Top 10 successful college dropouts

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Updated on 27 Dec, 2013 at 3:41 pm


Who says that college degree is necessary to succeed in modern society? There is no criteria that you need a degree to change the world. Topyaps is introducing a list of ten successful individuals, who changed the conventional perspective of “college-going” with their unceasing endeavor.

10. Lady Gaga:

“Once you learn how to think about art, you can teach yourself.” Considered as one of the most significant part of the musical arena, Lady Gaga dropped the Tisch School of the Arts during the second year of her course. While chasing her dream to become a successful artist, she endured an endless array of pains and hurdles. Finally, in 2008, Lady Gaga released her debut studio album – “The Fame.” After gathering positive reviews, her album grabbed number of awards and since then this lady hasn’t looked back.

9. Harrison Ford:

Since 1970’s, the  journey of this undisputed master performer has created remarkable landmarks in the cinematic world. Born in a Russian-Jewish Family, Ford was expelled from his college after failing a philosophy class. Initially, he acted in some movies with cameo roles but his outstanding performance in “Star Wars” established him as a milestone franchise.

8. Tom Hanks:

This legendary actor of Hollywood had a dream to become an astronaut but after dropping out from Sacramento State he straightforwardly jumped into the ring of acting. After realizing his inability in mathematics, he dumped his studies and became an intern of The Great Lake Theater Festival. He packed his bags for NY in 1979 and from that time he has established himself as a pioneer in acting, writing and directing.


7. James Cameron:

Can you believe that this Kingpin of Hollywood was once a truck driver. Amid the uncertainty of future, he dropped the Fullerton College where he was studying Physics and started his deep research on film technology. Today, Cameron is considered as the initiator of science fiction trend in Hollywood movies. His movies Titanic and Avatar are the two highest earning movies of all time with $1.8 billion and $2.7 billion respectively.

6. Ted Turner:

Also known as “Mouth of the South,” Ted Turner is the founder of Cable News Network (CNN). Ted was a student of Economics in Brown University where he was expelled for having a female student in this dorm room. Ted is one of the most substantial figure of  the United Nations Foundation and as a philanthropist he will be always remembered for donating $1 billion gift to support United Nation‘s activities.

5. Michael Dell:

Founder and the CEO of Dell Inc., this business magnet is counted among one of the richest people in the world. While studying in University of Texas, Dell started a company – PCs Limited which became successful enough that Dell dropped his studies to operate it on full time basis. In 2006, he donated $50 million to University of Texas to renovate its infrastructure.

4. Buckminster Fuller:

An epitome of innovation, Fuller is well known for exploring terms such as: “Synergetics”, “Spaceship Earth” and “ephemeralization.” A celebrated author of more than 30 books and worldwide famous for his futuristic views, Buckminster Fuller was expelled twice from the Harvard University. Before achieving laurels on international level, Fuller has witnessed one of the most troublesome days in his life. After working as a labor in meat packing industry and as a mechanic in textile mill, Fuller has also experienced the day when he was declared bankrupt at the age of 32.

3. Mark Zuckerberg:

Look inside yourself and realize how Facebook has changed your life. Fond of hacking and junk foods, Zuckerberg started his social networking site from the “Kirkland House” which later turned in a multi-billion corporate giant. The boyish activity of the Harvard’s nerd was accompanied by his roommate cum best friend Dustin Moskovitz. Due to the unexpected success of Facebook, Mark dropped his study and later emerged as the youngest billionaire of the world.

2. Steve Jobs:

“Innovation distinguishes between a leader and a follower.” An illusionist behind the iPod, Machintosh, iPhone and iPad, Steve Jobs is one of the most celebrated phenomenon of Silicon Valley. In 1972, he joined the Reed College in Portland but due to financial problems he dropped out just after eight months of commencement. Founder of Apple and Pixar Animation Studios, the Podfather is majorly appreciated for his demanding personality as well as for his speeches in temperamental style.


1. Bill Gates:

After scoring 1590 in SAT, a shy guy joined the prestigious Harvard University but due to some circumstances, he never completed his degree. Yes, I am talking about Bill Gates and the so called circumstance was “Microsoft.” Bill gates is now a household name and also a live illustration of the fact that great things are not done by impulse, but by a series of small things brought together.