22 Celebrities Who Dropped Out of High School (PHOTOS)

Betty Sordo | Mar 6, 2016 Celebrities

In the entertainment industry, rising stars are told to strike while the iron is hot. So what's a rising star to do when high school gets in the way of the big break?

These celebs dropped out of high school to pursue their dreams and their bets paid off.  Which dropout surprised you most?



Image via © MARIO ANZUONI/Reuters/Corbis

  • Kylie Jenner


    Image © Brian Prahl/Splash News/Corbis

    Kylie Jenner sent the entire Kardashian/Jenner clan into a tailspin after Radar Online reported that she quit homeschooling to focus on her personal brand. She managed to walk across the graduation stage much to the relief of her famous family.

  • Harry Styles


    Image via Byron Purvis/AdMedia/AdMedia/Corbis

    The hot young singer never returned to high school after auditioning for The X Factor in 2010. Although he was not declared the season's winner, Harry earned a place in Simon Cowell's boy band One Direction, and the rest is history.   

  • Rihanna


    Image via inffr-01/INFphoto.com/Corbis

    When Rihanna was only 15 years old, she auditioned in her native Barbados for vacationing music producer Evan Rodgers, who reportedly signed her to a contract that very same day. Rihanna immediately quit school and moved to the US to pursue her singing career.

  • Ryan Gosling


    Image via Splash News/Splash News/Corbis

    One of Hollywood's hottest bachelors left school when he was cast as a mousketeer on the TV series The New Mickey Mouse Club alongside fellow child actors Justin Timberlake and Britney Spears. Ryan has remarked that prior to leaving school for good, his mom homeschooled him to escape the bullying he was experiencing in regular school.

    More from The Stir: 20 Celebrities Who Dropped Out of College to Pursue Their Dreams (PHOTOS)

  • Katy Perry


    Image © Rick Davis/Splash News/Corbis

    Songstress superstar Katy Perry left high school in the ninth grade, but she didn't quit to pursue stardom. She has made mention that her parents moved the family a number of times while she was in school and the changes left Perry disenchanted with her education.

  • Drake


    Image via London Ent/Splash News/Corbis

    Canadian rapper Drake was on the TV series Degrassi: the Next Generation for several years before calling it quits at Forest Hill Collegiate Institute in Toronto. 

  • Emma Stone


    Image via Splash News/Splash News/Corbis

    Roughly one year before her breakout role in the hit movie Superbad, Emma Stone dropped out of high school just weeks before graduation. 

  • Orlando Bloom


    Image via Michele Amoruso/Demotix/Corbis

    The actor left St. Edmunds School in Canterbury at 16 in order to study acting at the National Youth Theatre in London. He reportedly struggled in school due to dyslexia, but he became a household name after earning roles in Pirates of the Caribbean and Lord of the Rings.  

    More from The Stir: 9 Stars Who've Bared It ALL for the Movies (PHOTOS)

  • Gisele Bündchen


    Image via Photo Image Press/Splash News/Corbis

    An Elite Model Management scout discovered Gisele Bündchen when she was just 14 years old. The Brazilian beauty dropped out of high school and now earns millions every year from endorsements alone.  

  • Lindsay Lohan


    Image via JJ/Splash News/Corbis

    Following her prolific streak as a child actor, Lindsay Lohan quit school in the 11th grade. In spite of her troubled twenties and multiple run-ins with the law, she continues to find work in Hollywood.   

  • Daniel Radcliffe


    Image via Russ Einhorn/Splash News/Corbis

    The young actor began filming Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone at the age of 10. Over the course of 10 years, he would reprise his role as Harry Potter another seven times. The resulting filming schedule led Daniel to quit high school.   

  • Drew Barrymore


    Image © Ferdaus Shamim/ZUMA Press/Corbis

    As a member of the storied Barrymore family, Drew Barrymore has spent almost her entire life acting. She starred in Steven Spielberg's movie E.T. The Extra-Terrestrial when she was only 7 years old. Her transition from child star to adult actress was certainly bumpy and included dropping out of high school and emancipating herself from her parents.  

    More from The Stir: 20 Celebrities Who Graduated From Ivy League Schools (PHOTOS)

  • Kristen Stewart


    Image via KCS Presse/Splash News/Corbis

    She began acting at age 8 and attended school until seventh grade. She once said that at the time, she felt that people judged her unfairly due to her success as an actress. Kristen Stewart also says her teachers failed her by not wanting to help her remain caught up with her schoolwork. She eventually earned her high school diploma via home schooling. 

  • Seth Rogen


    Image © Image Press/Splash News/Corbis

    Seth Rogen began his acting career doing stand up comedy at clubs in Vancouver, British Columbia, his hometown. At 16 years of age, he landed a role on the cult classic TV show Freaks and Geeks. His parents had lost their jobs during that time. Seth decided to quit school to dedicate his time to acting and comedy. He relocated to Los Angeles and brought his entire family with him.   

  • Cameron Diaz


    Image © KEVORK DJANSEZIAN/Reuters/Corbis

    Actress Cameron Diaz began her career modeling. She was discovered at the age of 16. Her popularity with fashion designers forced her to keep a hectic travel schedule that took her all over the globe. Consequently, the demands of her budding career cut her high school education short.

  • Iggy Azalea


    Image © MARIO ANZUONI/Reuters/Corbis

    After gaining traction from her amateur YouTube videos, Amethyst Kelly, better known as Australian rapper and songwriter Iggy Azalea, told her parents she was going to visit the US. Once she arrived, she told her parents that she wasn't going back. During her rise to stardom, Iggy had taken a break from school but since has earned her GED.   

    More from The Stir: 10 Oddest Celebrity College Majors

  • Lil Wayne


    Image © Kasmar-Steffman/Splash News/Corbis

    Dwayne Michael Carter, Jr., aka Lil Wayne, began writing songs at the age of 8. Don't let his tattoos and baggy pants fool you. Lil Wayne was an honors student at McMain Magnet School in New Orleans, Louisiana. At 14, Lil Wayne became the youngest member of the Hot Boys and subsequently quit school to focus on his budding music career.  

  • Michelle Rodriguez


    Image © MARIO ANZUONI/Reuters/Corbis

    Michelle Rodriguez, best known for her recurring role as Letty Ortiz in the Fast and the Furious movies, had been expelled from school on 5 different occasions before dropping out when she was 17 to pursue acting. She later earned her GED.  

  • Jay Z


    Image © Splash News/Splash News/Corbis

    Shawn Carter, best known as Jay Z or Beyonce's husband, grew up in a housing project in Brooklyn and attended several schools including George Westinghouse, alongside Notorious B.I.G. and Busta Rhymes. He never completed high school.  

  • Eminem


    Image via Rick Davis/Splash News/Corbis

    Marshall Mathers, aka Eminem, dropped out of high school in the ninth grade. He allegedly repeated the grade three times because of bad grades and absences. His struggles as a youth inspired his rap songs, making him one of the top rap artists of all time.

    More from The Stir: Do You Think Celebs Should Get Honorary Degrees?

  • Ben Foster


    Image © Splash News/Corbis

    Ben Foster began acting at the age of 12 in his hometown of Fairfield, Iowa. After attending a performing arts high school, Ben decided to drop out and move to Los Angeles to pursue his lifelong dream.

  • Kelly Osbourne


    Image © PG/Splash News/Corbis

    The daughter of rocker legend Ozzy Osbourne and wife Sharon, Kelly enjoyed relative obscurity until the premier of the reality show The Osbournes in which her every teenage move seem to be documented. She left high school in the 10th grade and has since worked as an actress and producer.

celebrity gossip celebrities

More Slideshows