Reality TV's Smartest Stars

01
of 08

Phaedra Parks

Phaedra Parks
Phaedra Parks poses at an event for Selling It In the ATL. Getty Images

It's no wonder that 'Real Housewives of Atlanta' star Phaedra Parks has had such success in so many industries — she's one smart cookie. In addition to her reality TV career, Phaedra is a mortician, an author, a fitness model, a t-shirt designer, a mom of two, and a practicing entertainment attorney. Before she became the successful multihyphenate she is today, Phaedra earned a bachelor's degree from Wesleyan and a JD from the University of Georgia Law School. That's far from all Phaedra hopes to do with her education, however — although she hasn't mentioned specifically what position she'd like to hold, Phaedra recently made it clear that she plans to eventually run for political office

02
of 08

Rob Kardashian

Rob Kardashian
Rob Kardashian at 1OAK. Getty Images/FilmMagic

Rob Kardashian's personal drama, including a rumored 50-pound weight gain and a very public relationship with Blac Chyna (who just so happens to be the ex of his sister Kylie Jenner's current beau, Tyga), have all but eclipsed his bookworm tendencies. The former 'Keeping Up With the Kardashians' star followed in big sister Kourtney's footsteps on the path to higher education, graduating from the University of Southern California's Marshall School of Business in 2009. He had initially expressed interest in pursuing a law career like his late father, but it seems as though that goal is still on the back burner for now. 

03
of 08

Vinny Guadagnino

Vinny Guadagnino
Vinny Guadagnino. Theo Wargo/Getty Images

The activities engaged in by the 'Jersey Shore' cast (namely drinking, fighting, more drinking, and the occasional arrest) may not have been the most intellectual pursuits, but that doesn't mean the cast doesn't have some highly educated members. Before they went down the shore, a few members of the 'Jersey Shore' gang were fixtures in the hallowed halls of higher education, including Vinny Guadagnino. The show's resident nice guy graduated from the College of Staten Island with a 3.9 GPA and was an aide to a New York State assemblyman before he made it big on TV. 

04
of 08

Kelly Bensimon

Kelly Killoren Bensimon
Real Housewives of New York star and model Kelly Killoren Bensimon. Nicholas Hunt/Getty Images

Model-turned-'Real Housewives of New York' star Kelly Killoren Bensimon is more than just a pretty face — a lot more. Despite being portrayed as a loose cannon during her time on 'RHoNY,' Kelly actually seems to have her life in order in a pretty serious way. In addition to a successful modeling career, the mom of two has earned a bachelor's degree from the School of General Studies at Columbia University and is reportedly working toward an MBA. Smart and beautiful? Some people get all the luck. 

05
of 08

Jenni "JWOWW" Farley

Jenni
Snooki & JWOWW star Jenni "JWOWW" Farley. Robin Marchant/Getty Images

It seems that the former members of the 'Jersey Shore' cast are quite the brainy bunch! Although she has largely earned her fame for her oversized... personality, Jenni "JWOWW" Farley is also quite the scholar. Before her days as a reality star, Jenni was just another college student trying to get by, eventually earning a bachelor's degree in computer programming and another one in graphic design from the New York Institute of Technology. In her pre-'Shore' days, Jenni even owned her own business, Jenni Farley Designs, Inc., and has since lent her name to a line of tanning products, in addition to working on 'Marriage Boot Camp,' 'Snooki & JWOWW,' and 'Worst Cooks in America: Celebrity Addition,' which she won.

06
of 08

Kourtney Kardashian

Keeping Up With the Kardashians star Kourtney Kardashian
Kourtney Kardashian. Gregg DeGuire/WireImage

The Kardashian girls are well-known for their beauty, but it seems their brains are less tabloid-worthy subject matter. That's probably why so few fans know that Kourtney, the eldest of Kris Jenner's celebrity brood, earned a college degree long before she became a household name on 'Keeping Up With the Kardashians.' Prior to her reality TV fame, Kourtney graduated from the University of Arizona with a bachelor's degree in theater arts and a minor in Spanish. 

07
of 08

Max Joseph

Catfish star Max Joseph
Max Joseph. Stephen Cohen/Stringer

Max Joseph's uncanny knack for sniffing out cheaters, liars, and full-blown crazies has made him a favorite on 'Catfish,' but that's far from this silver fox's only accomplishment. Before Nev Schulman scooped him up as his co-star on the MTV hit, Max was enjoying more intellectual pursuits, including earning his bachelor's degree at Brown University

08
of 08

Steve-O

Steve-O
Jackass star Steve-O. Gabriel Olsen/FilmMagic

Considering the kind of antics he got up to on 'Jackass,' it's pretty hard to imagine Steve-O in an academic setting. However, the MTV goofball did, in fact, graduate from a prestigious school — no, not an Ivy League, it was none other than Ringling Brothers and Barnum & Bailey Clown College.