16 Celebrities Who Went Back to School After Hitting Stardom

Bethany Quinn | Aug 28, 2019 Celebrities
16 Celebrities Who Went Back to School After Hitting Stardom
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Natalie Portman

Once stars hit it big in Hollywood, it would be easy for them to rest on their laurels and wads of cash! But for many stars, fame is not the end all be all! Celebs are so busy nurturing their careers that often, they must make big sacrifices in other areas of their lives. Relationships and marriages may crumble on a star’s rise to the top -- which would explain the high rate of divorce in Hollywood. But there’s also another area that sometimes gets neglected, and that’s education.

Many stars were famous as kids or before their college years, and rather than putting their careers on hold, they just skipped higher education all together. But for many celebs, an education was of utmost importance and they went back to school, despite already being majorly successful.

Stars like Natalie Portman and Karlie Kloss made headlines when they halted their careers in favor for higher learning, something we totally respect! It must be hard and quite the risk to choose an education over fame, fortune, and all the perks that come with it! But luckily for these celebs, it all seems to have worked out just fine. So not only are the celebs on this list super talented, they are also super smart.

Here are 16 celebrities who went back to school after hitting stardom.

  • Yara Shahidi

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    After deferring for one year to finish up some acting projects, Yara Shahidi enrolled at Harvard University! She was accepted, undoubtedly because of her brains and dedication to higher learning. Still, it must have helped having a letter of recommendation written by former first lady, Michelle Obama!


  • America Ferrera

    America Ferrera
    Eugene Powers/Splash News

    America Ferrera was getting ready to begin her freshman year at the University of Southern California when she was offered the starring role in the television show Ugly Betty. She took the role and spent a successful four-season run on the show! Later, she went back to USC for her degree and graduated in 2013.

  • James Franco

    James Franco
    Jackie Brown/Splash News

    James Franco has  a lot of acting credits under his belt and a lot of degrees, too! He has a bachelor's degree from UCLA, a master's from Columbia, and a Ph.D. from Yale! But wait, there's more! In addition, James Franco has studied at NYU, Brooklyn College, and the Rhode Island School of Design -- all while acting in various projects!

  • Eva Longoria


    Eva Longoria was 38 when she earned a master's from Cal State Northridge. She chose a major that was near and dear to her heart: Chicano studies. Eva celebrated her graduation day with her fans on social media. "Big day today!!! Very excited to graduate for my master’s degree in Chicano studies! You're never too old or too busy to continue your education!" she wrote.

  • Natalie Portman

    Natalie Portman
    Bauer-Griffin/Splash News

    Natalie Portman has been acting since the age of 11, starring in films like The Professional, Black Swan, and Closer. At 18, she enrolled at Harvard at the peak of her career, but that didn't faze her one bit. "I don't care if [college] ruins my career ... I'd rather be smart than a movie star," she told reporters at the time.

    Well, OK then!

  • Dakota Fanning