30 Latino Stars You Never Knew Went To College!

With so many celebrity magazines in the world and so many entertainment shows, there’s not much we don’t know about our favorite celebrities. But one thing most people don’t know is where their favorite celebs went to la universidad! Find out where your favorite Latino celebs went to college.

1. College: Eva Longoria

Eva Longoria: 

For eight seasons, Eva Longoria played the sneaky, funny and usually ditzy, Gabrielle Solis on ABC’s hit dramedy, Desperate Housewives. But in real life, Eva is no dummy. When she’s not busy performing as an actress or pounding the pavement as an activist, Eva is hitting the books hard. The Hollywood star just completed her post-graduate studies, earning a degree in Chicano Studies from California State University, Northridge. The native Texan also received a Bachelor’s of Science degree in Kinesiology at A&M University-Kingsville. Smart mujer!

2. College: America Ferrera

America Ferrera, 29

America Ferrera was exceptional early on. The Ugly Betty star was the Valedictorian of her high school, graduating with a 4.3 GPA. And now, since beginning her college career 10 years ago, the actress is set to receive her bachelor's degree in International Relations from the University of Southern California this spring. We're so proud of America!

3. College: Sara Ramirez

Sara Ramirez, 37

The Mexican-American actress, who plays the smart orthopedic surgeon Callie Torres on ABC’s hit drama Grey’s Anatomy, is equally as brainy and talented in real life. After completing the San Diego School of Creative and Performing Arts in San Diego, California, Ramirez was accepted and graduated from the Juilliard School in New York City where she landed enviable roles and eventually made her way to the Great White Way!   

4. College: Jordana Brewster

Jordana Brewster, 32

You know her as the star of the soapy and sexy TNT hit, Dallas and hit movies like The Faculty and The Fast and the Furious franchise, but we bet you didn’t know that the Brazilian actress has a B.A. in English from Yale University. Not too shabby!

5. College: Jennifer Lopez

Jennifer Lopez, 43

When Jennifer Lopez was told that she was the first woman to have a #1 album and movie in the same week, she quickly asked, “What about Barbara Streisand?” The answer:  “No, not even Barbara Streisand!” Not bad for the girl from the Bronx who attended Baruch College for one semester to appease her parents after they claimed that no Latinos made it in the entertainment industry. Well, Lopez did that and more! She became a worldwide superstar!

6. College: Nina Garcia

Nina Garcia, 47

Before signing on to be one of the judges of Project Runway, proud Colombiana Nina Garcia focused all of her time on her studies.  She graduated from with Bachelor’s degrees from Boston University and The Fashion Institute of Technology. Her book, The One Hundred, is a must-have for any stylish woman that is going places.

7. College: Mark Sanchez

Mark Sanchez, 26

Mark’s father pushed him hard on and off the field.  He would tell Mark to dribble a basketball and recite multiplication at the same time to prepare him for life. All this hard work paid off, and Mark attended and played football for the University of Southern California. He now plays for the New York Jets.

8. College: Laz Alonso

Laz Alonso, 39

He is known for his roles in The Fast and the Furious and Avatar, the highest grossing movie of all time. But before making it big on the big screen, Alonso studied Marketing and obtained a bachelor of business administration degree from Howard University.

9. College: Sofia Vergara

Sofia Vergara, 40

Sofia Vergara, a dentist? The funny actress was studying dentistry before landing opportunities to work in modeling and show business in Colombia. Just two semesters shy of obtaining her undergraduate degree, Vergara dropped out to focus all her time and energy on show business. 

10. College: Victor Cruz

Victor Cruz, 26

We all know and love him as the Salsa dancing, wide receiver for the New York Giants.  But before making it big on the football field, Cruz obtained a B.A. in African American studies and had a great football career at the University of Massachusetts.

11. College: Benicio del Toro

Benicio del Toro, 46

Benicio del Toro enrolled in the University of California to study Business.  But after having success in an elective drama course, he realized that he was in the wrong business. He went on to study with acting teachers Stella Adler and Arthur Mendoza as well as at the Circle in the Square Theatre School, in NYC.

12. College: Salma Hayek

Salma Hayek, 46

Salma Hayek was diagnosed with dyslexia at an early age.  But that didn’t stop her from making all of her dreams come true.  She studied International Relations at the Universidad Iberoamericana in Mexico City before making it big as an Oscar nominated actress and TV producer.

13. College: Nicole Richie

Nicole Richie, 31

Before becoming a household name on the hit show, The Simple Life, Richie attended the University of Arizona and studied Arts and Media. She didn’t complete her studies and dropped out after two years.

14. College: Eva Mendes

Eva Mendes, 39

She has made us laugh in movies like Stuck on You and The Other Guys, but Mendes originally enrolled in California State University to study Marketing. She realized Marketing wasn’t her calling, so she dropped out and decided to pursue a career in acting full-time.

15. College: JoAnna Garcia

JoAnna Garcia Swisher, 33

By age ten, Joanna Garcia Swisher was doing what she does best…acting!  She starred in local plays and was soon discovered by Nickelodeon, starring in three seasons on Are You Afraid of the Dark?. She briefly attended college at University of Florida before dropping out to pursue acting full-time.


16. College: Daisy Fuentes

Daisy Fuentes, 46

Before making history as the first Latina VJ on MTV, Daisy Fuentes learned English by watching old episodes of I Love Lucy, and attending Bergen Community College in NJ.

17. College: Ana Ortiz

Ana Ortiz, 42

Before she signed on to play America Ferrera’s loveable older sister Hilda Suarez on Ugly Betty, Ortiz studied Theater and earned a Bachelor’s Degree from the University of Arts in PhiladelphiaHer television career includes roles on NYPD Blue, Boston Legal, ER and Everybody Loves Raymond.

18. College: Dania Ramirez

Dania Ramirez, 33

Before moving to Los Angeles and starring in American Reunion and X-Men, Ramirez was a star volleyball player and earned a Bachelor’s Degree from Montclair State University.  She also studied at the Actor's Workshop in New York City.

19. College: Alexis Bledel

Alexis Bledel, 31

For eight seasons, Bledel played the clever and precocious Rory on the Gilmore Girls. In real life, she was a very shy girl and her mother encouraged her to join community theater to overcome her shyness.  She later attended NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts for one year before dropping out.

20. College: Roselyn Sanchez

Roselyn Sanchez, 40

Sanchez enrolled in the University of Puerto Rico to study Marketing. After three years she dropped out and moved to NYC to focus on acting. 

21. College: Christy Turlington

Christy Turlington, 44

Her career began at the young age of 14, after a local photographer discovered her in Miami, Florida while horseback riding. After modeling for years, Christy Turlington became a household name. Not content with just being another pretty face, she went back to school in 1994 and graduated Cum laude from the Gallatin School of Individualized Study of New York University where she earned a Bachelor of Arts degree with a concentration in Comparative Religion and Eastern Philosophy. Who says models can’t be brainy? 

22. College: Tatyana Ali

Tatyana Ali, 34

Tatyana Ali has accomplished many things since her time on the The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air.  She attended Harvard University and graduated with a Bachelor’s degree in Afro-American history and government in 2002.  She also donated her time to the Barack Obama presidential campaign in 2008, and headed voter registration drives at college campuses.

23. College: Catalina Sandino Moreno

Catalina Sandino Moreno, 31

She beat over 900 girls for the lead role in Maria Full of Grace, and her performance earned her an Oscar nomination.  But it wasn’t until 2004 that she moved to NYC after being noticed for her talent at the Rubén Di Pietro Acting School in Bogotá. Before that, she studied Advertising at Pontificia Universidad Javeriana. All the education paid off and she is the first Colombian, the second South American, and third Hispanic actress to ever be nominated for an Academy Award. 

24. College: Lynda Carter

Lynda Carter, 61

She is best known for playing Wonder Woman on television. But before discovering her superpowers, Carter dropped out of Arizona State University after being voted Most Talented.

25. College: America Olivo

America Olivo, 35

Olivo graduated with a Bachelor’s degree from the Juilliard School in New York City. She returned to Los Angeles and formed the band Soluna. She has also appeared on the cover of the June 2009 issue of Playboy magazine.

26. College: Cote de Pablo

Cote de Pablo, 33

The Chilean actress studied music and theater at Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.  She also appeared in plays like, The House of Bernarda Alba, The Fantasticks, and A Little Night Music.  Now she is best known for her role as Ziva David in the CBS television series NCIS.

27. College: Valerie Cruz

Valerie Cruz, 36

Valerie Cruz has made appearances on hit shows like Nip/Tuck, Dexter, True Blood, Grey’s Anatomy and Las Vegas. To prepare for a career in television and movies, she attended Florida State University and received a BFA Theatre degree.

28. College: Aubrey Plaza

Aubrey Plaza, 28

While a student at NYU, Plaza suffered a stroke that caused temporary paralysis.  She has fully recovered and now she is one of the stars of the show Parks and Recreation.  She also graduated from New York University's Tisch School of the Arts in 2006. 

29. College: Soledad O'Brien

Soledad O'Brien Harvard, 46

Before becoming a household name, Soledad O’Brien was encouraged to… well…change her name. She refused to change it after receiving advice that it would be beneficial to her TV career.  We are sure glad she did. Our girl went on to Anchor CNN in America and is the Author of Latino in America. O’Brien graduated from Harvard University with a Bachelor’s degree.

30. College: Judy Reyes

Judy Reyes, 45

Before putting her Scrubs on and making us laugh every week as the defiantly Dominican nurse Carla Espinoza, Reyes had an epiphany!  She dramatically ran to her mother and said, “Mami, I want to act!”  Her mother looked unmoved but Reyes knew this was an important realization.  She enrolled in Hunter College in Manhattan and studied Acting.