Is earning a 4-year college degree considered ‘celebrity status’?

Jessica Volz

Is having a college degree the equivalent of having a VIP pass? For these three students-turned-celebrities, achieving their 4 year degree was only the beginning.


Cole, five-time platinum recording artist, is a college graduate. The American rapper and songwriter graduated Magna Cum Laude with a Bachelor of Science in 2007 from St. John’s University in Queens, New York. While Cole was studying, he was awarded a scholarship for his education.

 The visionary focused his studies on communication and business at SJU. All 5 of his albums contain no featured artists and have been certified platinum by the Recording Industry Association of America® (RIAA). Cole released his first album, “Cole World: The Sideline Story,” in 2011, 4 years after he graduated from college.

 Cole, as of today, ranks among the Billboards top 10 ‘R&B/ hip-hop album artists’ and ‘on-demand song artist.’ 


Gabrielle Union, actor and author, shared on social media that she graduated from UCLA in 1996 with a sociology degree. Union’s education was funded by student loans and from working at a bookstore. 

 She won ‘Theatrical-Best Supporting Actress’ from Black Reel Awards for “Bring it On” in 2001. Allegedly, Union has received recognition more than 30 times over the last two decades for her film work. 

 The newly acclaimed author released her memoir, “We’re Going to Need More Wine,” which openly details various aspects of her life, from her sexual assault to rivalry in Hollywood. The book, composed of many short stories, was nominated for the NAACP Image Award for Outstanding Literary Work.


Larry Fitzgerald, NFL wide receiver for the Arizona Cardinals graduated from the University of Phoenix, in 2016. He was drafted third overall by the NFL in 2004 before starting his junior year at the University of Pittsburgh. 

 His NFL career continued one game at a time and his education one class at a time over 12 years. The football player held to his finishing his education and an alleged promised he made to his mother. Fitzgerald majored in communications and minored marketing. While he was killing it in his career, he was still making the grade.


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