Famous Celebrities Who Went Back to School

The importance of a good education cannot be stressed enough. By gaining an education, we are able to broaden our perspectives and views of the world and gain an unquantifiable amount of skills and knowledge in a variety of different subject areas. The United Nations recognizes education to be a basic human right. Why? Because with an education, an individual has greater opportunities and better chances to improve their lives and positions in the world.
Celebrities are not immune to the need for education. Sure, some of them may have become very successful as actors, talk show hosts, or sportsmen but many of them went back to college to finish their studies in their chosen fields. These individuals serve as examples of the importance of an education itself; not just for the ability to have money and fame.

Oprah Winfrey

For years, Oprah has inspired people the world over with her compassion, empathy, and many philanthropic endeavors. This famous talk-show host was seemingly born with a knack for words and communication.
While in high school, she won an oratory contest, which resulted in her getting a full scholarship to Tennessee State University. She was doing so well that she began to get job offers in broadcast media while she was still a student. She therefore decided to leave university and work even though she only needed one more credit to graduate.
13 years later, after making a name for herself in the industry, her former university, TSU, invited Oprah back to speak at its commencement in 1987. She said that she would only do so after finishing her studies and getting her degree. And that’s exactly what she did!

Michael Jordon
Arguably one of the most famous basketball players of all time, number 23 on the Chicago Bulls, Michael Jordon can do more than score a slam dunk.
After high school, he joined the University of North Carolina. At this point, his basketball career really started to take off and so he left university in his junior year. He later returned to complete a Bachelor of Arts degree in Cultural Geography in 1986.

Tyra Banks
In the case of Tyra Banks, she’s got both beauty and brains. Tyra is a model, author, TV personality, producer, actress, and talk show host. Full plate, huh? Apparently not.  In 2011, Tyra enrolled in the nine-week Owner/President Management Program (OPM) at Harvard Business School. She earned her certificate for this program in 2012.

Shaquille O’Neal
Another famous basketball player who understood the importance of a good education.  Like most rising  stars, O’Neal was forced to drop out of school in order to play basketball.
In 2000, however, O’Neal returned to Louisiana State University and earned a bachelor’s degree in business. But he didn’t stop there; in 2005 he graduated with a master’s degree in business education from the University of Phoenix and in 2012, he gained a doctorate degree in education from Barry University.
So not only can Shaquille O’Neal boast about his prolific basketball career, he’s also a Doctor of Education. Take that!

Emma Watson
The Harry Potter starlet couldn’t purse an education while filming the Harry Potter series, and so, when it wrapped up, Watson was eager to enroll in college. She joined Brown University in 2009 but had to take a leave of absence after just 18 months in order to pursue her acting commitments. In that time, she attended Worcester College, Oxford, during the 2011–12 academic year as a visiting student.
She did however return and complete her degree at Brown -  Watson graduated in 2014 with a Bachelor’s degree in English Literature.

James Franco
One could safely say that James Franco truly loves learning and studying.  This prolific actor, filmmaker, and teacher (Yes, you read that correctly. He taught a theatre class at NYU!), has a number of degrees under his belt.
After high school, Franco enrolled at the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA), as an English major but dropped out after his first year to pursue a career as an actor. Ten years later, he rejoined UCLA and convinced his advisors to let him exceed the maximum course load. He ended up taking 62 credits in one quarter, which is about three times the normal limit. He graduated in two years with a degree in English and a GPA of over 3.5! As his honors thesis, he wrote a novel.
He wasn’t done yet; after UCLA, he moved out to New York and enrolled in NYU for filmmaking, Columbia for fiction writing, Brooklyn College for fiction writing, and a low-residency poetry program at Warren Wilson College in North Carolina.
And he still isn’t done yet. His next academic endeavor is a Ph.D. in English from Yale.


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