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12 People Who Pursued Higher Education after Fame

There is no single route to success, particularly when it comes to obtaining a degree. Even if you don’t need a college degree to be successful, many celebrities who are already well-known have chosen to return to school.

Influential and well-known individuals frequently pursue higher education even after attaining notable accomplishment. Learning the skill of lifelong learning can substantially help to one’s personal development and enrichment in the fast-paced world of today. Here, we honor people who pursued higher education after fame. Even after achieving recognition, they chose to continue their studies.

Is it Too Late to Continue your Education?

Whenever you determine is the perfect time for you to study, do it! Later in life, you can go back to school and pursue higher education for a variety of reasons, including career advancement, personal and professional development, or a desire to extend your horizons.

Going to college as an adult may be difficult given the demands of career, family, and studies. According to a recent survey, stress and pressure are among the main reasons why many individuals choose not to attend college, along with the exorbitant costs involved in earning a degree. Even if it’s possible that you won’t have enough time to complete all of your writing assignments by the required dates, you shouldn’t let that stop you from pursuing your goals, especially in the digital age where you can receive all of the writing assistance you require online.

So, the answer to the question “Is it too late to go back to school?” is “No.” You can advance your personal growth and development while achieving your academic and professional goals with the correct tools and support.

People Who Pursued Higher Education after Fame

1. Emma Watson

Emma Watson, who rose to recognition throughout the world as Hermione Granger in the Harry Potter movie series, attended Brown University and earned a bachelor’s degree in English literature there in 2014.

2. Shaquille O’Neal

Shaquille O'Neal
Shaquille O’Neal

Shaquille O’Neal, a basketball legend, obtained his undergraduate degree from Louisiana State University while playing in the NBA. Later, he obtained a doctorate in teaching from Barry University and an MBA from the University of Phoenix.

3. Natalie Portman

Harvard University awarded Natalie Portman her bachelor’s degree in psychology, which she later used to win an Oscar. She enrolled in Harvard while continuing to perform as an actress, and while a student there, she authored several research publications.

4. Brian May

Prior to the band’s meteoric rise to fame, Queen’s guitarist Brian May enrolled in Imperial College London to pursue a Ph.D. in astrophysics. May returned and finished his Ph.D. in 2007, nearly 40 years later.

5. James Franco

James Franco is renowned for his dedication to learning; he has earned degrees from Yale University, Columbia University, and New York University in a variety of subjects including creative writing and filmmaking.

6. Jodie Foster

Jodie Foster, a Yale alumni, earned her literature degree in 1985 with honors. After graduating, the talented actress continued her career while working as a powerful education champion and pursuing her personal passions for reading and writing.

7. Christy Turlington

Christy Turlington, a supermodel, graduated from Columbia University with a master’s in public health. She started the nonprofit group Every Mother Counts and has been actively involved in other global health efforts since receiving her degree.

8. Ken Jeong

Ken Jeong studied medicine at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and later worked as a doctor before becoming well-known as a comic actor.

9. Dexter Holland

Dexter Holland, the lead singer of The Offspring, received his doctorate in molecular biology from the University of Southern California. His work has helped us understand HIV and the different strains of the virus.

10. Steven Spielberg

Steven Spielberg
Steven Spielberg

Nearly 34 years after his initial enrollment, renowned film director Steven Spielberg finished his undergraduate studies at California State University, Long Beach. In 2002, Spielberg graduated with a bachelor’s in film and electronic arts.

11. Oprah Winfrey

Oprah Winfrey

Before becoming a household name, Oprah Winfrey worked in radio and television broadcasting and received a full scholarship to attend Tennessee State University. She finally went back to finish her coursework and get her communication degree.

12. Mayim Bialik

Mayim Bialik has a Ph.D. in neuroscience from UCLA. She is best known for playing Amy Farrah Fowler on The Big Bang Theory. She routinely uses her platform to promote STEM initiatives and education because of her academic background.

Benefits of a Late Start to Your Formal Education

While it’s true that the typical college experience is frequently associated with young adults who are just beginning their academic and professional careers, more colleges and universities are beginning to offer programs especially created for adult learners. To assist adult learners in juggling their education with employment and family responsibilities, these programs may provide flexible timetables, online courses, and other accommodations.

Additionally, studies have demonstrated that older students can strengthen the learning environment for everyone by bringing fresh viewpoints and life experiences to the classroom. Many companies also admire the perseverance and dedication required for an adult to return to school, and they can see a degree obtained later in life as evidence of the person’s commitment and work ethic.

Additional advantages of attending college as an adult include the following:

  • Career Development. Many adults go back to school to complete their degrees or pursue more education in order to advance their jobs. A college degree can improve your earning potential, open up new career opportunities, and make you more marketable.
  • Personal Development. Re-entering the classroom after 50 or even later in life can be a rewarding personal experience. You can discover new interests, pick up new abilities, and widen your perspective with its assistance. Additionally, it can boost self-esteem and give a feeling of accomplishment.
  • Networking. Opportunities to network professionally and meet new people can be found in college, which can be beneficial for both professional advancement and individual growth. Connecting with former students, teachers, and alumni can open doors to employment, mentoring, and other professional opportunities.
  • Life Experience. Adult students frequently bring a wealth of life experience to the classroom, which can improve everyone’s learning. A deeper grasp of the course material might result from the sharing of personal experiences and viewpoints.
  • Personal Fulfillment. A rewarding personal accomplishment and a source of pride can be going back to school. Use the opportunity to achieve your dream of receiving a diploma if you’ve always wanted one.

Obstacles of Late Education

While going back to school as an adult has many advantages, it can also present some difficulties. Look at some typical roadblocks that could be in the way:

1. Juggling Multiple Obligations

Adult learners frequently have to juggle a number of obligations, including employment, family, and other commitments. Finding time for lessons and studying may become challenging. For adult learners to succeed, time management and prioritization skills are essential.

2. Limited Resources

College tuition can be pricey. Numerous adult learners may experience financial difficulties such debt from student loans, a lack of financial aid, or trouble juggling tuition fees with other expenses. Before you make the final choice, consider the financial obligations and, if necessary, create a strategy.

3. Taking on Technology.

The phrase “Am I too old to go to college” might also indicate “Can I keep up with modern technological advancements?” In the modern classroom, technology is extremely important. It may be difficult for adult learners to adjust to new technologies, such as online learning environments or digital resources. If it takes you longer than your peers to understand the most recent technologies, that’s normal. You will gradually become accustomed to all the new tools and gadgets if you take your time.

4. Sensing Uncomfortable

Many adult learners could feel uncomfortable in a college setting that frequently feels more familiar to younger students. It might be difficult to feel a part of the group and establish connections with other kids, particularly if there is a large age difference. However, it is still feasible to interact and connect with others while studying. Just have a cheerful outlook and try not to think about the age gap.

5. Controlling Anticipations

You can have high standards for both your achievement in school and for yourself. Stress and pressure may result. To prevent burnout and maintain a good study-work-life balance, adult learners must set reasonable expectations and manage their expectations. List your objectives with objectivity over the duration of your college career. Also, make a list of potential strategies for achieving those objectives. You’ll be able to see the bigger picture and comprehend what needs to be done better as a result.

Higher Education after Fame

Frequently Asked Questions

Is there ever a wrong time to pursue a degree?

There is always time to enroll in college, even if you had started but couldn't finish or if you never even started. It is never too late to complete your degree, regardless of how old you are or how long you've been out of school.

What is the minimum age requirement to study abroad in the US?

As long as a US university has admitted you, there is no age restriction for F-1 visas. With a few exceptions, all visa applicants from the age of 14 to 79 must attend an interview at the embassy's consular division as part of the application procedure.

Can I study in the USA at 40 years old?

You can swiftly enroll in USA universities at any age once you feel comfortable beginning your educational journey.


These 12 famous people show that even after achieving tremendous success, one should continue to learn and make educational investments to advance personally. Their experiences serve as an inspiration for others to maintain their intellectual vigor and dedication throughout life.



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