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The most common way to get a formal education is to go to a four year university after completing high school. Many individuals don’t go that route because a four year college can be very expensive and out of the student’s price range. As a result, many individuals choose to go to junior college before continuing their education at a four year university. Junior and community college students have gone on to reach high levels of achievement.

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Tom Hanks, actor. An academy award-winning actor, Hanks started his post-high school career by enrolling at Chabot College in Hayward, California, before transferring to California State University. Hanks starred as Kip Wilson in the ABC series “Bosom Buddies.” From there, Hanks became a major motion picture star in films like “Nothing In Common” with Jackie Gleason, “Big” and “A League of Their Own.” He won the Academy Award when he played a gay lawyer in “Philadelphia” in 1993. He won a second Academy Award for his performance in “Forrest Gump” in 1994. Hanks has gone on to write, direct and produce as well as act.

George Lucas, director. The creator of “Star Wars“, one of the most successful film franchises in Hollywood history. Lucas started off at Modesto Junior College before transferring to USC. Lucas directed the popular ‘50s retro flick “American Graffiti” before moving on to “Star Wars”. He also earned the lifetime achievement award from the American Film Institute. Not too bad for a guy who started off with such humble beginnings.

Ross Perot, businessman and politician. Perot attended Texarkana Junior College before entering the navy. He went on to start Electronic Data Systems before selling that company to General Motors. He then started IT service provider Perot Systems before selling that to Dell. Perot went into politics at the height of his business career and ran for president in 1992. Forbes Magazine estimated Perot’s net worth at $5 billion in 2008 and he is considered one of the richest men in the United States. Sure, he may be a little wacky at times, and he’s fallen off the political landscape, but Perot is wildly successful.

Jim Lehrer, journalist. Lehrer hosted PBS’s iconic news show “The NewsHour with Jim Lehrer” and prior to that, he was the co-host of “The McNeil/Lehrer Report.” Lehrer won the Emmy Award and was inducted into the Television Hall of Fame and has shown the ability to take complicated subjects and explain them clearly on his reports. Lehrer began his education by enrolling at Victoria College before moving on to the School of Journalism at the University of Missouri. It’s not known if his JuCo of choice offered classes like “Serious Reporter Voice 101,” but what is known is that Lehrer has done very well for himself.

Billy Crystal, actor. A multi-talented performer who has starred in film, theater and television and may be even better known for his starring performances as the long-time host of the Academy Awards. Crystal grew up in New York and started his education at Nassau Community College in New York before moving on to New York University. He studied directing under Martin Scorsese and is also one of the top directors and producers in the business. Have fun storming the castle, Billy!

John Walsh, broadcaster and child safety advocate. Walsh is the host of America’s Most Wanted, a show he started after his son Adam was murdered and kidnapped in 1981. He helped create the Missing Children’s Act of 1982 and the Missing Children’s Assistance Act of 1984. Walsh continues to campaign for children’s and victim’s rights. He went to community college in New York before moving on to the University of Buffalo. Too bad his school didn’t teach him the perils of an all denim wardrobe. Still, Walsh’s work is noble, so he can be forgiven for that, right?