These Celebrities Risked It All To Go Back To School

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1. Natalie Portman

When this Best Actress-winner’s came to be of college age, she had completed her first performance as Queen Amidala in the Star Wars prequels. Once she found out she’d been accepted to Harvard, the actress decided it was time to wipe off the stage makeup and head back to school.

Portman took a hiatus from acting (with the exception of Star Wars) and graduated in 2003 with a B.A. in Psychology. She then returned to her birthplace, Jerusalem, to take graduate courses at the Hebrew University. She’s one of the few on our list who’s published in scientific journals.

2. Emma Watson

Hers was perhaps the most publicized case of celebrity gone back to school. Towards the tail end of the Harry Potter films franchise, Hermione decided to pursue an education. She hit the books at Brown University for five years — albeit without her own messenger owl.

She also spent time back home in the UK at none other than the University of Oxford before returning to the Ivy League school in order to complete her B.A. in English literature. Think that’s impressive? Wait until you see some of the other famous faces on our list!

3. James Franco

James Franco really, really loves college. After having dropped out of UCLA after one year, he didn’t just go back to school later on and finish his degree. He chose to spend as much time as possible learning in as many institutions as he could.

His English degree from UCLA has an emphasis in creative writing. But at every possible opportunity, he continued to push himself academically. Just to name a few, Franco attended graduate school for writing at Columbia and Brooklyn College, filmmaking at NYU, and went for a PhD in English at Yale.

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