Disclaimer: I`m not by any means trying to say that higher education is useless or does not matter. No matter how many famous and successful dropouts are out there, you can be sure about one thing. There are even more dropouts that nobody knows about, simply because they haven`t achieved much. This article is meant to show you that you and only you are a master of your destiny. It is not your mother, it is not an F grade, it is not your professor. It is you, your brain, luck, hard work and inspiration. So here we go – famous college dropouts who made it to the top.

Steve Jobs

Steve Jobs is the first one to come to mind when talking about college dropouts that have changed this world. Jobs was raised by a couple who adopted him. Ironically enough, Steve`s biological mother, Joanne Carole Schieble, wanted his son to be adopted by a family of graduates. However Clara and Paul jobs both did not have higher education. This has not stopped their son, Steve, from adoring them, dropping out of Reeds college and becoming a computer genius.

College Dropouts Steve Jobs

Lady Gaga

Lady Gaga, another charismatic college dropout, was attending Catholic school and being persuaded to pursue higher education by her dad. Future star had a very hard time fitting in her school environment – she was too expressive, eccentric and hard to blend in. Stefani Joanne Angelina Germanotta (Gaga`s real name) gave college education a chance. She even wrote a thesis on pop artists Spencer Tunick and Damien Hirst. However it did not work out and a talented artist understood very early that she is better off pursuing her musical career. Good for us!


Brigitte Bardot

Sex symbol of the 50s and 60s apparently had little need in high school or college education. She had everything to reach success anyway: beauty, appeal and a talent to drive men crazy. Bardot did give Conservatoire de Paris a try and even attended ballet classes for 3 years. However, modelling career and acting took over. After successful movie career Bardot dedicated her life to animal rights.

Famous dropout


Oprah left Tennessee State University because she already had pretty decent job offers in broadcast media. She had only 1 credit needed for graduation… However this queen-of-talk-shows-dropout came back to school – many years later. She came back and successfully graduated. Sometimes it feels like here whole life is made of this little inspiration stories, doesn`t it?


Oliver Stone

This genius film director of controversial movies (JFK, Platoon) represents a very special category of college dropouts: romantic and responsible. He left his Yale studies to join the US Army and fight in Vietnam. The time has shown that this might have not been the most noble deed ever. However, throughout the history there were men and women who left everything behind to follow their duty call. And to succeed.