While we've heard the stories of some celebrities who, after high school, moved to Los Angeles and pursued their Hollywood dreams, what about the ones who pursued the ivory tower, too?
Tyra Banks recently revealed that aside from trying to find "America's Next Top Model," starting her own style site
and managing her multi-million empire, the former supermodel has gone back to school. And not just any school: Tyra Banks is attending Harvard Business School
"Harvard Business School -- the number one business school in the entire world. In order for my company to grow and be the best, and to reach these women, and to serve them, I needed the best. So I went to the best," she told CBS News
Before some of you think she only got in because of her fame, Banks was a good student -- being accepted to both USC and UCLA. However, she did put education on hold after being discovered in Paris, which "was one of the most difficult decisions of my entire life," she said.
But Banks isn't the only lady who not only carries celeb status but also a sought-after degree. Here are nine other women who decided to go Ivy League.
Newly crowned Oscar winner Natalie Portman
may have swept just about every honor for 'Black Swan,' but her determined and hardworking attitude also took her far while she studied at Harvard. Graduating in 2003 with a degree in psychology, Portman was focused on school that she enrolled under her birth name, Natalie Hershlag and hardly mentioned her acting career. Her professors have admitted to seeing Portman's bright future. "It was very clear when she was a student that she is a very determined person and capable of focused effort over a sustained period," former Harvard psych professor Stephen Kosslyn told the Harvard Crimson
. "She is now demonstrating the results of that determination and focus."
When Rashida Jones was cast in "The Social Network," she probably didn't have to do as much research on the school as her castmates did since she knew exactly what being a Crimson was like
. Part of the class of '97, Jones studied religion and philosophy and originally wanted to be a lawyer. But then she got into the performing arts -- serving as the musical director of a school a cappella group and acting in a variety of plays.
As Ashley Judd's star rose in Hollywood she was known more for being a leading lady than for her commitment to education. She went to the University of Kentucky where she majored in French and minored in four fields including women's studies and anthropology. However there was some point at which she thought she didn't have enough credits to graduate and didn't find out until 2007 that she could have graduated in 1990
. Judd enrolled in the Harvard Kennedy School's Mid-Career Masters in Public Administration program in 2009, which she finished in 2010
, making her an official Harvard grad.
Meryl Streep might not have gotten her bachelor's degree at an Ivy League school, but she did receive her master's degree in one
. After studying at Vassar College, she continued her drama education at the prestigious Yale School of Drama and graduated from the program in 1975. She also received an honorary degree from Harvard in 2010. With her long and decorated career, it proves that staying in school can really get you to the top of even the Hollywood heap.
Jodie Foster is another Yale alum with a pretty successful career in Tinseltown. She started acting as a child but made sure to focus on her studies, graduating top of her class from the Lycée Français de Los Angeles in 1980. Then she continued to hit the books hard and excelled at Yale. The actor and director not only graduated in 1985 magna cum laude with a bachelor's in literature but was also awarded with an honorary Doctor of Fine Arts degree
from her alma mater in 1994.
Brooke Shields made her mark on Hollywood as the youngest model to make it on the cover of "Vogue" and as the now-famous spokeswoman for Calvin Klein jeans. But she wasn't just a beauty but also a big brain, too. Shields went to Princeton University to study French Literature
, but many of her classmates thought she couldn't cut it in their school until the day a professor posted their grades. "Three [students] got A's, and I was one of them. They post grades at Princeton, so everyone saw it, and it gave me credibility," she told People
. "After that, everyone wanted my notes."
Although actress Elizabeth Banks is known for her comedic roles in "The 40 Year-Old Virgin" and "Zack and Miri Make a Porno," she's also an accomplished academic. Graduating magna cum laude from the University of Pennsylvania
in 1996, Banks then went on to get her MFA at the American Conservatory Theater.
From 1999's "10 Things I Hate About You" to 2003's "Mona Lisa Smile," we have seen Julia Stiles portray a student many times. However none was more important than her real-life role as an undergrad at Columbia University
. Studying English literature she even shared a class with fellow actress Anna Paquin (who took an indefinite leave of absence from the school
after her first year). Stiles earned her bachelor's degree in 2005. In March 2010, the Columbia College Alumni Association honored her with a John Jay Award
Just watching Maggie Gyllenhaal on the silver screen, you can tell she's a woman who walks to the beat of her own drum. Although she grew up in a filmmaking family, her TV-producer-turned-screenwriter mom and poet and Emmy-nominated director dad made sure she and her younger brother Jake were always surrounded by free thinkers, activists and academics. After excelling in high school, Gyllenhaal moved from Los Angeles to New York to study at Columbia University and was even in a class taught by Uma Thurman's dad
, working toward a degree in Eastern religions and literature.