30 Successful Celebs Who Are College Dropouts

By Mariella 10 months ago

1. Steve Jobs

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Steve Jobs is probably one of the most successful college dropouts, he attended Reed College, the liberal arts school in Oregon but dropped out due to him not being able to afford attending after just one semester there! However, looking at the fact he has grown one of the biggest businesses in the world, I must say he's done well for himself considering he's a dropout!

2. Mark Zuckerberg

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We all know who this man is, we know he is a very smart man and has created the largest social media platform ever (Facebook) and is absolutely filthy rich! However Mark dropped out of college in 2005, he attended Ivy League school; he dropped out to focus on his yet-to-be famous social media platform! Its weird to think these celebs come from nothing and work to the top!

3. Alicia Keys

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Alicia Keys is well known for her beautiful voice and her impeccable piano skills! However in the 1990s, Alicia Keys left Columbia University after only four weeks of attending to go and sign a music deal with Columbia Records; by the way she was only sixteen when this was happening! I guess this teaches people to not let anything get in the way of your dreams!

4. Tiger Woods

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Tiger Woods is just like many other athletes in all sports, he left education to pursue his dreams in his sport (golf). He attended Stanford University but dropped out in his sophomore year to follow his golfing dreams and to become a professional! However Tiger Woods has said that the only regret he has in life is that he didn't spend another year in Stamford!

5. Bill Gates

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Funnily enough, Bill gates dropped out of college twice in his time. He left Harvard in his sophomore year to pursue his study to his future company Microsoft which was founded in 1975. He then returned to Harvard to carry on but dropped out for good at the end of his junior year! University really isn't made for everyone who has big dreams I guess!

6. Brad Pitt

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Brad Pitt nearly didn't make it to this list, let me explain! The Oscar-winner and producer attended University of Missouri for Los Angeles and went through all the way through until two weeks before his graduation; weird really thinking about it. But Brad Pitt insisted that he had enough of it all and that he knows what he wants in life and how to get to it!

7. Daniel Ek

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Not many people have heard of Daniel Ek's name compared to the other celebrities named in this list, however he is the CEO and founder of our beloved Spotify! Daniel Ek attended Sweden's Royal Institute of Technology and decided to leave for good after just eight weeks of being there! He mustn't be a school type of person, rather ambitious and won't let anything get in his way!

8. Ellen DeGeneres

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We all know Ellen DeGeneres as a superwoman; talk shows, comedies, sitcoms and smashing the role of hosting the Oscars on multiple occasions! However she did give college a try and attended University of New Orleans but then decided to drop out of college in less than a semester. She believed college wasn't interesting her anymore and wanted to do something else with her time.

9. Ralph Lauren

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Ralph Lauren is a well-known fashion designer and has eventually become a very wealthy man! His designs have become iconic, and have ended up in museums for their beauty! However Ralph wasn't always into fashion, he dropped out of his college (New York City's Baruch College) after two years because he wanted to join the American army! He then learnt all of his fashion skills as he travelled with the army!

10. Kat Cole

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Kat Cole is the ex president of the company Focus Brands which is the parent company to our much loved Cinnabon and Auntie Anne's ( yummy )! However Kate attended the University of North Florida and decided to drop out at just the age of twenty years old due to the fact she. was sadly finding it difficult to find that work-life balance at times! Especially with her first job at Hooters on the go aswell!

11. Vin Diesel

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When you think of Vin Diesel you wouldn't think of a guy who loves literature, you think about a guy who loves cars and is an incredible actor! However Vin Diesel was a huuuuge English lover, in fact he was in the middle of a major in English at New York University; I just can't imagine this, can you?! Anyway Vin Diesel decided that English wasn't for his and realised he needed to pursue a life in acting so he dropped out!

12. Sofia Vergara

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Sofia Vergara is well known for her beautiful and hypnotising looks and her sensational acting skills throughout different shows, with Modern Family being my favourite! However before Sofia Vergara got into her Hollywood lifestyle, she studied dentistry at a college in Columbia! She has said in interviews that she dropped out but didn't mention a reason why!

13. Kanye West

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Kanye West is another wealthy person who has dropped out of college! In fact, he attended two universities: American Academy of Art and Chicago State University however he didn't graduate from either universities, the reasons are unknown but it could have been due to him wanting to be big in the music industry instead? He made an album named "The College Dropout" and eventually won many Grammys from this album!

14. Madonna

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Madonna is a huge star in the music industry and is another well known college drop out, Madonna used to name herself the "famed school drop out" to show off the fact she's so successful yet dropped out of college! Madonna studied at the Big Ten before deciding she needed to be the spotlight instead of in a book, so she decided to leave and pursue her music!

15. R. Donahue Peebles

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Many of you ladies reading this may not know who this man is but he is a very wealthy man and is actually on list of Wealthiest Black Americans, and to blow your mind even further he dropped out of college! R. Donahue Peebles is massive in real estate and that's where he gets all his wealth from! Peebles attended Rutgers but dropped out to get a real estate licence!

16. H. Wayne Huizenga

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H. Wayne Huizenga was one of those businessmen who was part of everything, Wayne was the founder of AutoNation, co-owner of the iconic Blockbuster and was apart of many sport teams like Florida Panthers! However H. Wayne Huizenga did attend Michigan's Calvin College but decided to drop out to become an amazing businessmen and I must say he didn't do a bad job of it!

17. Rachel Lim

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Rachel Lim is woman on this list that you also may have not heard of but she is the co-owner of Love, Bonito which is now a multi million business leaving Rachel Lim blown away with how successful her business has become! Rachel Lim is originally from Singapore and attended university there at Nanyang Technological University, she then dropped out when she saw the chance in her soon-to-be successful business!

18. Harry Truman

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If you don't know who Harry Truman is you must live under a rock, however Harry Truman is the second president for the USA that has dropped out of college in the twentieth century! Truman attended a business school in Kansas City and also a night school at Kansas City Law School. On the other hand Harry Truman didn't receive a degree at either college he attended!

19. Paul Allen

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Paul Allen was an extremely successful businessman who became a billionaire and an NFL owner! He was high school friends with Bill Gates and eventually became a co-founder of Microsoft! Paul Allen attended Washington State University but dropped out to start a job in Boston, we are unsure for how long he was at college for! He then owned Seattle Seahawks from 1997 until his death in 2018.

20. Paula Abdul

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Paula Abdul is well known for her singing, acting and a well known face on television! She then became a Grammy winner and a TV Host! Paula Abdul attended the suburban Los Angeles campus from 1980-1984 and studied broadcast journalism and participated in cheer! She then decided to leave college due to her dance career blowing up at this time in her life!

21. Lady Gaga

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The worldwide pop star is another music artist that has dropped out of university! Lady Gaga (her real name is Stefani Germanotta) attended New York University but it is not 100% known what she studied. Lady Gaga was attending New York University in the early 2000s yet she decided to leave uni due to her future music career being a priority for her!

22. Ryan Seacrest

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Ryan Seacrest is a famous American television personality that has been involved in many shows and game shows on American TV! Before Ryan Seacrest was so famous he studies journalism at University Of Georgia but dropped out of university in 1992! Ryan has told other sources that he left to focus on his radio and television career to become the man he is today!

23. Paul Newman

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Paul Newman was an extremely well known actor and film director in the mid 1900s, he was in the famous Cool Hand Luke which was aired in the year 1967! Paul Newman attended Yale University but decided to drop out mid way through college to move to New York to fully pursue his acting career and lifestyle! After moving to New York Newman became popular very quickly!

24. Bonnie Raitt

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Bonnie Raitt is a famous American blues singer and an iconic guitarist! Bonnie Raitt started off with African Studies at Harvard's Radcliffe College but took her first break from college when she fell in love with Blues music in Philadelphia and then took another break from college when she was following the Rolling Stones around! She then decided to drop out of college as she wasn't very interested anymore.

25. Travis Kalanick

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Travis Kalanick is the face behind America's most relied on service for many things: Uber! Uber is that well known nowadays that it has overcome the word "taxi" and everyone just says "I'll get an uber", crazy too. think really! Anyway, Travis Kalanick dropped out of UCLA and ended up disappointing his parents; his parents however knew that something is going to work out for Travis and it did!

26. Michael Dell

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Micheal Dell is the CEO of one of the biggest technology infrastructures ever: Dell. Micheal Dell has become a well known billionaire from his amazing magnetic technological ideas, he is also the 24th richest person in the world! Micheal Dell has admitted in an interview that he dropped out of the University Of Texas after just two semesters after being in a hurry to start a career!

27. Eddie Murphy

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We all know Eddie Murphy as an amazing American actor and incredible comedian! Eddie Murphy has been ranked number ten on Comedy Central's list of the 100 Greatest Stand-ups of All Time; what an amazing achievement from a college dropout! Eddie Murphey attended New York's Nassau Community College for two weeks but left to start doing comedy skits on Saturday Night Live!

28. Ted Turner

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Ted Turner is an iconic television face in American, he is the genius that gave us all Cable News Network (CNN) which is the first 24 hour cable news channel ever! Ted Turner didn't actually want to leave college; he was kicked out of Brown University due to smuggling something suspicious into his room! After his father pasted, Turner was able to build his company up and become the man he is today!

29. Johnny Chan

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Johnny Chan is a well-known American poker player who has travelled all over the world with his profession! He has won 10 World Series of Poker bracelets which is a huge achievement for anyone who takes poker professionally! However Johnny Chan hasn't always wanted to be a poker player, he studies hotel and restaurant management at the University of Houston however he dropped out at age 21!

30. Steve Wozniak

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Not many people have heard of Steve Wozniak but he is the co-founder of one of the worlds biggest companies: Apple! His main profession is electronics and computers, he was the brains behind the first apple computer! Steve says he didn't really drop out of college but he left for a gap year to earn some money for his fourth year in college yet he didn't return until the next decade!

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