More than 1.3 million students drop out of high school every year in the US, making them ineligible for 90% of jobs in America, according to DoSomething.org.
But while it’s by no means considered the path to success — Tumblr founder David Karp dropped out of high school at the age of 15 and told Forbes he doesn’t recommend it to others since he missed out on so much — some people made the most of their time outside the hallowed halls of high school.
Here is the special breed of super successful people that overcame their “high-school dropout” status and turned the world on its head.
Vivian Giang contributed to an earlier version of this article.
At the age of 15, Karp dropped out of an elite Bronx High School of Science and developed Tumblr, the blog-hosting and social network company, in 2007 in the 'back bedroom of his mother's modest Manhattan apartment.'
He sold the blog-hosting company to Yahoo for $US1.1 billion in 2013, when his net worth reportedly exceeded $US200 million, and he remains as the company's CEO.
Regarded as a child prodigy, Franklin recorded her first tracks at age 14 and performed with her father's travelling Gospel revival show, according to Bio. She dropped out of high school at 15 to care for her first child.
Franklin has since received numerous honorary degrees from universities like Harvard, Princeton, Yale, and the Berklee College of Music.
In 1987, Franklin became the first female artist to be inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. She has sung at the inauguration of three US presidents, including Bill Clinton and Barack Obama.
Franklin has 18 Grammys under her belt, and in 1994 was honored with a Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award.
Called an 'unsung hero of the internet,' the supercomputer scientist dropped out of high-school in Nigeria due to war conditions and lack of tuition money. According to Time, he was considered a maths prodigy and continued to study on his own, earning an equivalency diploma and later a scholarship to Oregon College of Education in the US.
In 1987, Emeagwali came up with the formula for allowing a large number of computers to communicate at once. The record-breaking experiment was a practical and inexpensive way to use machines to speak to each other all over the world.
The discovery earned him the IEEE Gordon Bell Prize in 1989, and he has since been hailed as one of the fathers of the Internet, according to Time.
The Oscar winner attended Narbonne High School in Harbour City, California, until he dropped out at the age of 15 and started working as an usher at an adult film theatre while taking acting classes, according to Bio.
While working at the Video Archives in his early 20s, Tarantino wrote the scripts for 'True Romance' and 'Natural Born Killers,' but it was his directorial debut in 'Reservoir Dogs' in 1992 that won him wide critical acclaim.
He's been nominated for several Academy Awards and is the winner of two -- for 'Django Unchained' and 'Pulp Fiction.'
Foreman dropped out of school in the ninth grade and ran with street gangs until he joined the Job Corps in 1965, where he first started training as a boxer, according to Bio.
He has been inducted into the World Boxing Hall of Fame and the International Boxing Hall of Fame as a two-time World Heavyweight Champion and Olympic gold medalist.
Most of Foreman's fortune came after his boxing career as a spokesperson for Russell Hobbs Inc.'s fat-reducing grill called the George Foreman Grill, which has earned him an estimated net worth of $US250 million, according to TheRichest.
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