6 Famous Female Dropouts

Did you know some of the world's most successful men and women were college dropouts? As Harvard dropout Bill Gates would tell you, "To win big, you sometimes have to take big risks."

Check out the list below to learn more about some of the most influential women who didn't need a college diploma to achieve great things.

1. Ellen DeGeneres
MAKER DeGeneres left the University of New Orleans after just one semester to work full-time at a law firm, while also waitressing and working at J.C. Penney. She pursued stand-up comedy on the side, and five years later, she was touring nationally and named Showtime's Funniest Person in America.

2. Dorothy Day
The co-founder of the Catholic Worker Movement attended the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign on scholarship for two years before dropping out. Day set out for New York City to become a social activist, eventually becoming one of the nation's most influential social justice leaders.

3. Oprah Winfrey
Also known as the toughest woman in America, Winfrey had a full scholarship to Tennessee State to study communications. With only one credit left to graduate, she left to begin her career in broadcast journalism. Of course 13 years later, TSU invited her to speak, but she said she wanted to graduate first. So she finished her coursework and got that credit.

4. Lady Gaga
Let's be honest, Lady Gaga was never meant to be contained within the walls of any classroom. She left New York University after one year, promising her dad she would return if she hadn't succeeded in music in one year. Bold. "I really felt New York was my teacher and that I needed to bite the bullet and go it alone," she said. 

5. Harper Lee
Sometimes you go to law school, sometimes you write the 'best novel of the century,' (according to the Library Journal at least). It just happens that way. Lee was accepted into the law program at University of Alabama at Tuscaloosa in her junior year. Luckily for us, she dropped out of law school after just one semester to move to New York City and write a novel. 

6. Emma Stone
Did you know that Emma Stone is the queen of persuasive PowerPoint presentations? She put together one at the age of 12 to convince her parents to let her leave school to be home schooled, and another at 14 to convince them to let her move to Los Angeles. That's a girl who knows what she wants, and has the guts to go after it.

More From Levo:
• Is College Worth It?
• Why Taking a Gap Year Made All the Difference
• Forbes Announces the Top Self-Made Women in the U.S.
• The Richest Women in the World

Photo Credit: REUTERS/Mario Anzuoni