Celebrities in College: 5 Famous Kids Who Aren’t Too Cool for School


Celebrities, as gossip magazines are constantly telling us, aren’t so different from us regular folks. They have “bad-hair” days. They “have too-fat-for-my-pants” days. They have “I’ll-never-love-again” days, “I-can’t-believe-I-actually-said-that” days, and “the-sad-thing-is-I-don’t-even-like-tequila” days. And, it turns out, a large number of celebs have also had “welcome-to-college-life” days, “wow-I-actually-had-fun-writing-this-paper” days, and “my-roomie-is-my-new-BFF” days.

Here’s the scoop on five celebrity kids who – despite fame, fortune, and killer bodies – craved the college experience so much, they just couldn’t stay away.

1. Dakota Fanning, New York University student

Fanning, star of the Twilight films and a working actor since the age of five, chose to boost her brainpower at NYU in ultra-urban Manhattan. She’s majoring in women’s studies, with what she describes as “an emphasis on the portrayal of women in film and culture.” But don’t go to NYU hoping you can room with Fanning – as a small concession to her Big-Woman-on-Campus status, she lives in a two-bedroom apartment, not in a dorm.

Dakota Fanning, NYU college student

Dakota Fanning, NYU

2. Missy Franklin, University of California, Berkeley student

Franklin, a four-time gold medalist at the 2012 Olympics, attends UC Berkeley in northern California, where she plans to earn a degree in psychology with a minor in education. Meanwhile, just like any other serious student athlete, she’s swimming for the college team.

Missy Franklin, UCB college student

Missy Franklin, UC Berkeley

3. Scotty McCreery, North Carolina State University student

Country singer McCreery was a 17-year-old high school student when he won the 2011 American Idol competition. Now just finishing his sophomore year at NC State in Raleigh, he’s found his professors “empathetic, but not sympathetic” about the trials and tribulations of maintaining a high-profile touring career while keeping up his GPA.

Scotty McCreery, NCSU college student

Scotty McCreery, NC State University

4. Alexander Ludwig, University of Southern California student

Best-known for playing Cato in The Hunger Games, Ludwig attends college at USC in Los Angeles, where he focuses on film and theater, as well as entrepreneurship. Yes, it’s true, you actually can major in making money.

Alexander Ludwig, USC college student

Alexander Ludwig, University of Southern California

5. Claressa Shields, Olivet College student

Like Missy Franklin, Shields was a medalist at the 2012 Olympics – but Shields’s gold was in boxing, and she was the first U.S. woman to win it.  Another first: no other member of her family has ever attended college. Shields is studying sports broadcasting and business at Olivet in south central Michigan.

Claressa Shields, Olivet College student

Claressa Shields, Olivet College

Curious about the schools mentioned in this story? Want to track more celebrity students? Learn about 1300+ colleges and the students who love them with the “College Explorer” feature on our free Edupath SAT and ACT apps for your iPhone or iPad. 


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