20 Celebrities Who Never Finished High School

Some celebrities have proven that there’s no certain path to success and took their nontraditional route to it. Instead of finishing four years of high school and following the next stage of graduation, these celebrities decided to leave high school to pursue their careers in the Entertainment field. Interestingly, some left school because of their bad behavior at school.
No matter how these celebs dropped out of school, their decisions all paid off. Although they might face numerous challenges along the way, they have managed to hit the big time in different fields. Jennifer Lawrence, who finished her education at age 14, is now one of the top actresses in Hollywood. Rihanna is also worth mentioning. She signed her first record deal at age 16 when leaving school. Now, she has also become not only one of the most successful singers but also a fashion and beauty empire.
Education never means everything, and these 20 celebrities who never finished high school below will tell you the same thing. Let’s scroll down and check them out!

#1 Ryan Gosling

Celebrities Who Never Finished High School, Ryan GoslingSource: Manuel Romano/NurPhoto/Shutterstock

Ryan Gosling dropped out of school when he was 17. He soon appeared in the TV show Young Hercules after spending one year being homeschooled by his mom.

#2 Daniel Radcliffe

Celebrities Who Never Finished High School, Daniel RadcliffeSource: Dave Benett/

Daniel's character, Harry Potter, may have been a top student at Hogwarts, but he can't experience the same in real life.
“I’m kind of sure of myself intellectually. And I know I wouldn’t have been if I had stayed in school because, before I did Potter, my confidence had been more or less destroyed by a couple of teachers. So I had it all restored by the people who taught me on the films,” Radcliffe told Parade in 2009 about his dropping out.

#3 Al Pacino

Celebrities Who Never Finished High School, Al PacinoSource: Tim P. Whitby/Getty Images

Al Pacino left school when he finished his 10th grade to find his chance in the cinema world. He even suffered from depression.
“I wasn’t very good at school,” he told The Washington Post in 2016. “I wasn’t focused on my classes. My mother had problems, and there was no money coming in.” The actor remembers one of his junior high teachers telling his family, “You have to encourage your boy to act.”

#4 Lil Wayne

Celebrities Who Never Finished High School, Lil WayneSource: Paras Griffin/Getty Images

Lil Wayne's mother actually advised him to leave school after his star rose. The rapper told his story with Katie Couric: “I had an album out. I was platinum already, thank God, and I was still trying to go to regular public school.”
“It wasn’t two minutes later, she walked back to my room and said, ‘You don’t go to school no more. You’re getting a GED.”, his mom said when seeing him putting a gun in his backpack for protection.

#5 Avril Lavigne

Celebrities Who Never Finished High School, Avril LavigneSource: Jason Merritt/Getty Images

The singer decided to drop out of school as a teenager. After that, producer L.A. Reid offered her a contrast when hearing Lavigne sing on her trip to New York.
“I was supposed to do homeschooling — I had books — but I didn’t do it. So basically, I’m a high school dropout,” Lavigne said on an episode of Private Sessions.

#6 Jennifer Lawrence

Celebrities Who Never Finished High School, Jennifer LawrenceSource: Samir Hussein/

The Hunger Games star shared that she dropped out of middle school to become an actress. “I dropped out of middle school. I don’t technically have a GED or a diploma,” Lawrence said. “I am self-educated.”
Being asked whether she regretted the decision, the Oscar winner immediately a, “No. I really don’t. I want to forge my own path. I found what I wanted to do, and I didn’t want anything getting in the way of it.”

#7 Jim Carrey

Celebrities Who Never Finished High School, Jim CarreySource: Stefania D'Alessandro/

Surprisingly, Jim Carrey was forced to drop out of high school when he was 16 to save his family's finance. I was then an A-student at school.

#8 Katy Perry

Celebrities Who Never Finished High School, Katy PerrySource: Anthony Harvey/Getty Images

The singer was satisfied with the level of education at that time and decided to leave school. Later, she earned her GED.
When it came to her decision at that time, she said to Yahoo in 2014: “I’m kind of bummed at this stage that I didn’t have a great education. … I was being pulled out of school even in the middle of school and sometimes being homeschooled. Sometimes we were sent e half-Christian, half-education, I-don’t-know-what-they-were schools.” The pop star added that she’s “learned to educate me at this stage.”

#9 Hilary Swank

Celebrities Who Never Finished High School, Hilary SwankSource: Trisha Leeper/

“I’m not proud to say I’m a high school dropout,” Hilary Swank shared with the Today show in 2007. “I’m not proud that that’s something that happened, but it happened.” She found trouble at school because she didn't talk too much. Luckily, her mother supported her to leave school.

#10 Keanu Reeves

Celebrities Who Never Finished High School, Keanu ReevesSource: Marc Piasecki/

Keanu Reeves faced his high school trauma, which made him drop out of school. “It was a very small school and I guess I didn’t fit in,” the Matrix actor recalled. “I had conflicts and run-ins with the staff. The principal and I didn’t see eye to eye. I was one of those ‘Why?’ kids - I asked too many questions about everything. I couldn’t stop even if it got me into trouble.” he told the Daily Mail in 2008.

#11 Rihanna

Celebrities Who Never Finished High School, RihannaSource: Hannah Young/Shutterstock

The Grammy winner left high school at age 16 when she landed a record deal.

#12 Simon Cowell

Celebrities Who Never Finished High School, Simon CowellSource: Trae Patton/NBC/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images

Simon Cowell is always confident about his decision of leaving school in the past. “Leave at 16 if you want to work, 100 percent I would encourage him,” the X Factor judge claimed to BBC Radio 2 in 2016.

#13 Jay-Z

Celebrities Who Never Finished High School, Jay-ZSource: Ari Perilstein/Getty Images

The famous rapper Jay Z admitted in 2011. “I don’t have a high school diploma or a college diploma, but still for me to articulate, I had to have some form of schooling to articulate my thoughts.”

#14 Robert Downey Jr.

Celebrities Who Never Finished High School, Robert Downey Jr.Source: Evan Agostini/Invision/AP/Shutterstock

The Iron Man star decided to leave California's Santa Monica High School at age 16 to chase his dream of being an actor.

#15 Johnny Depp

Celebrities Who Never Finished High School, Johnny DeppSource: BabiradPicture/Shutterstock

Like Robert Downey Jr., the Captain Jack Sparrow actor never finished high school because of his acting dream.

#16 Leonardo DiCaprio

Celebrities Who Never Finished High School, Leonardo DiCaprioSource: Stephen Lovekin/Shutterstock

Although the Oscar winner decided to drop out of high school, he later gained his GED.

#17 Kate Winslet

Celebrities Who Never Finished High School, Kate WinsletSource: John Salangsang/Invision/AP/Shutterstock

"I left school at 16, and I went to work in a delicatessen to save money to get the train to London to go on auditions," the Oscar winner shared when appearing on The Late Show With Stephen Colbert.

#18 Harry Styles

Celebrities Who Never Finished High School, Harry StylesSource: Jordan Strauss/AP/Shutterstock

The Grammy winner was an aspiring physiotherapist who left school to follow his music career. After that, he joined One Direction and the rest is history.

#19 Kristen Stewart

Celebrities Who Never Finished High School, Kristen StewartSource: Image Press Agency/NurPhoto/Shutterstock

Kristen Steward dropped out of school when she was 13 after her film career began taking off.
“I had just finished high school myself the week before, so I told the crew, "Hey, just so you know, I’m graduating right now, and I’m not going to have another ceremony,'” she told Interview magazine in September 2009

#20 Tracy Morgan

Celebrities Who Never Finished High School, Tracy MorganSource: Vince Bucci/Invision/AP/Shutterstock

The 30 Rock alum didn't continue his education to find his success as a comedian.
"I’m glad I dropped out of high school, man," he told the New York Post in April 2010. "I wouldn’t be where I’m at. I would have had a net. I’m glad I didn’t have anything to fall back on, man, because that made me go for my dreams that much harder."
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