Female Dropouts Who Made It Without a Degree

As midterms start, many students might be questioning their motives for staying in school. Electing to drop out has become more acceptable as some of the most successful entrepreneurs, business leaders, and entertainers chose to forego academia in favor of "real world" pursuits. In 2012, PayPal founder Peter Thiel made news with his 20 Under 20 Thiel Fellowship, a program that encourages "creative and motivated young people" to bring their projects to life--outside of school. But while his program provides mentors and business connections to ambitious teens, many dropouts don't have the luxury of that alternative structure.

Sophia Amoruso, founder of clothing store Nasty Gal, is frank about her life after she dropped out of college. She details her past--in which she stole the first item of clothing she sold online and dumpster dived for food--in her best-selling book, #GirlBoss. She now channels her tenacity and perseverence into running her million-dollar business. Who are the other surprising stars who never made it through school? We always hear about Zuckerburg and Jobs, but what about Oprah? Meet women who made it without a degree, and the ideas that drove them forward instead.