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President Obama may not have the Ivy Leaguers in Congress on board when it comes to his plan to make community college free, but he's picking up plenty of support in Hollywood.


Actor Tom Hanks penned an op-ed in New York Times' Wednesday paper supporting the idea.

"I hope the idea sticks, because more veterans, from Iraq and Afghanistan this time, as well as another generation of mothers, single parents and workers who have been out of the job market, need lower obstacles between now and the next chapter of their lives," writes the Oscar-winner.


Here are 10 famous faces, including Hanks, who attended community college.

1. Tom Hanks

The 37th Annual Kennedy Center Honors

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After graduating from an underachieving high school with poor SAT scores, Hanks attended Chabot College in Hayward, California. The college was free and helped people from all walks of life pursue higher education.


"Chabot College is still in Hayward, though Mr. Coovelis, Ms. Fitzgerald and Mr. Kennedy are no longer there," Hanks wrote in his op-ed. "I drove past the campus a few years ago with one of my kids and summed up my two years there this way: 'That place made me what I am today.'"

2. Arnold Schwarzenegger

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The former bodybuilder attended Santa Monica College, and supported increased funding for community colleges during his tenure as governor of California.


"So I had my foundation of education right here at Santa Monica College, and I will never forget that, that this was the springboard for me. ," he said during an address at the college in 2005.

3. George Lucas


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The creator of Star Wars and Indiana Jones got his start at Modesto Junior College. He has since served as director of the college.


"It took a serious car accident weeks before my high school graduation for me to reconsider my life and chart a new path," he has written. "I decided to go to college and explore my beginning interests in philosophy, art, photography, and writing."

Lucas has also been a champion for nontraditional learning that utilizes the internet to "break down the traditional isolation of the classroom."


4. Dolores Huerta

Screening Of "Cesar Chavez"

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The community activist best known for co-founding the United Farm Workers, a labor union for farmworkers, with Cesar Chavez, earned a provisional teaching credential from San Joaquin Delta College. She has always believed in the power of education to broaden and challenge people's perceptions.


“Giving kids clothes and food is one thing but it's much more important to teach them that other people besides themselves are important," she said, "and that the best thing they can do with their lives is to use them in the service of other people.”

5. Morgan Freeman

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The Oscar winner attended Los Angeles Community College before pursuing his acting career.


He has said education is "one of our major shortcomings today," and often dedicates his famous voice to narrating educational videos he hopes will engage and inspire young people.

6. Billy Crystal

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The comedian attended Nassau Community College and has said the college provided a foundation for how he approaches performing. He went on to earn a degree from New York University.


"I have to admit I was a little bit of a misfit," he has reportedly said. "I was a film directing major at NYU - I'm still not sure why I became a directing major when I was really an actor and a comedian. It was a class of film people and my professor was Marty. Mr. Scorsese, as I called him, which I still do when I see him because he gave me a C."

7. Jim Lehrer


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The journalist and former PBS NewsHour anchor attended Victoria College in Texas, where he also worked nights as a ticket agent at a bus depot before going on to attend the University of Missouri's highly regarded journalism school.


"Some of the dumbest people I know have degrees from some of America's greatest institutions of higher learning," he said during a 2002 commencement address at the University of Pennsylvania. "They took their diploma in hot little hand, and proceeded to never read another book, entertain another fresh or new idea, and, most tragically for their society and country, never again paid attention to much of anything other than themselves, to much of anything that was happening around them, or to others. Please, please do not do that. Leave here today caring about your mind, and your neighborhood, and your government, your country, and your world."

8. Aaron Rodgers

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The Super Bowl-winning Green Bay Packers quarterback is known for being a star player at Cal. But he tries not to let people forget that he got his start at Butte College, repping his old team during a Sunday Night Football introduction.  He has also highlighted the struggles at-risk Milwaukee students face.


"Cal's gonna hate me," he said, but proudly stated Butte as his alma mater.

9. Ross Perot

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The astute businessman, billionaire and former presidential candidate attended Texarkana Junior College before graduating from the United States Naval Academy.


"Now, for whatever it's worth to you, in my business career, when we get somebody as talented as the people at the top of this class, many of them have Masters Degrees that have never been challenged. Step 1, we put them in water way over their head and just see how far they can swim and, boy oh boy, do they love it. Because, in many cases, they have come from our finest schools, but they don't know what it is to have to reach down deep inside and get that last little bit out," he said during a high school commencement speech. "But when they see it and taste it, they want it for the rest of their lives and then they do go on to change the world."

10. Jackie Robinson

Jackie Robinson With Teammates

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Before he became the first African American to play in the big leagues, Robinson played baseball (along with football and basketball) at Pasadena Junior College. He has spoken about the importance of education and developing a diverse skill set.


"Baseball was just a part of my life," he said. "Thank God that I didn't allow a sport or a business or any part of my life to dominate me completely. . . . I felt that I had my time in athletics and that was it."

Margarita Noriega and Kevin Joyce contributed reporting.

Emily DeRuy is a Washington, D.C.-based associate editor, covering education, reproductive rights, and inequality. A San Francisco native, she enjoys Giants baseball and misses Philz terribly.

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