Claire Danes on dropping out of college: ‘I didn’t really need to go further than I did’

Claire Danes

I love Claire Danes. She’ll probably always be Angela Chase to me, but she’s also gone on to do equally significant things as her career progresses. These are photos of Claire in New York City in September to promote the second season of “Homeland,” and her bump was already looking pretty big at that point, so I imagine that a birth announcement shouldn’t take much longer. Maybe January or February at the latest. Then things will probably get pretty real for Claire and Hugh since they’ll be new parents, and she’s tied to a seven-year contract that requires her to spend five months per year filming in North Carolina. It will be tough, for sure, and I guess the plan is that she’ll keep the baby with her, and he’ll visit. Of course, I’m only assuming as much. Maybe Hugh will take some time off for the first round of away time so they can be together as a family.

Now Claire, who is probably thrilled with the new Globe nomination for “Homeland”, has sat down for an interview with Grazia magazine. Among the topics discussed are Hugh, dance parties, and dropping out of college. My feelings on the latter are astoundingly non-critical, and here are some excerpts:

Claire Danes

On her favorite people: “Who am I closest to? My husband, which I’d say is probably good news. He definitely trumps everyone else, although I’m pretty close to my parents, Christopher and Carla. I haven’t been spending a lot of time with Hugh lately because we’ve been in so many different places with work, but he is the person I tell absolutely everything to. I trust him more than everyone else.”

Date nights are short to come by: “A couple of weeks ago I went on a date night with Hugh, who I hadn’t seen in a long time because of work. We went out to a restaurant in New York and I had a big bowl of pasta. I was a little overwhelmed with joy to be with my guy, eating lots of carbs. It was heaven.”

She’s still fun: “I can get a dance party started pretty much anywhere and anytime. I’m shameless and I’m motivated in this cause. I love to dance.”

College wasn’t really for her: “In an ideal world, it would have been nice to have graduated from Yale University. But, in the end, I didn’t really need to go further than I did (she dropped out of her psychology degree after two years). There are also a lot of shoes that I probably did not need to buy. I’m not being obnoxious, I am just excessively self-critical. It has served me well in a lot of ways, but I think I rely way too heavily on it.”

[From Grazia via Daily Mail]

It’s easy to scoff at Claire’s statements regarding not finishing her college degree, and at one point, I might have jumped on that bandwagon. However and as time wears on, my feelings on the higher education bubble have grown into a slow burning of resentment. We’re all told that, at minimum, and undergraduate degree is an indispensible asset, and I think it’s a sham unless you’re majoring in something very practical like engineering or pharmacy or the something else that is truly in demand. At this point, I feel like higher education is a tool to keep lots of people employed while running universities, and while that’s obviously a good thing (especially in today’s economy), the bubble will ultimately burst, and it will be a complete disaster.

Perhaps I’d feel differently if I’d had a totally free ride from my parents, and I would truly feel that the “enriching” experience of a liberal arts education (and professional school) was worth my time and energy. But it’s definitely not worth the money (I had one professor for two courses who actually taught me anything about writing, and the rest came from, and since I’m one of those people who will be paying off my education for (at least) another decade, I can safely say that investing in college was an utter waste. In that regard, I can no longer shake my head at Emma Roberts or Claire Danes for feeling like their acting (or modelling) opportunities are more important than a piece of paper.

Claire Danes

Claire Danes

Claire Danes

Photos courtesy of WENN

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100 Responses to “Claire Danes on dropping out of college: ‘I didn’t really need to go further than I did’”

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  1. Amy says:

    She was a “celeb” admission anyway. How many others haven’t graduated? The Olsen twins? Claire was admitted to Yale because her grandfather was once a Dean there. She seems smart enough but come on, she was never on the academic track. People like Natalie Portman, who actually work hard and graduate, are rare.

    • hmmmm says:

      As someone who went to Yale, I’m just jealous she got the hell out of there so quickly. While she was probably a celeb admission, unfortunately, a large percentage of students at that school (and other ivies) are admitted for reasons other than academic merit.

      • only1shmoo says:

        So true; one guy from an all-boys “rival” school got a fellowship to Harvard even though he had a C+ avg. and a mediocre SAT score b/c he was one of the city’s top rowers. Funny enough, a recruiter from Harvard came to our school and insisted that they didn’t give out sports scholarships. Ha!

      • leuce7 says:

        They don’t give out sports scholarships because all their aid is need-based. But they definitely do recruit for athletics. But it does sound good to be able to say they don’t give out sports scholarships with a straight face.

      • danielle says:

        I believe my private liberal arts school called them “extracurricular” scholarships. And yeah, I’m still paying off my loans for that and grad school 14 years later, and making squat, so I’m not going to bust anyones chops for not finishing.

    • Amelia says:

      Oh, was she admitted because of her name? That annoys the living daylights out of me. One of my old school friends who I recently came back into contact with went to Somerville Oxford, and apparently, despite all the ‘equal opportunity’ rubbish they spout, *so* many people are granted admission on name alone. Like Lily Cole and Emma Watson. Although they met the academic criteria, their PS was thoroughly mediocre (according to an admissions tutor. Don’t take that as gospel, though).
      I’m a little indifferent about people dropping out of Uni if they have a back-up plan. Claire was already an actress so it’s not as if it was the end of the world. University isn’t for everyone. What I despair at is when someone drops out because they can’t be bothered to do the work and they *know* they have no other options.
      I remember getting the ‘tertiary education is the most important thing in the world’ talk at school and I’m starting to think that a stand-out degree is crucial in this economic climate, despite the fees.
      I graduated this summer so obviously I’m still paying off my debt, but my brother is in the process of applying to Uni for architecture (a 7 year course) and if he gets accepted at a London university, we’ve estimated he’ll being paying well over £100,000. Cheers, Nick Clegg.
      You ****ing tosser.
      Rant over. Sorry, ladies and gents. As you were.

      • Liv says:

        Send him to Germany, university is for free again ;-) But I guess London’s university’s have better reputations…

      • Kate says:

        I know nothing about Emma Watson, but Lily Cole wasn’t granted admission on name alone. She went to Cambridge, not Oxford, so the admissions tutor is rather bizarrely claiming to know about a student at a completely different university, never mind college, and she got a double First when she graduated. That’s the highest grade you can possibly get, it means she maintained that top score across her time there, and she got that from a purely exam-based course, where every exam paper is checked over by a group of professors to make sure the marking is consistent.

        Double Firsts are rare. Hardly anyone gets them. People who do are seriously good. She couldn’t blag that – even Prince Charles and Prince Edward only got 2.2s when they graduated (though I am totally willing to believe they should have done far, far worse).

      • Gin Genie says:

        I was lucky to be the last year to have no tuition fees, and even with that I still had to take loans to live on. Here I am now, 12 years, 2 jobs and 1 PhD later, and I’ve just payed those loans off. If I was going through now there’s no way I’d do it. Having undergrad and post grad degrees are very necessary for my job, but the pay just doesn’t match up to how much debt you carry at the end of it now. Education should be based on aptitude, not money. The current UK government is one of the things that’s keeping me in Canada right now.

      • LAK says:

        Amelia, I really feel for you and your generation.

        I am the last generation that had free university and free money AKA grants for living expenses before Labour came in and started the path your generation is on.

        I probably wouldn’t have treated it as summer camp if i had to fork out money to get the degree.

        I am only glad that i wasn’t a foreign student because they paid fees that apparently were enough to cover the rest of us. I really felt bad for them because they would talk about having to pay £7K+ annually, plus they didn’t qualify for the grant money.

        It makes me wonder if their numbers had started to drop off given the economic climate and so the universities pressured the government to ask home students to start paying seeing as the government couldn’t fund them to the level they aspire.

      • Amelia says:

        My bad Kate, I meant to write Oxbridge. I’m aware she went to Cambridge and is highly intelligent, but the point I meant to make is that their PS (personal statements) were lacklustre. The Russell Group supposedly like to pride themselves on producing well rounded graduates but it’s all bs. I’m in such a bad mood today!

      • themummy says:

        Emma Watson is multilingual and had nothing but A’s throughout her school career. By all accounts she’s been an academic bookwormy type since she was little. She definitely did not get in anywhere on name alone. It may have helped, but with her record she didn’t actually need the help.

      • Amelia says:

        My bad Kate, I meant to write Oxbridge, I wasn’t clear at all! I’m aware she went to Cambridge and is highly intelligent, but the point I meant to make was that so many students’ PS (personal statements) are barely passable, which is the heart and soul of the UCAS form. The Russell Group supposedly like to pride themselves on producing and admitting well rounded applicants but it’s all bs.
        And it’s a huge kick in the teeth for people involved in the current cycle of admissions who have been expressly told to get involved with every extracurricular activity you can, as grades alone will not guarantee you a place. Yet people with money behind them/celebrity/or connections to the institution in question can just coast through the admissions process.
        This probably is neither the time or the place to get worked up about it, but the entire tertiary education system is flawed in this country. No-one seems to stick to the criteria expressly set out, universities can find out about the other institutions you applied to by nattering away to their fellow admissions officers (which isn’t allowed) and I’m not even going to go into the matter of fees. My brother is getting so worked up about it, he’s been in tears worrying whether or not he’ll be offered a place over all the Hooray Henrys and I’m crushed on his behalf.
        When will this stupid country figure out that education is a right, not a privilege?
        Thank you for the sympathy LAK :) I feel dreadful on behalf of foreign students going in this year – the fees (for education alone, not counting living expenses) are £27k. Per annum. Oy.
        I’m in such a bad mood today!

        Edit- oh damn, I double posted. Right, I’m going to bed.

      • Mira says:

        @Gin Genie – Curious. May I ask PhD in what? I’m currently in grad school pursuing PhD in Political Science. Most of my grad-school dilemmas are existential. I worked my ass off to get into a fully-funded PhD program and now that I’m here, I keep thinking if a PhD degree is necessary if I’m not planning for a career in academia. I should not be asking this question because just an hour ago, I spoke to my counselor and told her that I’m more clear in my head about the PhD than I’ve ever been. Lol!

      • Kate says:

        Amelia, Oxbridge don’t care one bit about your extra curricular. Honestly, they don’t. Schools waffle on about how they do, but the reality is that admissions is decided by academics, and all they care about is potential and teachability. Show evidence of a passion for the subject (which means reading some way outside the A level syllabus) and be a bit entertaining (remember, they will have to spend a lot of time with you) and that your thoughts are your own – that’s what they want. You don’t even need to be right, you just need to show intelligent thought went into the conclusions when defending them, if that makes sense.

        I can’t even get into the fees aspect because it makes me too angry. How can it be a meritocracy when schools are so based on catchments, anyway, so people can buy their way in to the best? But then to charge those sorts of fees… it’s a final nail in the coffin for anyone who has managed to overcome tricky life circumstances to achieve the required grades. (And I can’t help but womder what it’s going to do to the family lives of an awful lot of women, given they’ll have to repay those loans in their years of peak fertility, too – very probably the father will be in the same boat.) You know they’re even charging serious money for the Open University, now? The whole point was that was a way someone without traditional means of entry could access a tertiary education, or so someone who had a previous degree could afford a career switch. Charging thousands a year for it means it is now a blocked entry.

        The Lily Cole thing is unfounded gossip, though, I promise you. You were misinformed.

        Finally, I know 3 people who got into Oxbridge by reapplying the next year. (One ended up with a double First and then did a PhD, which shows how shaky the admissions process is to start with.) It genuinely is not seen as a bad thing, and it’s also worth noting that at Oxbridge you get exactly the same education, due to the tutorial system and the lectures, whether you go to a college that’s 500 or 50 years old. It’s just that the second is much, much easier to get into.

      • Aud says:

        You’re right, education should be a right, but let’s not forget that to get into uni, a person needs to obtain certain marks to matriculate. If a person has no such marks or their background is so disadvantaged that they don’t have the skills to take them through uni, then we can scream about rights all we like, it won’t make a difference.
        But how do these disparities occur? Governments. The UK approach to education is similar to that of Australia. The government in Australia takes its cue from its British counterpart and their entire way or system is to maintain disadvantage. It’s outrageous, but it occurs and the gap only widens. Why do they do it? Some people need to be bus drivers, customer service officers and the like. I know that’s a terrible argument, but there is a perverted logic in that because if everyone had a first class degree from Oxford or Cambridge or wherever, then it would be damned difficult to employ anyone in any service industry. But not everyone can cope with university study and this is the reason why there are people working in other occupations that don’t require degrees. Students can’t and shouldn’t be forced into college study as a ‘personal right’ because that would only add more pressure. What if they don’t cope, dislike it and drop out? They’d be adversely labeled as people who pissed on their rights.
        The only celebrity student (former) that makes me sick is that idiot who got a professor fired due to his star status – James Franco. He is a definite embarrassment and I’d think twice to enrol at the university he attended.

      • GoodCapon says:

        Kate – you made an interesting comment:

        ‘Oxbridge don’t care one bit about your extra curricular. Honestly, they don’t.’ I’ve always heard that Oxbridge admissions only cares about how you put yourself across through interviews, whether you are eager/obsessed enough with the degree you are applying to and whether you are someone they’d like to teach.
        In contrast, Harvard, Yale etc always take into consideration your extra-curriculars. That and the prevailing(?) legacy system probably makes Ivy League admissions a bit harder.

      • Amelia says:

        Thanks for the info, Kate, I’m going to pass those gems onto my brother :) Hopefully that’ll life his spirits. It would seem things have changed since I applied!

      • Kate says:

        Amelia, he may find this interesting: I went and had a dig, as I remembered when that article was done. I think it gives a pretty good overview (and addresses some of Aud’s concerns).

        Aud, the point about the Open University is it’s open access. There are no matric requirements at all. The standards are as high as at any uni in terms of awarding final grades, but modules can be split apart and then studied over some years, it’s mostly distance learning, it is part time and was always cheap. I have several friends who teach at the OU as well as Russell Group places, because they believe in what it offers. Now it’s being forced to charge thousands they are rethinking that commitment. They were doing it because it allowed people from non-traditional backgrounds to access higher education later on in their lives, in a way that genuinely dovetailed with fulltime work and was affordable. Making it so expensive means the target market will be priced out altogether.

      • Gin Genie says:


        Molecular genetics. I’ve been a post doc for 4 years. I don’t really know how I ended up here, but the current plan is getting out of academia…although I’m not sure what I’m going to do. Current plan is to win the lottery and set up a shoe design business, Lol.

        I think most evidence shows that completing a Masters is a good investment, but PhD’s aren’t (if you’re in it for earning potential).

    • Simone says:

      The only one who would have gotten in whether she was a celebrity or not is Jodie Foster. That woman is smart and was the valedictorian of her her french-speaking high school.

  2. INeedANap says:

    I majored in aerospace engineering, and I see where you (and Danes) are coming from. I needed the higher education at that level because there were a lot of techniques and concepts I simply didn’t have access to otherwise. It helped that my college education was very hands-on. But I also minored in English — and I feel like I learned more from reading interesting books and talking to interesting people than from those classes.

    • Liv says:

      I think if you have the money or opportunity to do another job university is overrated.

      You can always educate yourself, read books and hello, the internet! So many answers on the silver platter!

      I mean I also think that it’s good to learn and if you are coming fresh from school it’s great to broaden your horizon. But a degree is not what makes you happy in life (or better: doesn’t make everybody happy).

  3. lolipop says:

    she already have career as an actor at the time she sharted Yale. It’s not the case for most people.
    college open more opportunities. you wont be in your place at the moment if you dont have a degree. Unless, of course, you have an unique skill and you can make money from it.

  4. E says:

    Totally agree about the college degree. I will be paying mine for at least 15-20 more years, and I am not even using the degree!!!! I run my own business & use very, very little of what I learned in college. Anyway, I’ve always really liked Claire. She definitely is very self-aware, & I typically appreciate that in a person.

  5. only1shmoo says:

    The sad truth is, I completely agree with you. An undergraduate degree (minimum) was once mandatory if one wanted to get a “real” job, but the world has changed so much over the last few years. I paid my way through Uni, and though I’m glad I finished my degree, I can’t say that it’s opened any doors or served any meaningful purpose.

  6. marie says:

    On the education bit, I can’t really fault her, she’s successful at what she does and college isn’t for everyone. I bet that will be an adorable baby, wonder if she’ll sell her pics or keep them private?

  7. Bowers says:

    I have a masters but I only got it to enhance my salary in teaching which wasn’t much. College is not as important as it used to be yet education is more important than it used to be.

  8. Liv says:

    I loved her in My So Called Life, but she’s so skinny now! Plus she always looks miserable! Ugh! Why is that? Are there any photos of her and Hugh smiling at each other?

    I feel sorry for her that the only time she allows herself to eat pasta is when she’s pregnant.

  9. La Calabaza says:

    Off topic: She needs to dye her hair darker. I mean a darker shade of blonde.

  10. mzthirtyeight says:

    A college degree was a goal I had, and I achieved it. It’s always going to be something I can look back on and feel proud about (not to mention my dad, mom, etc.). There’s a lot of (usually financial) scam involved in colleges, and they don’t guarantee much of anything nowadays, but I am glad I perservered. That is me, personally, of course. Trade school seems like more of where its at in this day in age.

  11. TheOriginalKitten says:

    Yep. A bachelor’s degree is today what a high school diploma was 25 years ago.

    In the corporate world, a Bachelor’s is mandatory, you generally can’t get a decent job without it, but it gives you no real advantage over other candidates looking to get the same job as you, since they all have college degrees as well.

    If I ever have kids, I’m making all of them become electricians or plumbers. Hell, in Boston, the bus drivers make 6 figures. It’s definitely more lucrative to learn a trade and join a union these days.

  12. Beth says:

    I’m glad I have a BA, but yeah, it’s sort of worthless, especially when compared to my enormous student loan debt.

  13. Riana says:

    The other issue is with the rising costs of even getting an education in this country and what you learn not actually putting you comparatively against students from other countries.

    Sad to say but education is one of the biggest money-making businesses today.

    I also feel education has stalled, very few teachers know how to approach students with all the new technology that exists and merely teach from the standard handbook. Students who can use that technology can excel without actually being challenged or encouraged to go beyond the lesson plan.

    Still a student, lots of bitter.

  14. shewolf says:

    Psychology is boring anyways.

  15. Jen says:

    “At this point, I feel like higher education is a tool to keep lots of people employed while running universities, and while that’s obviously a good thing (especially in today’s economy), the bubble will ultimately burst, and it will be a complete disaster.”


  16. lflips says:

    If I could make enough money to adequately support myself and my family I wouldn’t bother with college. I find it to be one expensive data dump.

  17. melior says:

    She joins A Paquin on this, who dropped out of Columbia U. I guess for them it doesn’t make much sense to pursue a costly and time consuming training which they won’t even be using later on. Personally, I don’t think I would have pursued any of the degrees I hold today if I had been in the States. The sums you’re talking about to obtain a degree in America are downright scary to me.

  18. cat says:

    I don’t even know who Hugh is! I know that many here follow the ups and downs of every celeb’s ‘love’ life but I only remember the guy who was with Mary Louse Parker and left her pregnant to go to Claire. And don’t even remember him well. I think last names are important, CB!! Have no idea who Hugh is!! And I think even tho’ expensive the experience of college means something. Those 4 years. Now could it be structured differently and less expensively? yes.

    • Noel says:

      I always think of Claire running off with a man who was having a baby with another woman. I would never ever sleep with a man in another relationship because I have too much respect for other women!!

    • L says:

      Yup she’s a serial cheater. Left Ben Lee (her long time Australian guy) to cheat with Billy Cruddup. Who had a very pregnant girlfriend at the time. Cheated on Billy Cruddup with Hugh Dancy. I don’t get the free pass either. Dating that many guys is fine-constantly cheating on your current partner is not fine.

      I will say it’s a testament to her acting that even though I can’t stand her-she is AWESOME in Homeland. I forget I’m looking at Claire Danes sometimes.

      • Sarah says:

        And the pregnant gf was none other than Mary Louise Parker, who is so hot. What was Crudup thinking anyway?

      • Kate says:

        I can’t mind that she cheated on Crudup, I have to say. That sounds like karma – shoddy as Danes’ behaviour was, she wasn’t the one with a pregnant partner when they got together.

        It makes me incandescent when people are so cavalier about their own kids. There’s nothing that horrifies me more. What a start in life for that baby – and I hate to think the stress hormones that must have coursed through poor Mary Louise Parker’s system while carrying that baby, too. I can’t see how that could have been good for either one of them. Just such a nasty, nasty thing to do to someone – nobody is that uncontrollably in love unless they lack a compassion gene somewhere. And in his case, a basic-responsibility-for-your-own-baby-gene. He makes Halle Berry look like a good mother.

  19. tracking says:

    Stats show that it is difficult to develop much earning power without a college (and these days often advanced) degree. Danes was obviously very, very lucky and, ok, talented. That said, many state schools provide excellent educations without the exorbitant price tag of private colleges. I would be very worried if my kids decided not to go to college, but I hope to a) pay for their educations and b) help them with a realistic plan if unforeseen circumstances make that impossible

  20. BRE says:

    I’m not sure what I think about whether an undergrad degree is really needed. I loved college and would spend the rest of my life taking classes if I could but I will be paying off those darn student loans forever.

  21. curegirl0421 says:

    I have to say this whole thread has made me feel so much more determined to do what I decided to last month – quit after my AA is done (I started it, I might as well finish, or I’d stop now.) I started back at age 37 because I felt like I was missing out on something. Turns out what I was missing out on was a ridiculous amount of stress, classes that I will never use, and wasted time and money. I value the things I have learned, but if you’re not getting a specialized degree (Engineering, etc. as was said) it’s just… so… NO. Especially not at my age. So, um… thanks! :)

  22. Skeksis says:

    I have a Master’s degree I don’t use, I can’t argue with any of this.

  23. Skeksis says:

    I have a Master’s degree I don’t use, so I can’t argue with any of this.

  24. m.k. says:

    What? Homeland is on for another 5 years? It’s an addictive and entertaining show, but why not just make a really excellent storyline in 3 seasons instead of dragging it on and on?

  25. Blondey says:

    Sour on higher ed as well. Unless you are in technical fields (medicine, engineering, etc.) or teaching (upper levels – really do you need a masters to teach kindergarten?).

    I went back to get my BS in my late 30′s. I was a department head with almost all my staff having more degrees than me (I had an AS). What a waste – class material were developed by teachers not do-ers, very little relation to what happens in real-life business scenarios.

    Now I have over $50,000 in student loans ($600/mo payments), no increase in pay , and no discernible advantage in doing my job. It sucks!

  26. Seen says:

    A degree is absolutely necessary depending on the field you’re choosing. Liberal Arts degree? Probably not so much, but it still shows an employer you did the time and out in the effort, no matter your field. Heck, even the military appreciates and rewards a person with an advanced education. I wish to high heaven I had finished college !!

  27. Seen says:

    A degree is absolutely necessary depending on the field you’re choosing. Liberal Arts degree? Probably not so much, but it still shows an employer you did the time and out in the effort, no matter your field. Heck, even the military appreciates and rewards a person with an advanced education. I wish to high heaven I had finished college !

  28. Kate says:

    I think many people go to university because we are snobbish about education. We see an electrician or a gas plumber as less worthy than someone working in an office who went to a liberal arts college, and that’s insane to my mind, but true nonetheless. A college degree is basically a stamp that says “I am worthy of a middle class job”, in reality.

    It’s great to have the opportunity to learn to think in a rigorous and systematic way, but I also think sending people at the age they traditionally go is a bit of a waste, because a lot of the time it’s such a chore that close to school. If people had to wait till they were at least 25, they’d have more of an idea of whether it was worth the money as well as whether they actually wanted to do it. But the problem is, the more people who go, the more jobs require an undergrad as evidence of academic ability. So the choice is removed. 50 years ago, it was pretty rare to go to college, in this country at least. Now, it’s almost half the population.

    Danes didn’t need to go, so she decided to drop out when she wasn’t enjoying it. That seems pretty reasonable, really. She can read plenty of books, which is all you really need college for, IMO. I learned way more from the reading list than I ever did lectures, seminars or tutorials.

  29. says:

    I have 2 Master’s degrees and I’m doing my PhD right now (yes, I have been in school a VERY long time), and all of it is useful to me. But I am aiming for a job in academia or research so maybe it’s different.

  30. MG says:

    What bothers me is that some companies insist you have a college degree but they could care less what it’s in. How does that make sense? They want you to have the piece of paper but don’t care if you actually know anything about their business. My former manager had 30 years experience in the import business. When things were “restructured” he was not promoted to Senior Manager because he didn’t have a college degree. Such BS! I believe in higher education for the most part but like others have said it depends on the degree. My degree was useless, but my husband’s has been invaluable.

  31. Rose says:

    As a successful small business owner, I do not regret not finishing my degree and I couldn’t be happier working for myself vs joining the daily grind with everyone else. A college degree is NOT necessary to make it in todays world…at least not in my world. I never want to work for someone else again, spend my life making them rich. F–k that.

    That said, I do want my kids to graduate from college, but I do hope our entrepreneur mentality will be passed on to them.

  32. Simone says:

    She didn’t need to go to college. She was just copying Jodie Foster. Jodie Foster started the trend of celebrities going away to college and then coming back to a successful career. Ever since many actors and actresses have been trying to follow her lead.

  33. paranormalgirl says:

    I’m glad I have my degrees, but it was a lot of work. Sometimes I wish I had scuttled med school and just stayed with the doctorate in psychology.

  34. Jess says:

    I think she lost momentum in those two years in her acting career, which she was BORN to do. She’s phenomenal, IMO the very best actress of her generation, and not everyone and their mom has to go to college, especially when you already know what you want to do.

  35. taxi says:

    She does crazy very well in Homeland and it helps that she’s not pretty. She was very good as “Temple Grandin”. Don’t understand how she & Dancy ended up together though – they appear quite unmatched to me.

    • Becky1 says:

      I thinks she’s pretty/attractive-not in a “movie star” way but in a “regular person” sort of way. I’m not going to comment on her personal life but whatever the case she definitely is a very good actress. I love “Homeland” and she was excellent in “Temple Grandin.”

  36. Kosmos says:

    She’s bright and talented, really great in Homeland, so I really like Claire. I have to say that she really is not happy with the paps taking the shots above though. Isn’t this the norm when you’re a star and you go out walking in NY City? The best you can do is give a little smile, don’t answer any questions if you don’t want, or just look down, as I see many celebs doing, but try not to frown :- ((

  37. mike says:

    Undergrad degree in liberal arts is a colossal waste of money; don’t let your kids do this unless you’re gonna be supporting them for the rest of their (and your) lives.

    Even a grad degree is generally speaking, a comparative waste of money better spent elsewhere. I personally know more than a dozen people with PhD who earn less than a garbageman because they can’t get decent academic positions, where there’s a glut of wannabe-professors and not enough positions, not even for associate professorship at crap state schools (not all state schools are–many are great indeed–but there are many that are bad).

    It’s a complete nonsense that you can’t earn as much as a college grad with a worthless BA or an overpriced BS. Most of my childhood friends forewent college, yet they all make between 60k to 100k+. The key is vocational training. My friend, who is a military civilian contractor, makes me green with envy with his cool 120k-ish income, and he never even went to college. Instead, he joined the air force right after Hs and gained invaluable mechanical skills, which he has since utilized to make more money than I–and without my crushing student loan debt to boot.

    Another friend went from a mere security guard to building manager. Granted, he’s screwed if he’s laid off, but he’s made many contacts within the hospitality industry and is confident that he can land on his feet.

    I know bunch more stories of HS grads doing well. Of course, not all do well, but it’s a rubbish to say that the time and resources wasted on BA in college will necessarily give you better opportunities than a HS grad who chose vocational training instead.

  38. Hoya_chick says:

    Meh. I have a BA from a private university and I now work at a private Ivy League school and the tales I could tell! If you have a real skill/passion for something that doesn’t not require a college education I say skip it! I actually didn’t like my undergrad years. I had to work twice as hard in and outside of the classroom to get the same results as my richer peers. The broker I was, the more hours I worked and the harder I had to study to keep up and not fall behind. Vicious cycle lol! It was so stressful and I don’t feel like I learned anything that helps me in my daily life. I got the social and cultural capital that is immesuarable in the sense that I met and was exposed to people and things I wouldn’t have otherwise. The good news is that I only graduated with $6500 in loans (I could have graduated with none but my home life sorta fell apart so I had to borrow some money in my last 2 years). I’m almost done paying it off and I wouldn’t have the job I do without my bachelors because on paper every job worth its salt requires one. If I had to do it again I probably would have skipped it. I am taking a leave of absence from my MA program because I reevaluating my life and I am beginning to feel like I am only do it to do it and increase my earning potential, not because I enjoy it. It’s very stressful to work full time and then turn around and go to class 3 nights a week for 3 hours a piece. Maybe that’s why I’m so bitchy! Gah! I love Claire and Homeland and Jordan and Angela 4eva! Lol

  39. Mikaela says:

    I, for one, and very glad that I went to college. I think that those of you that are most disgruntled equate college with earning potential. That was only part of the experience for me. I learned so much about people, the kind of person that I am, how to network, build relationships and I even learned in those classes that I thought I wasn’t interested in. I think I am a much more interesting person and definitely more well-rounded.

    I’m not saying that you have to go to college to get this, but it was absolutely a great experience for me. Some of my best memories are from my college days and I wouldn’t trade them for the world!

  40. bettyrose says:

    I’ve wanted to respond to this thread all day. I work with “at risk” students in higher ed. I went into the field feeling strongly that *everyone* deserves a college education. I based this philosophy mostly on the fact that I loved going to college (hence a career in college work) & spent four decadent years working on a liberal arts degree (at a state university accumulating only minimal debt). But after spending years watching students struggle to slog through classes they don’t really need while working and taking care of families (either children or parents), I’ve wished I could refer more of them to short term technical degrees that would get them solid employment.

    The truth is that college isn’t for everyone. I would love to be 18 again and have the intellectual challenge of spending four years at a school like Yale with my expenses paid and no other distractions to keep me from fully immersing myself. Earning a college degree – especially from a school with high standards – is not easy, though, so I can fully appreciate that someone who is already devoted to a successful career wouldn’t feel like they’re giving it the attention it deserves. If she’s the kind of person who wanted to go to Yale, I suspect she’s the kind of person who chooses to read, study, and explore the world on her own.

  41. stephanie says:

    agree with your sentiments that the value of college certainly outstrips the price tag for most people – I think the main problem is the mentality that one should follow one’s bliss in college. you know, go to that four-year no-name liberal arts college and major in basket weaving. this is the myth that’s being perpetuated and it’s what’s getting into trouble. Unless you get into harvard or something, go to state, work your way through, major in something you can market. And for god’s sake, if you have an acting career, skip it altogether. College is a means to an end, not a necessary experience.

  42. dcypher1 says:

    She will always be angela chase to me too. Just like jared leto willl always be jordan cattalano. My socalled life was my fav tv show when I was a teen.

  43. Diana says:

    IDK. College degrees can be very useful. My Master of Social Work degree actually opened a lot of doors for me. I command a much higher salary than I got with my Bachelor’s. My training was super intensive and specific, though, and paired with a heavy duty internship.

    Maybe it’s the field I’m in, where intensive training and research is valued, but you have to have that clinical background and training to be able to do the job. You can’t just read a book or google stuff and BS your way through it.

  44. jwoolman says:

    If she actually worked at it for those two years rather than goofing off- yeah, that was probably enough in her field of study to get her into an adult learning mode and probably even give her something useful for her current life. The piece of paper isn’t universally needed.

    Scientists and engineers do need a lot more education time, since in addition to the huge, ever-changing amount of detail involved, we need the experience of being apprentices (that’s basically what working for masters or doctorates involves, in addition to coursework). Even with 4 years college and five years grad school in joint programs, as a scientific translator I routinely have to learn more with every translation job. My education is only a starting point.

    But I should point out that a friend with many marketable practical skills as well as two master’s degrees (art and library science) plus myself (with a master’s and a Ph.D. in physics and chemistry) have been outwitted for the past few months by a one year old cat without even a high school diploma as she continues to find ways to bypass the allegedly cat-proof fencing system. I have had to play Jane Goodall, trailing after her with phone video camera ready to catch her in the act so he can plug the leak, but she just keeps finding more ways out. So formal education isn’t always needed to do what you want to do, and having the degrees doesn’t guarantee success. Just sayin’…

  45. curleque says:

    As someone who interviews candidates for positions, there is a real and discernible difference between someone who has a college education, and someone who does not, on the average. A college education is more than about the degree you are earning, particularly in the liberal arts. Students also learn critical thinking skills, which is important in the real world–whether or not you think you are using your degree.

    Not everyone is meant to go to college, and that is okay. But in the business or corporate world and depending on where you live (major metropolitan area vs. rural small town), you really do need a degree. A bachelor’s is the minimum requirement for entry in many fields, and depending on how far you want to go in your career, you will probably also need an advanced degree. The good news is that many employers pay for grad school.

    So, college is important for many people. You do earn more over a lifetime, not to mention the benefits that come with a good job, which could equal tens of thousands of dollars (paid time off, medical, retirement) in addition to your salary.

    For you college students and recent grads reading this, those student loans will be paid off one day. (And then you’ll replace it with an even bigger loan: a mortgage, which is truly scary.) College is hard, and you’re always broke, but it gets much, much better.