job-related on his music career, and he dropped the end of university to seek music full time.

His mother Donda to be pretty peeved, considering she taught at the very same college. However, she later wrote in her book Raising Kanye: "It was drummed into my head that college is the ticket come a good life ... But some career goals don"t need college. Because that Kanye to do an album dubbed College Dropout the was more about having actually the offal to embrace who friend are, rather than following the path society has carved out because that you."

Kanye walk on to end up being one of the greatest names in music, and also last year, he ran for President of the unified States.

Ben Affleck

Actor Ben Affleck attends the premiere of Warner Bros Pictures" "The Accountant" at TCL Chinese Theatre top top October 10, 2016 in Hollywood, California. (Photo by /Getty Images)Frederick M. Brown/Getty ImagesBen Affleck decided to attend the university of vermont solely because a girl he favored attended college nearby, for this reason he wasn"t exactly setting himself up for success.

After researching Spanish because that a couple of months, the dropped out and moved to Los Angeles to study middle Eastern affairs in ~ Occidental College.

A year and also a fifty percent later, Affleck dropped out again, but luck was around the corner, as he started working ~ above a screenplay v pal Matt Damon called Good will Hunting.

Affleck is the proud owner that a degree now, though, as he was awarded an honorary level from Brown university in 2013.

Julia Louis-Dreyfus

Actress Julia Louis-Dreyfus, winner of the awards for exceptional Lead Actress in a Comedy series for "Veep" and also Outstanding Comedy series for "Veep", poses in the push room in ~ the 67th annual Primetime Emmy Awards at 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 complete college experience, even pledging come the Delta Gamma sorority and also performing v a student revue.

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

After coming to be the youngest female cast member top top the present at that time, Julia go on come land her duty in Seinfeld, and thanks to that, SNL and Veep, she is currently one of the many decorated actress in television.

She"s additionally officially a Northwestern alum now, as she got an honorary medical professional of arts level from the university in 2007.

Ashton Kutcher

Ashton Kutcher speak onstage throughout WeWork Presents second Annual Creator global Finals at Microsoft theatre on January 9, 2019 in Los Angeles, California. Michael Kovac/Getty photos for WeWorkAshton is now a TV star, a movie star, a heartthrob and a successful undertaking capitalist, but he could have had a career in biochemical engineering.

If Ashton Kutcher Hadn"t functioned 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 top top theatre in high school, Ashton sought this degree at the university of Iowa because he want to discover a cure because that his brother"s condition; his pair brother Michael has actually cerebral palsy and also cardiomyopathy, and underwent a heart transplant as soon as they were children.

However, after ~ a year of studying, he dropped the end to move to LA and also pursue a career in modelling, after winning a modelling competition.

Speaking to, Kutcher said: " I sought something i was passionate about and because that 22 years, ns haven"t felt choose I"ve worked a day even though I work every day. So, the was the ideal decision for me."

Lady Gaga

Lady Gaga come at the Premiere the Warner Bros. Pictures" "A Star Is Born" in ~ The Shrine Auditorium on September 24, 2018 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by/)Neilson Barnard/Getty pictures for WeWorkBack when she was Stefani Germanotta, Gaga gained early on admission to collaborative Arts job 21, a music institution at new York University"s Tisch college of the Arts, aged just 17, and also lived in an NYU dorm.

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

At first, it seemed prefer Gaga"s danger wasn"t walking to pay off, as she to be dropped indigenous Def Jam three months after she to be signed, however she persevered. After years of gigging and also burlesque performances in brand-new York, she was snapped up by a label in 2007, and in 2008, Gaga dropped she debut album The Fame.

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

Jennifer Lopez

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

After one semester, she dropped the end to end up being a permanent dancer, and her decision placed a stress, overload on her relationship with her mother.

JLo said W newspaper in 2013: "My mom and also I butted heads. Ns didn"t desire to walk to college. I want to shot dance full-time. For this reason she and I had actually a break.

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

However, her hazard paid off, as she landed a task touring Europe with a show, before getting her big break top top In life Color.

Zooey Deschanel

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

She dropped out after ripe months and later said Allure: "I visited Northwestern because I had actually gone to a really nontraditional high school. Ns was like, "It"d it is in cool to have a classic college experience.

"Then ns was like, "Oh, yet none that these human being understand what"s cool around me. My specialness is no appreciated in this place.""

The human being did, however, recognize Deschanel"s brand that coolness, and also her quirky nature landed her the duties in movies like 500 job 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 also Festivals at Paramount Theatre on march 15, 2019 in Austin, Texas. Matt Winkelmeyer//Getty images for SXSWMany stars dropped out of college prior to moving right into acting, but Joseph was already a booked actor when he attended Columbia University.

After certification in 3rd absent From The Sun and also the standard teen movie 10 things I Hate around You, he began attending the college in 2000 to examine history, literature, and also French poetry, and lived in dorms in brand-new York.

However, in 2004, he dropped out, and also his factor is fairly surprising. The told Glamour: "I teach myself to modify when ns was 21. I constantly wanted to due to the fact that I always played through my family"s video clip camera, however it wasn"t till the early on 2000s that video clip editing software lastly became available to anyone with a computer.

"Once that became available to me, I obtained a copy the Final cut Pro, and also I dropped the end of college. Honestly, if there"s one point that influenced me dropping out of college much more than noþeles it"s once I acquired Final reduced Pro. I might either be composing a document for a course or editing and enhancing this video, and it"s addictive. At the very least it is because that me."

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


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

So it will certainly come as no surprised that Combs actually saw college to examine business.

He enrolled in ~ Howard college as a company major, however left ~ his sophomore year to go after a job in music.

In 2014 Diddy claimed he to be "speechless" once he was awarded with an honorary doctorate in liberal arts from Howard, and also was request to provide the University"s 146th start Address.

Ryan Seacrest

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

During his time at college, he became the weekend organize for a sporting activities game show on ESPN, and in his small year, that dropped the end to move to LA to seek broadcasting, whereby he acquired his breakthrough hosting KYSR-FM"s afternoon drivetime show.

Ryan to be awarded an honorary doctorate indigenous the university of Georgia in 2016, and said during his beginning speech: "I was never an ext sure of noþeles in my life. When you shot something new, once you take a risk, or opportunity your course, there will certainly be naysayers and also well-meaning skeptics.

"But thank them for your advice. However whatever you do, don"t allow them quiet you or your intuition. And also just favor me, understand that trusting your gut is the finest decision the you might make. Decades from now, come your own amazement, since you trusted her gut, you might end up questioning the most famed person in the world, "Who space you wearing?""

Ellen DeGeneres

Ellen DeGeneres attends the 77th Annual gold 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 college of new Orleans to research communications, yet dropped the end after just one semester.

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

Ellen functioned a variety of jobs if gigging on the comedy circuit, and also just a couple of years later, she made a surname for herself nationwide through her wake up comedy.

Oprah Winfrey

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

After working at a local radio station through high school, she enrolled in Tennessee State college on a scholarship to study communications.

However, in her sophomore year, Oprah Winfrey obtained a job offer from a regional television station, and also left school to start her media career, which turned the end to be a danger that would certainly pay off massively.

Salma Hayek

Salma Hayek attends the 90th annual Academy Awards at Hollywood & Highland center on in march 4, 2018 in Hollywood, California. Frazer Harrison/Getty ImagesHayek enrolled in Universidad Iberoamericana in Mexico, where she studied worldwide relations, yet dropped the end to pursue acting.

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

Jessica Biel

Jessica Biel attends the 70th Emmy Awards in ~ Microsoft theatre on September 17, 2018 in Los Angeles, California. Axelle/Bauer-Griffin/FilmMagicAfter becoming a teenage TV star v her duty on 7th Heaven, Jessica enrolled in Tufts university in Massachussetts because that over a year.

However, she dropped out once she was offered the lead duty in a work again, please again of The Texas Chainsaw Massacre, and admits that she regrets her decision to leaving college.

Biel told Allure: "I great I would certainly have had that time the my girlfriends all had. Ns wish i would have actually lived in the crappy, nasty brownstone the they all live in. If I had actually to perform it again, ns would have stuck around and also finished it out."

Vin Diesel

Actor Vin Diesel speak at Hunter college 2018 start ceremony and also receives his Honorary doctor of Humane letters at Radio City Music hall on might 30, 2018 in new York City. (Photo through /Getty Images)Roy Rochlin/Getty ImagesVin Diesel learned English in ~ Hunter college in new York for three years before he dropped out to pursue acting.

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

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

Kristen Bell

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

The display closed after ~ a month, but just 3 years later, she landing the lead role in the collection Veronica Mars.

Rebecca Romijn

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

She moved to Paris and ended up hitting the huge time, landing ~ above the covers 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 when she was cast as Jackie top top That "70s Show and 15 when she began voicing Meg on Family Guy, therefore later, she decided to return to higher education and enrolled at the college of California, Los Angeles, and Loyola Marymount University.

However, she said she "never checked out class" and told Collider: "I didn"t fail out. Ns dropped out. Ns did no fail. Ns was actually a pretty an excellent student. My problem was that ns didn"t understand what I wanted to study. What was ns going to walk in? Undecided? ns took a course on Zionist theory. Ns took classes the interested me, that weren"t necessarily because that a certain degree. Then i realised and spoke to my parents and also I said, "I perform love what ns do and also I want to pursue it.; They were 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 money at The Greek Theatre on October 31, 2018 in Los Angeles, California. Kevin Winter/Getty images for LiveNationJohn Mayer enrolled at Berklee college of Music in 1998 to seek his dreams, but became overwhelmed through the workload and dropped out.

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He said MTV: " were pronounced favor "d-d-d-f-f-f-f-f " — like static. So I had to sort of entirely burn the bridge since I didn"t understand what i was doing. However Axl increased wore a kilt and like a catcher"s outfit and no one really wondered about that, so ns hope no one ever questions the Berklee thing."

Mayer moved to Atlanta to start a band, however ended up performing solo, and three years later on he exit his debut album to critical and commercial acclaim.