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Here are six celebrities who achieved fame and fortune without finishing high school.

Few can deny the importance of education to success in life. There are exceptions to this rule, particularly in the celebrity world where some celebrities have managed to achieve great success and wealth without the benefits of an education. Sometimes the desire for the spotlight can override an aspiring celebrities desire to finish school. Do you recognize these well known celebrity high school drop outs?

  1. Paris Hilton

    Although some might question her level of talent, Paris has managed to achieve a sort of celebrity fame of her own. (some would say infamy). She reportedly dropped out of the upscale Manhattan high school she attended during her junior year, although she did go on to earn her GED. Could this explain the spelling mistakes seen on her confiscated emails?

  2. Avril Lavigne

    Few will deny the musical talent of the young Avril Lavigne. She is reported to have dropped out of Napanee District High School, in Ontario, Canada she was in the 11th grade after receiving a recording contract. When she was interviewed on the Barbara Walters show and questioned about school, she proudly announced to the audience that she had dropped out of high school. When Barbara Walters suggested she could still go back, she replied, “Um, yeah no that’s okay.” To her credit, she did earn her GED.

  3. Jessica Simpson

    During her years in high school, she was nominated as homecoming queen two years in a row and was an active cheerleader. Despite her high school successes, Jessica Simpson reportedly dropped out of J.J. Pearce High School in 1997 to further her musical career. She also went on to earn her GED. Are the rather naive statements we frequently hear out of her mouth a part of the act or is her lack of education being revealed?

  4. Hilary Swank

    Hilary Swank, who played a teacher in the movie “Freedom Writers”, was a high school dropout. When she was asked why she chose to drop out of school, she was quick to reply that she didn’t like the rules and the fact she was often cited for “talking excessively” on her report cards. She did emphasize her belief in the importance of education and claims she would encourage kids to stay in school. Despite her lack of formal education, Hillary was able to achieve the status of Academy Award winning actress.

  5. Britney Spears

    Britney Spears is another example of a singer who dropped out of high school to pursue a musical career. She reportedly attended Kentwood High school in Louisiana before dropping out to make it big in the musical world. It’s unclear as to whether she ultimately earned a GED. Could she have avoided some of her poor lifestyle choices had she continued to pursue her education?

  6. Lindsey Lohan

    Renowned for her chaotic childhood, it should come as no surprise that Lindsey dropped out of Calhoun High School on Long Island while still in the eleventh grade. Why did she leave high school before graduation? A direct quote from the celebrity might best express her motivation: “Life is full of risks anyway, why not take them?” She’s obviously taken a few risks in her own life.

Education certainly makes success in life a higher probability, but these celebrities have proven by sheer will, talent, and luck that you education isn’t an absolute prerequisite for fortune and fame. Will these celebrities regret their decision not to complete their education later in life? Only time will tell.