10 World Famous People Who Went to School on Scholarships

Famous people tend to have many talents, so those who are known for one skill most likely exhibit strength in others. Many renowned people excelled in their studies and went to school on a scholarship, often to prestigious universities.

1. Bill Clinton

The former President studied for two years at Oxford on a Rhodes Scholarship before leaving to earn a law degree at Yale. He was later awarded an honorary degree by Oxford.

2. Bill Gates
One of the most influential men of the last century, the philanthropist and former Microsoft chairman was a proud winner of a National Merit Scholarship and attended Harvard.

3. Hugh Grant
Known for his work in lighthearted comedies such as “Notting Hill” and “Four Weddings and a Funeral,” Grant was a formidable student and athlete. He received two scholarships, one to Latymer Upper School and one to New College, Oxford — the Galsworthy Scholarship — where he studied English literature.

4. Madonna
The popular music legend was an excellent student and won a dance scholarship to the University of Michigan, where she studied ballet under the tutelage of Chris Flynn.

5. Edward Hubble
The famed astronomer won a Rhodes Scholarship in 1910 and went on to discover galaxies beyond the Milky Way.

6. James William Fulbright
He won the Rhodes Scholarship in 1926 and was also an Olympic athlete and U.S. senator.

7. Denzel Washington
While studying at Fordham University, the acclaimed actor earned a scholarship to the American Conservatory Theatre in San Francisco.
8. Stephenie Meyer
Meyer attended Brigham Young University on a National Merit Scholarship. A worldwide audience has embraced her “Twilight” series of novels.

9. Susan E. Rice
The U.S. National Security Advisor and U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations won a National Achievement Scholarship.

10. Kris Kristofferson
Winner of a prestigious Rhodes Scholarship, the well-respected singer/songwriter worked on his music as he earned his doctorate in philosophy from Oxford.

Fame usually comes to people due to their talent, intelligence and work ethic. These qualities often earn them academic recognition before they receive public acclaim, so it’s understandable that so many notable persons have earned scholarships for their higher education.