Jennifer Lawrence’s career took off when she was still very young, getting her first major role at just sixteen years old. Did Lawrence ever go to college?
Jennifer Lawrence did not go to college, and she also did not go to high school. She dropped out of middle school at fourteen years old and does not have a GED or diploma.
Read more below to find out about how Lawrence describes her education, why she dropped out, and how she got into acting in the first place.
Despite not going to college herself, Jennifer Lawrence has many college fans on Twitter, like this one who posted asking if they could start a Jennifer Lawrence club at their college, or this one who posted about wanting to major in being Jennifer Lawrence.
In an interview in 2018 with 60 Minutes’s Bill Whitaker, she opened up about her decision to drop out. “I struggled through school,” she said. “I never felt very smart.”
“And when I’m reading a script, and I feel like I know exactly what it would look like if somebody felt that way, that was a whole part of my brain that I didn’t know existed. It’s something that I could be confident in, and I didn’t want to let it go.”
Her parents were less than excited that she wanted to drop out of school to pursue acting. As she described, “It’s so hard to explain, it was just an overwhelming feeling of, ‘I get this. This is what I was meant to do.’ And to get people to try to understand that when you’re fourteen years old, wanting to drop out of school and do this and your parents are just like, ‘You’re out of your mind.’”
“I dropped out of middle school. I don’t technically have a GED or a diploma. I am self-educated,” she said. When Whitaker asked if she regretted it at all, Lawrence didn’t take long to answer.
“No, I really don’t. I wanted to forge my own path. I found what I wanted to do and I didn’t want anything getting in the way of it. Even friends, for many years, were not as important to me as my career,” she said.
Check out the YouTube video below to watch Jennifer Lawrence talk with Bill Whitaker about focusing on her career instead of her education.
Lawrence’s Acting Career
When Lawrence was just nine years old, she played a p****itute in a church play based on the Book of Jonah. According to her mother, Karen Lawrence, she stole the show.
“The other girls just stood there with lipstick on, but she came in swinging her booty and strutting her stuff. Our friends said, ‘We don’t know if we should congratulate you or not, because your kid’s a great p****itute,’” she remembered.
Lawrence continued doing plays and musicals for her school or church until she and her mom visited New York when she was fourteen years old. A modeling scout approached the pair and asked if he could take some pictures of Lawrence, and soon after she had an agent and auditions set up.
Lawrence begged her parents to let her move to New York, and they finally agreed that she could go for six weeks. She went with one of her older brothers while taking online classes.
“It might as well have been a different planet. Our friends thought we were nuts. We thought we were nuts,” Lawrence’s mom said. “But her brothers told us, ‘This is her baseball diamond. You’ve gotta let her play.’”
“We thought she’d go to New York and they’d say, ‘Don’t let the door hit you on the way out.’ If it wasn’t for her agent literally almost choking me, saying, ‘You don’t understand, I’ve never seen a 14-year-old like this,’ we might not have made it,” her mom said.