15 celebrities who didn't get into their dream colleges

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How Powerful Is The Ivy League?

Getting a dreaded rejection letter from your dream school can seem like the end of the world, but don't despair — it happens to the best of us.

Plenty of wildly successful actors, business moguls, and politicians have had their Ivy League dreams dashed, but they found other paths and turned out just fine.

Here are 15 celebrities who found acceptance after rejection.

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15 celebrities who didn't get into their dream colleges
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15 celebrities who didn't get into their dream colleges

Tina Fey played a Princeton University admissions officer in the 2014 movie "Admission," but things went a little differently when she applied to the elite school in the real world. "I went to my interview, and from the get-go was like, 'Yeah, I don't got this,'" she told People Magazine. Fey ended up attending the University of Virginia and studying drama.

Source: People Magazine

(Photo by Theo Wargo/Getty Images for Tribeca Film Festival)

In 1974 Tom Hanks sent his SAT scores to M.I.T. and Villanova, "knowing such fine schools would never accept a student like me but hoping they’d toss some car stickers my way for taking a shot," he wrote in The New York Times. Hanks instead attended Chabot, a two-year community college in Hawyard, California. "That place made me what I am today," he wrote. Hanks later attended Sacramento State.

Source: The New York Times

(Photo by Fred Duval/FilmMagic)

Steven Spielberg, one of the most successful film directors of all time, was rejected from the University of Southern California School of Cinema Arts not once, but twice. He instead went to Cal State Long Beach, but dropped out just before graduating when he got a movie deal. Don't worry — he returned to finally get his diploma in 2002.

Source: CNNPeople Magazine

(Photo by Mike Windle/Getty Images)

Carey Mulligan desperately wanted to go to theater school as a kid, but her parents had other ideas. So when it came time to apply for college, the actress told The New York Times she attempted "the most rebellious thing I’ve ever done. I applied to drama school instead of university and got rejected from every one." Nevertheless, Mulligan's gone on to star in movies like "The Great Gatsby" and "Inside Llewyn Davis."

Source: Huffington Post

(Photo by Jason LaVeris/FilmMagic)

Secretary of State John Kerry was one of the many, many people rejected from Harvard each year. "Rejected is such a strong word,'' Kerry joked to ABC News. "I prefer to think of it as crimson-challenged … besides I never would have fit in at a total jock school." Kerry graduated from Yale University and later went to Boston College Law School.

Source: ABC News

(AP Photo/Christophe Ena)

President Barack Obama was rejected from Swarthmore College, the school's paper reports. "Ah, Swarthmore, great school. They rejected me," he said to an alumni interning at his Senate office. When another graduate asked if the rumor was true, Obama said it was. "It really broke my heart, actually." Luckily, he went on to attend Occidental College, transfer to Columbia University, and become the leader of the free world.

Source: The Daily Gazette

 (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster)

When Meredith Vieira didn't to get into Harvard, she was initially heartbroken. "In fact, I was so devastated that when I went to Tufts [University] my freshman year, every Saturday I'd hitchhike to Harvard," she told The Wall Street Journal. These trips stopped once she met a mentor who got her started in on her impressive journalism career.

Source: The Wall Street Journal

(Photo by: Charles Sykes/Bravo/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images)

Google co-founder Sergey Brin wanted to attend M.I.T. for graduate school, but his application was denied. He ended up getting a masters degree at Stanford University, where he met Larry Page. The two would soon change the Internet — and world.

Source: Time

(Photo credit should read JUNG YEON-JE/AFP/Getty Images)

Legendary news anchor Tom Brokaw was turned down by Harvard University. The New York Post reports that he joked about the rejection while moderating a panel on the movie "Spotlight" at the Harvard Club, saying it was the only way he could get in. Brokaw is a graduate of the University of South Dakota.

Source: The New York Post

 (Photo by Bryan Bedder/Getty Images for The Buoniconti Fund To Cure Paralysis)

Both of Katie Couric's sisters went to Smith College, and she told US Weekly that "it was devastating" when she didn't get in. But, she went on to enroll at the University of Virginia, where she got her start in journalism.

Source: US Weekly

 (Photo by Daniel Boczarski/Getty Images for EPIX)

Matt Groening, the creator of "The Simpsons," is a member of the Rejected-From-Harvard Club too, according to a magazine published by two Harvard alums. Groening ended up attending The Evergreen State College in Olympia, Washington.

Source: ABC News

(Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images)

"Gone Girl" star Rosamund Pike was rejected from every drama school she applied to. “I dropped out of university to audition and they all said: ‘no thank you,’" she explained to News Corp. “It’s awful when you are 19, but I honestly believe it’s those knock-backs that give you the fight.”

Source: news.com.au

 (Photo by VCG/VCG via Getty Images)

Jerry Greenfield — one half of the ice cream duo behind Ben & Jerry's — was pre-med at Oberlin College, but when it came time to move on to medical school, he applied to 20, and was rejected from every one. Even after he got a lab technician job to boost his resume and re-applied, he was met with another 20 rejection letters. So instead he partnered up with his junior high school friend to make ice cream. The rest is delicious, delicious history.

Source: Grinnel College

Photographer: Simon Dawson/Bloomberg via Getty Images

Hugh Jackman was rejected from Australia's prestigious National Institute of Dramatic Art. The Sydney Morning Herald reports that the "X-Men" actor said it was "one of those ironies" that his poor audition at NIDA got him into the Western Australian Academy of Performing Arts, where he ultimately studied.

Source: The Sydney Morning Herald

(Photo by The Chosunilbo JNS/Imazins via Getty Images)

Warren Buffett was initially crushed when he was rejected from the Harvard Business School. But, as he told The Wall Street Journal, "everything that has happened in my life ... that I thought was a crushing event at the time, has turned out for the better." Buffett went to Columbia instead. "You learn that a temporary defeat is not a permanent one. In the end, it can be an opportunity."

Source: The Wall Street Journal

Photographer: Daniel Acker/Bloomberg via Getty Images

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