Famous Women Who Dropped Out of College

College students studying at table
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Getting a college education is important, and this list is not intended to suggest you should forsake getting a higher education. However, not having a college degree should not be used as an excuse for holding back and not reaching for your dreams.

The following women dropped out of college and went on to achieve success, wealth, and fame in their own fields. Although some these women may have gone back to school after they dropped out they achieved their success before continuing their education.

  • Kirstie Alley, Actress
  • Maya Angelou, Poet
  • Courtney Cox Arquette, Actress
  • Kate Beckinsale, Actress
  • Brooke Burke, Model
  • Carol Burnett, Comedian
  • Jill Clayburgh, Actress
  • Cindy Crawford, Model
  • Ellen DeGeneres, Comedian, Talk Show Host
  • Heidi Dinan, Mrs. America 2004
  • Gigi Fern├índez, Tennis Player, Won Two Gold Medals for Doubles 1992,1996
  • Tara Fitzgerald, Actress
  • Lady Gaga, (birth name Stefani Germanotta)Singer and Songwriter
  • Lillian Gish, Actress
  • Florence Graham (aka Elizabeth Arden), Founder, Elizabeth Arden Cosmetics
  • Ruth Handler, Founder, Mattel, Barbie
  • Helen Hunt, Actress
  • Norah Jones, Musician
  • Lisa Ling, Talk Show Host (The View)
  • Heather Locklear, Actress
  • Andie MacDowell, Actress
  • Madonna, Musician
  • Jenny McCarthy, Model, Actress, MTV Host, Author
  • Eva Mendes, Actress
  • Megan Mullally, Actress
  • Julie Newmar, Actress, Patented Ultra-Sheer, Ultra-Snug Pantyhose
  • Rosie O'Donnell, Comedian, Talk Show Host
  • Mary-Kate Olsen, Entrepreneur and Billionaire
  • Cathy Podewell, Actress
  • Gilda Radner, Comedian
  • Rebecca Romijn, Model, Actress
  • Roselyn Sanchez, Actress
  • Margaret Sanger, Started the American Birth Control Movement
  • Muriel Siebert, Entrepreneur, First woman to purchase a seat on the New York Stock Exchange
  • Molly Sims, Model, Actress
  • Patti Smith, Poet, Musician
  • Dawn Steel, Entrepreneur, First woman to run a Hollywood studio "Columbia Pictures"
  • Sharon Stone, Actress
  • Cyndi Thomson, Musician
  • Marisa Tomei, Actress
  • Nina Totenberg, Radio Personality