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Our Ranking of Popular Online & Distance Learning Graduates

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Katy Perry

Category: GED Holders

School: Dos Pueblos High School

Degree: GED

Area of Interest: Singing, Music, Song Writing

Katheryn Elizabeth Hudson, aka Katy Perry, is an American singer, songwriter, and television judge born in Santa Barbara, California. Before she became famous, she was a Christian music singer who dropped out of high school at 15 to pursue her dream. Despite her success -- and studio albums -- she regrets dropping out and later got her GED.

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Ranking: 1

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Michael J. Fox

Category: GED Holders

School: Burnaby Central Secondary School

Degree: GED

Area of Interest: Acting & Writing

Although Michael was about to graduate from high school, he was determined to go to Hollywood, California, to pursue his career. Michael decided to leave after his eighteenth birthday; however, before graduating from high school (Michael didn't receive his General Equivalency certificate till 1995.) His father drove him to L. A and gave him $3,000 to get started. Michael went to high school in his native hometown but never finished. When he got married, had kids, and was diagnosed with Parkinson's disease, earning his GED become his priority. Fifteen years after quitting high school, Fox went back and got his GED.

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Ranking: 2

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Shaquille O'Neal

Category: Athletes & Sports

School: University of Phoenix

Degree: Masters

Area of Interest: Business

Shaquille O’Neal left LSU (Louisiana State University) his junior year to enter the NBA draft. The #1 pick of the Orlando Magic led the Magic to the NBA Finals in 1995 and was traded to the Los Angeles Lakers where he won three (3) NBA titles and he picked up another title with Miami Heat in 2006. While a Hall of Fame NBA is a major lifetime achievement in and of itself, Shaq made good on his promise to finish his undergraduate degree at LSU in 2000. In 2005, he received an MBA online at the University of Phoenix. Shaq initially earned his credentials as a backup plan for his NBA career. Throughout his learning journey, however, he realized that education and the pursuit of knowledge is the ultimate priority. In 2012, he earned his Ph.D. (Ed.D) in Human Resource Development from Barry University in Boca Raton, Florida. His doctoral thesis was in “The Duality of Humor and Aggression in Leadership Styles”. The great “Shaqademic” in another illuminating example of how to use education to improve your contributions to humanity. 

I am smart to know that even at my tender age my pursuit of education is never finished.
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Ranking: 3

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Beyonce

Category: GED Holders

School: Alief Elsik High School

Degree: GED

Area of Interest: Singing & Song Writing

Beyoncé attended the high school for the Performing and Visual Arts of Houston, Texas. She continued to sharpen her musical skills before transferring to the Alief Elsik high school, the last school she attended. What happened next remains a bit foggy. Some report says that she got her diploma while in high school other sources say that she eventually got her GED. At a similar time that she's still in high school, Beyoncé and Destiny's Child started gaining popularity.

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Ranking: 4

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Eminem

Category: GED Holders

School: Lincoln High School

Degree: GED

Area of Interest: Rap & Singing

Eminem studied at Lincoln High School in Warren, Michigan, where he failed the 10th-grade multiple times and quit at 17 years old. Regardless of being a poor student, Eminem consistently had a profound partiality for language, reading comic books, and even the dictionary.

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Ranking: 5

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Leonardo DiCaprio

Category: GED Holders

School: Los Angeles Center for Enriched Studies

Degree: GED

Area of Interest: Acting, Film Producer, Environmentalist

Leonardo DiCaprio dropped out of high school after his junior year and eventually earned his GED years later. He'd already begun acting in minor roles and commercials at the time, then moving on to more iconic films. While he likes to attend college, it never actually happened, and now he's said, according to People, that "life is my college."

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Ranking: 6

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Narendra Modi

Category: Government & Politics

School: School of Open Learning Delhi University

Degree: Bachelors

Area of Interest: Political Science

The Prime Minister of India started his career as a tea seller in Vadnagar, India. His political ascent was the result of working his through the BJP party ranks. This epic turn around in life is partly thanks to the degrees Modi obtained through distance education. First, a Political Science degree from Delhi University in 1978, followed by a Master's degree from Gujarat University in 1983 - all completed online! Modi is the current Prime Minister of India. He will face re-election in 2024.

We should remain students for a lifetime. You should be ready and yearn to learn from every moment of life. The basic elements of life need to be associated with learning. The learning process should be a part of your DNA.
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Ranking: 7

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Michelle Rodriguez

Category: GED Holders

School: William L. Dickinson High School

Degree: GED

Area of Interest: Acting & Screenwriting

Michelle Rodriguez was born in Texas. She moved to the Dominican Republic with her mom when she was eight years old and stayed there until 11. Michelle later moved to Puerto Rico until the age of 17 and finally settled in New Jersey. She left high school before graduation but later earned her GED and briefly attended business school. Overall, she got expelled from five schools. She eventually quit pursuing her acting career, hoping to become a writer and director as well.

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Ranking: 8

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Nicholas Cage

Category: GED Holders

School: Beverly Hills High School

Degree: GED

Area of Interest: Acting & Film Making

Nicolas Cage is an actor and filmmaker born in Long Beach, California. He was raised in a Catholic family. Cage comes from a family of actors. He left secondary school early; however, this did not stop him from acquiring and focusing on his GED before following his famous family members' footsteps.

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Ranking: 9

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Britney Spears

Category: GED Holders

School: Parklane Academy

Degree: GED

Area of Interest: Singing, Song Writing, Dancing, & Acting

Britney Spears quit out of high school to pursue her musical career. She used to study at Kentwood high school in LA before she left school. It's unclear if she got her GED or not.

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Ranking: 10

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