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The Quick 10: 10 Celebrities Who Attended College Post-Fame

Just because you’ve made millions before the age of 18 doesn’t mean you don’t need an education. Just ask Emma Watson and the Olsen twins. Despite earning a more-than respectable living before most of us have even held down a part-time job, these 10 celebrities decided they needed something to fall back on should the acting thing not work out.

1. Emma Watson recently started her first year at Brown and was worried about fitting in and being just another student. Guess she kind of blew that when she arrived at school in a helicopter.

franco2. James Franco has already received a degree in English from UCLA, but has spent pieces of the last couple of semesters at Columbia and NYU, working on an MFA writing program and a degree in filmmaking, respectively. But apparently he’s like every other student in that class doesn’t always hold his attention. That’s him on the left, catching a little shut-eye during a lecture.
3. The Olsen Twins enrolled at NYU about five years ago, dropping $7.3 million on four penthouses to serve as their “dorms.” It only lasted a year, though, before Mary-Kate dropped out to be more involved with their company, DualStar. It would appear that Ashley remained at NYU, although I can’t find any evidence that she graduated.

4. Natalie Portman, of course, famously went to Harvard while she was filming the Star Wars movies, saying, “I’d rather be smart than a movie star.” She graduated with a degree in psychology.

5. Julia Stiles is an Ivy Leaguer, going to Columbia University even after her success in movies such as 10 Things I Hate About You, Save the Last Dance and The Bourne Identity. She graduated in 2005 with a degree in English literature.

6. Ashley Judd started her degree at the University of Kentucky in 1986, but left in 1990 to pursue her career. She decided to finish what she started I n2007, receiving a bachelor’s degree in French. But she’s not done. Just this year, Ashley enrolled at Harvard’s Kennedy School to get her master’s in public administration.

7. Jerry O’Connell, husband of Rebecca Romijn and best known for his roles in Jerry Maguire and Stand By Me, just attended orientation at Los Angeles’ Southwestern Law School, where he will be taking night classes to complete his law degree. “It was either that or play video games until 2 a.m.,” he said.

8. Haley Joel Osment, the adorable little kid from The Sixth Sense, isn’t so little these days. He’s currently attending the Tisch School of the Arts at NYU.

9. Liam Aiken is another famous face at NYU. He’s been in lots of movies, but you might know him best as Klaus from A Series of Unfortunate Events. He started school last fall, also at the Tisch School of the Arts, and is still studying there as far as I can tell.

shields10. Brooke Shields’ budding career was going gangbusters in 1983 – she had already starred in Pretty Baby and The Blue Lagoon. But she dropped it all to focus on four years of studies at Princeton from 1983 to 1987, and wrote her senior thesis on a subject pretty near and dear to her heart. It was entitled “The Initiation: From Innocence to Experience: The Pre-Adolescent/Adolescent Journey in the Films of Louis Malle, Pretty Baby and Lacombe Lucien.”

I know there are plenty more – Jodie Foster’s attendance at Yale, for instance – so who else did I miss? Share in the comments!


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