Did Taylor Swift Go to College?

Even though the highly decorated singer and songwriter never received her college diploma, New York University honored her with a doctorate in fine arts just last year.
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Chloe Appleby is an associate writer for BestColleges. She contributes to both the News and Data teams, writing both higher education news stories and data reports for the site. She graduated from Davidson College with a BA in English and communicati...
Published on July 13, 2023
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  • Pop star Taylor Swift is currently rocking her Eras Tour, but this time last year, she was receiving her honorary doctorate in fine arts from New York University.
  • Young stardom made pursuing college a distant dream for Swift, but she graduated high school even while on tour for her first album.
  • The artist does not have a college degree, but she has personally supported students struggling with paying their tuition.

Taylor Swift's Eras Tour kicked off March 17 in Glendale, Arizona, and will wrap up Aug. 9 in Los Angeles. After nearly three months of 40-song setlists, bejeweled costumes, proposals in the crowd, surprise songs, and Swiftie bracelet exchanges, Swift is set to earn a record-breaking $1 billion in sales from the tour.

Swift took on a very different stage last May. Instead of screaming fans, she addressed the nearly 19,000 graduates from New York University's class of 2022. Swift also received an honorary doctorate in fine arts from the institution.

Although the 11-time Grammy winner has become the subject of several college courses at the University of Texas at Austin, Stanford University, and Carnegie Mellon University, to name a few, she never received a college degree herself.

So when Swift took to the stage at Yankee Stadium in her purple and black cap and gown and signature red lipstick, her excitement was palpable.

@taylorswift Wearing a cap and gown for the very first time - see you soon NYU 🥺🥰🗽#swifttok #classof2022 ♬ original sound - Taylor Swift

The stadium erupted in cheers as Swift received her degree.

Hi, I'm Taylor. Last time I was in a stadium this size, I was dancing in heels and wearing a glittery leotard. This outfit is much more comfortable, Swift said.

I'm 90% sure that the reason I'm here is because I have a song called ‘22,’ Swift joked with the graduates. She then thanked NYU for making her, technically, on paper at least, a doctor.

Not the type of doctor you would want around in the case of an emergency, unless your specific emergency was that you desperately needed to hear a song with a catchy hook and an intensely cathartic bridge section, she said.

According to The Boot, a country music magazine, Swift attended Henderson High School in Tennessee for two years, where she drew inspiration for her second album. In the song “Fifteen,” Swift sings about how nervous she was walking through her high school's doors on her first day there.

I went to public high school until 10th grade and finished my education doing home-school work on the floors of airport terminals, she told the graduates.

Swift said that even though she never got to have the normal college experience, she had always imagined herself going away to college.

I even set the ending of my music video for my song “Love Story” at my fantasy imaginary college ... she said.

However, the star has helped others pursue their college dreams.

Back in 2020, Swift donated nearly $30,000 to Vitoria Mario, who identified as a young, Black 18-year-old with a dream of pursuing mathematics at the University of Warwick.

Swift donated and left a message on Mario's GoFundMe page, writing: Vitoria, I came across your story online and am so inspired by your drive and dedication to turning your dreams into reality. I want to gift you the rest of your goal amount. Good luck with everything you do! Love, Taylor.

Just a year earlier in 2019, Swift gifted Ayesha Khurram, a fan in Toronto, over $6,000 to pay off her tuition with a note, Ayesha, get your learn on girl! I love you! Taylor.