We’ve shown you Ivy League graduates and high school dropouts—but what about the celebs who got their high school degrees, got accepted at Ivy League schools but then left, for personal or professional reasons, before getting their degress? Each of the elite eight schools have at least one dropout who went on to bigger and better things in the entertainment industry.
And if you went to an Ivy League school and graduated, you can now say you’re just that much more accomplished than these famous people of the past and present.
The 'Bourne' star was accepted into Harvard in 1988 to study English but he kept skipping classes and leaving for different periods of time to film small roles such as the film 'School Ties,' or the TV movie 'Rising Son.'
Finally, he left the Crimson school to pursue acting full time and just never took enough credits.
And Damon seems to be done with the college experience. When he went on the Ellen show in 2011, he said he wasn't planning on going back to finish Harvard any time soon.
The 'X-Files' actor went to Yale and got a Master's degree in English Literature. But when he started his PhD, he never finished.
Why did Duchovny leave? Because he booked a beer commercial in 1987 for Löwenbräu which led to small movie roles and finally, the one and only 'X-Files' in 1993.
During his 'Inside the Actors Studio' interview, Duchovny revealed that the unfinished title of his doctoral thesis was 'Magic and Technology in Contemporary Poetry and Prose.'
The billionaire founder of CNN and TBS was asked to leave Brown during his senior year.
Apparently Turner, who was studying economics at the prestigious school, was suspended twice. One of those times was for getting caught with a girl in his room.
After she had already gained mainstream Hollywood success with her TV show 'My So-Called Life,' and movies likes 'Romeo + Juliet,' and 'Little Women,' Claire Danes decided she wanted to go to Yale to get a sense of 'self and development.'
However, she dropped out of her father's alma mater after only two years to go back to acting. And now she's on the hit TV show 'Homeland' that's getting good ratings and critical acclaim. Not a bad consolation prize.
Gyllenhaal has been acting since birth because of his Hollywood royalty family. So it was no surprise that he couldn't make it through his time at Columbia University.
His sister Maggie Gyllenhaal and his mother were both attendees of the school (Maggie was a senior when Jake was a freshman). The actor was studying Eastern religions and philosophy but dropped out after his sophomore year to concentrate on acting.
Gyllenhaal has said that he would love to finish his studies, but with so many new movie projects lining up, it's impossible to see that happening any time soon.
After starring in the hit comedy '3rd Rock from the Sun' and the teen film '10 Things I Hate About You,' Joseph Gordon-Levitt needed a break from Hollywood.
So he decided to attend Columbia University in 2000 to study History, Literature, and French Poetry. During his fourth year at the Ivy League, Gordon-Levitt dropped out of school (so close!) and went back to acting.
But Gordon-Levitt made the conscious decision to make good quality films after that point. Aka more '500 Days of Summer' and '50/50,' and less 'Halloween H20.'
You may not know this name, but if you watch 'Saturday Night Live,' you know his material.
Robert Smigel is the man behind the 'TV Funhouse' cartoons on 'SNL' which brought us shorts like 'The Ambiguously Gay Duo' and the 'The X-Presidents.' He's also the voice of Triumph, the Insult Comic Dog.
Smigel originally went to Cornell for Dentistry but knew he never really wanted to be a Dentist. He said in one interview that he failed so badly at pre-Dentistry classes that his parents felt sorry for him and let him transfer to NYU to study communications. He also hated that.
The 'True Blood' actress stumbled across acting in 1991 for the movie 'The Piano.'
After winning an Oscar for the role, Paquin stumbled into more success and more roles. Finally, she decided to go to Columbia University to take a quick break from acting and finish up studies.
But Paquin only made it through one year before going back to the big screen. Now she's on a hit cable TV show, is married to her co-star Stephen Moyer, and has a baby on the way. But technically Paquin is only on a leave of absence from the Ivy League. She has expressed a desire to go back ... eventually.
The famous poet, author of 'The Road Not Taken,' was accepted to Dartmouth College and even joined the Theta Delta Chi fraternity.
Then after two months, he dropped out to return home and work various odd jobs until he became a renowned poet. However, Frost did return to Dartmouth to guest lecture and to provide collections of his works.
If you've watched television in the past 25 years, you've seen the work of Alan Rachins on everything from 'L.A. Law' to 'Dharma and Greg' to 'CSI.'
The actor originally attended the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania before dropping out to study acting in New York. He eventually did finish college, but he took classes at Empire State College in Saratoga Springs, New York.
One of the greatest writers of all time attended Princeton University in 1913. Fitzgerald was very involved in writing at school. He wrote for the theatre troupe, the Princeton Triangle Club, and for the Princeton Tiger magazine.
Even with all the writing he was doing, Fitzgerald was a pretty terrible student so he dropped out of Princeton to join the Army for World War I. However, the war ended almost immediately after Fitzgerald joined.
The 'Fallin' and 'No One' singer could have had a full-ride to the prestigious New York City school but she turned it down to pursue a music career. She was fully deserving of the scholarship as well--after starting high school, she graduated at 16 and was also the valedictorian.
But considering the singer has several songs that have gone triple platinum and at least nine Grammys under her belt, she probably made the right choice.
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