How Far These Real Housewives Got In School

Bravo's rotating cast of Real Housewives aren't exactly known for their educational pursuits. Instead, they're known for things like high profile divorces, bankruptcies, absurdly lavish vacations where everyone ends up throwing drinks at each other, and the occasional stint behind bars. This is an utter shame, because many of the women on the series have managed to build an empire in spite of their lack of a degree. That's not exactly easy in a world that tells us we have to go into massive debt at a top college or else fail in our careers as adults (though in some cases, their family wealth certainly made things easier).

While it's doubtful that any of the housewives are still carrying around student loan debt, their educational backgrounds are all over the place. Some of these stars quit their educational pursuits after high school, while others hit the dorms at some the United States' very best universities. Keep on scrolling to find out how far these Real Housewives got in school.

Lisa Vanderpump tapped out after drama school

The Daily Mail has dubbed Lisa Vanderpump the unofficial "queen of British expats living in LA" — and they're not really wrong. Her highness of high-priced cocktails has an undeniable amount of class, which is probably why the rumor that the Real Housewives of Beverly Hills alum leaked a co-star's drama to Radar Online was so gutting. In truth, this reality TV star didn't learn how to be impossibly classy at a place like Eton — and not just because it's a famous boys' school

According to the Daily Mail, LVP attended London's Corona Theatre School and got her first acting gig at the ripe age of 13. The Daily Dish reports that she began attending the drama school full-time when she was nine years old. By the time she was 19, Vanderpump had saved up enough money from acting in commercials to buy a place of her own. Not long after, the Vanderpump Rules star fell madly in love with her husband, Ken Todd, while working the door at his first bar. They got married in six short weeks, traveled the world for three months, then decided to move to Los Angeles and start opening clubs and restaurants. 

Basically, Vanderpump had no time for higher education, but it looks like she didn't need it. The star is currently has an estimated net worth of $75 million.

​Vicki Gunvalson's lack of higher education is pure drama

Vicki Gunvalson didn't need a college degree to cement her status as one of the OG Orange County housewives, but her lack of higher education definitely helped craft some epic drama. As the star fought for a piece of the spotlight following her demotion to "friend" in Season 14, she shared some choice words with castmate Kelly Dodd over her alleged lack of life accomplishments. In a September 2019 tweet, Gunvalson claimed that Dodd didn't have a job, didn't own a home, and lived in an apartment that was "about to be condemned" while "leaching [sic] off men." What a lovely way to treat your friends.

Of course, Dodd later called out Gunvalson's smarts during an appearance on Watch What Happens Live: After Show. "I'm college educated, she's not ... She didn't graduate ... She's a dumba**." Dodd told host Andy Cohen (via Reality Blurb). "She's not college-educated. I am. I own 10 homes. I have a lot of money in the bank. I do. I can afford whatever I want to afford."

Regardless of her educational career, which ended at William Fremd High School, Gunvalson managed to foster a lucrative career in the world of insurance and retirement planning. According to her bio on the Coto Insurance and Financial Services website, the reality TV star became the top agent at her company during her first year. When you've got talent, you've got talent.

Real Housewives star Bethenny Frankel went to a top university — twice

Bethenny Frankel has managed to build a SkinnyGirl empire after selling her cocktail company for $100 million, according to Business Insider. So, it's not surprising that she's one smart cookie (who also happened to get her start by selling cookies with Bethenny Bakes). The chef and self-proclaimed hustler went to two extremely prestigious universities.

According to Bravo's Personal Space, the Real Housewives of New York star graduated from high school and studied at the National Gourmet Institute ... but she didn't stop there. In an Instagram Story captured by People, Frankel opened up about the two years she spent at Boston University, where she lived in the same building as future Bravo boss Andy Cohen. During that time, the New York housewife worked as a cocktail waitress and sometimes pulled in almost $1,000 a night. She used that cash to fund a semester abroad in France.

After Boston University, Frankel attended New York University, where she got degrees in psychology and communications, according to People. She even lived in the dorms, but didn't think her expensive NYU education amounted to much. In a tweet, Frankel admitted, "It would not have mattered where I went. I just wanted to check the box like people I knew at the time. And it NEVER comes up in business where I went. Literally NEVER."

Camille Grammer didn't quite make it to dental school

Camille Grammer, who ended her tenure with The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills in 2019, didn't initially have her sights set on TV stardom. According to Page Six, the star originally wanted to become a dentist, but life had different plans when she was tardy to the party (or, realistically, the application process). "I took pre-med courses in college," she told the media outlet. "I did apply to a school in New Jersey. I didn't get in for dental school, so I'm here."

Like most hopeful college kids, Grammer admitted that her father had pressured her about what she was going to do with her life. She assured him she had a plan, but she didn't know what that plan was. Can you really ever plan to go through the type of traumatic divorce that makes you reality TV famous? Nonetheless, Grammer did still graduate from college. According to her LinkedIn account, she attended Montclair State University in New Jersey. The college's website boasts "more than 300 doctoral, master's and baccalaureate-level programs."

The Real Housewives' LuAnn de Lesseps wanted to be a nurse

Money can't buy you class, but it can buy you a great college education. Then again, who needs a degree when you're a literal Countess? New York housewife LuAnn de Lesseps wasn't always a socialite, but she did study up.

According to a profile on Patch, the cabaret singer originally grew up in the small town of Berlin, Conn. with six siblings. Though we see her wearing designer gowns and the occasional culturally insensitive Halloween costume, de Lesseps was actually a tomboy growing up and played on her high school's varsity softball team. All the while, she was working on a career in modeling. "I imagined I would be somewhere else but didn't know where," de Lesseps told Patch. "When I was 15 or 16, I said there's got to be more than this. I eventually joined a modeling competition and got involved in the Miss Connecticut Pageant."

After high school, de Lesseps didn't seek out Hollywood fame. Instead, she started babysitting, which helped her realize she wanted to become a nurse. She ended up going to E.C. Goodwin Tech. Somewhere along the line, she went to Europe to model, fell for a French aristocrat, became the Countess, and left her nursing dreams behind her.

Ramona Singer turtle timed through FIT

Ramona Singer always had a passion for fashion and pursued the field in higher education. According to the Real Housewives of New York star's website, she went to the prestigious Fashion Institute of Technology, where she was one of the first people to "graduate from the honors four-year program."

After college, Singer continued her education with an "elite training program" for Macy's execs. The television personality completed the program and became a buyer for the famed department store. She's since worked with brands like French Connection and Calvin Klein, and also used her FIT marketing degree to help her launch RMS fashions, as well as a jewelry line with HSN, a skin care line called Tru-Renewa, and True Faith Jewelry with her husband, according to her LinkedIn profile. The woman has a lot going on in the world of fashion, beauty, and accessories.

Singer wasn't alone at FIT. Castmember Sonja Morgan also called the same hallways home — but it's unclear if they were pals. From the looks of a college throwback photo, Singer certainly lived her life to the fullest during her university days with or without her fellow New York housewife. Dare we say, it was Turtle Time?

​Real Housewives star Eva Marcille got into law school

Eva Marcille had high hopes in the world of higher education — but her modeling career got in the way. Hey, when Tyra Banks calls, you have to answer.

According to a profile in Essence, the Real Housewives of Atlanta star went to Clark Atlanta University, where she was following a pre-law path. Her major was in speech communications, but she had a sharp focus on both theatre and criminal justice. Though Marcille was granted early admission to Vanderbilt Law School, she never actually attended because she got picked up for the third cycle of America's Next Top Model – and she had only tried out because she went along to the audition to support her best friend. 

Marcille ended up becoming the shortest winner of the series, but still held onto her deep belief that education is paramount to success. "Education is fundamental," she told Ebony in 2016 (via AZ Quotes). "And I know some aren't blessed to be afforded the luxury, 'cause as sad as it is in 2016, it is still a luxury."

Kandi Burruss is living large with a high school diploma

Kandi Burruss is a hit-maker. That sort of natural talent isn't really something you can cultivate with a music degree, and the Grammy Awards don't really care if you have an Ivy League education. According to Bravo's Personal Space, the star tapped out of school in 1994 after graduating from Tri-Cities High School in East Point, Ga. That didn't stop her from selling more than 60 million records worldwide with legendary artists like Destiny's Child, Mariah Carey, and Whitney Houston. Nor did it stop her from becoming the first woman to win ASCAP's "Songwriter of the Year" award in 2000.

Though Burruss never ended up making it to college, that doesn't mean her daughter planned to follow the same path. In a 2018 Instagram post, the proud mother revealed that her teenage daughter, Riley Burruss, was already taking classes at Stanford University as part of their Envision Law and Trial program. The then-high school junior was making major moves to become a lawyer. Let's be real: Stanford isn't the worst thing to have on a college application.

Before Real Housewives, Teresa Giudice was a Berkeley grad

Most of us would probably think that Teresa Giudice — in all her table-flipping, name-calling glory — didn't bother going to college, but the Real Housewives of New Jersey star has a degree to fall back on if her career path of constantly fighting with her sister-in-law doesn't pan out.

According to a profile in the New York Daily News, Giudice didn't just study at the school of hard knocks (a.k.a. her stay at Federal Correctional Institution-Danbury). She studied fashion marketing at Berkeley College, which reportedly scored her a gig working as a buyer for Macy's. If that's true, she was essentially Ramona Singer's colleague, which just goes to show you that the housewives have some pretty limited degrees of separation. However, an anonymous source who spoke to the media outlet claims she only had a short stint working behind the department store counter.

Meanwhile, Giudice's husband, who was deported back to his home country of Italy in October 2019 following his own prison sentence, does not have as much education under his belt as his wife. Joe Giudice went to a technical school and got his GED, but his eldest kiddo is not following in his footsteps. According to Page Six, the Giudices' teenage daughter, Gia, is currently enrolled at Rutgers University. Let's hope she takes after mom (minus the legal issues).

​Kary Brittingham started her education in Mexico

Kary Brittingham isn't your typical housewife. According to The Dallas Morning News, the Real Housewives of Dallas star is the series' first Mexican cast member — despite the fact that 42% of people in Dallas reportedly identify as Hispanic. She didn't even start her educational career in the United States, but did wind up finishing it out in Texas.

Unlike her fellow housewives, the self-proclaimed "feisty female" grew up Guadalajara, Mexico. She told The Dallas Morning News that she didn't have a "typical Mexican mom." Her mom was a divorced breadwinner, and Brittingham moved to the States when she was 16 years old. At the time, she barely spoke English, but she's apparently a very quick learner because she later managed to get her degree. Three years after making it to America, the star moved to Dallas to attend Southern Methodist University, and never left her beloved city (aside from the occasional visit to her husband's family home in Mexico).

Melissa Gorga wanted to become a teacher before Real Housewives

Melissa Gorga's constant battles with her sister-in-law, Teresa Giudice, are the fuel that makes The Real Housewives of New Jersey run. Without that, we'd have to wait for Gorga's co-star to threaten her with a shard of broken glass once again (but hopefully that was a one time deal). Gorga wasn't always skilled in the art of public screaming matches. In fact, at one point, she would have probably done her best to avoid them, at least in the public eye, since the PTA generally frowns upon rowdy teachers.

According to, Gorga was on a path to become an elementary school teacher. She studied at New Jersey City University in Jersey City while living in Bayonne and working as a tanning consultant at Tropical Tanning. New Jersey stereotypes aside, Gorga does have a pretty flawless tan. In an interview with, the reality star revealed, "There were two things I always wanted to do, and that was teaching and singing." These days, she's focusing on her music career instead of education.