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Does college really matter for starlets?

By Ami Angelowicz, The Frisky
Miley Cyrus is rumored to be thinking about applying to Ivy League schools in 2010.
Miley Cyrus is rumored to be thinking about applying to Ivy League schools in 2010.
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • Young starlets like Miley Cyrus don't have to get a degree to be successful
  • Co-star Brooke Shields has reportedly suggested Cyrus think about college
  • Whether or not a degree helps actresses be more successful is a draw
  • College was good for Natalie Portman and Emma Watson, not so much for Claire Danes
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(The Frisky) -- On "Hannah Montana," Brooke Shields plays Miley Cyrus' dead mother, but rumor has it that off-screen she is playing the role of Miley's high school guidance counselor.

Apparently, Shields' motherly instincts kicked in when the young starlet told her last year that she was planning to skip college. Even though toothpaste commercials don't require knowledge of French literature, Shields explained to the Miles that she is a better person for getting her degree from Princeton.

Now, the word is that Cyrus may be considering following in Shields' footsteps and applying to some Ivy League schools in 2010. I somehow can't see Miley Cyrus studying Proust, but I get Shields' point. An education never hurt anyone, especially a young rock star/actress who has been known to bare her midriff and make ignorant remarks. Even though many college grads do not end up doing anything remotely related to their undergrad degrees, the experience is about personal growth ... right?

But this begs the question: Do young starlets really need a college education if they're already successful? Let's compare Ivy League stars with their School of Life counterparts to see if a diploma really makes a difference.

Brooke Shields vs. Sarah Jessica Parker

College Education: Shields has a degree from Princeton. Parker attended the School of Hollywood Knocks.

Personal Life: Both are married with children. Shields has struggled openly with postpartum depression and even published a book about her experiences.

Professional Life: Since "Lipstick Jungle" was canceled last year, Shields has moved from lipstick to mascara -- she is the spokeswoman for Latisse, some kind of weird stuff that makes your eyelashes grow. SJP is working on "SATC2."

Verdict: Hate to say it, but SJP has seemed to maintain a more consistent and resilient personal life and career. And Carrie is just ... well ... cooler. SJP takes this round.

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Claire Danes vs. Rachel McAdams

College Education: Danes attended Yale for two years before dropping out and McAdams graduated from Canada to the U.S.

Personal Life: Before Danes married Hugh Dancy, she had an affair with Billy Crudup while Mary-Louise Parker was pregnant with his baby. Yikes. McAdams is still single, but we're all hoping for a reunion with long-time love Ryan Gosling.

Professional Life: Sure, we were all obsessed with Danes in "My So-Called Life," but I don't recall much going on in her so-called career lately. Meanwhile, McAdams is the romantic comedy queen of the silver screen.

Verdict: Maybe Danes should finish her degree at Yale, because Rachel McAdams seems to be kicking her butt.

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Natalie Portman vs. Scarlett Johansson

College Education: Portman graduated from Harvard with a degree in psychology and Johansson graduated from awkward teenager to bombshell.

Personal Life: Portman is a hot, smart, single vegetarian and Johansson is a hot, politically active, married (to Ryan Reynolds) singer.

Professional Life: Both Portman and Johansson are A-list leading ladies who tend to choose interesting roles.

Verdict: This one's a draw, folks.

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Emma Watson vs. Lindsay Lohan

College Education: Watson is making magic happen at Brown University and Lohan is trying to make herself disappear with the use of illegal substances.

Personal Life: Watson is a squeaky clean, self-proclaimed feminist and Lohan is one big hot mess.

Professional Life: Watson is best known as Hermione Granger in the "Harry Potter" blockbusters and was the highest-grossing actress of the decade, while Lohan is best known for crazy Tweets about ex-GF SamRo.

Verdict: Lilo should start with an education about getting sober before considering college. Emma Watson looks like a golden goddess next to her.

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