If you spend most of your time online, chances are you’re on YouTube — a lot. You likely know the many famous YouTubers out there. From PewDiePie to T-Series, these personalities are known for their creativity, humour, talent and above all, their abilities to create entertaining and engaging videos.
While most of these famous YouTubers skipped uni to leverage their platform, just as many decided to don their thinking caps and go to uni. These include some of the most well-known entertainers, cover artists and gamers on the second most visited website after Google Search.
For many of these individuals, a university education was greatly beneficial to their overall success — some in unexpected ways. For example, singer and musician Sam Tsui met Kurt Hugo Schneider at university. From there, they began collaborating and posting their works on YouTube, which helped catapult both of them into becoming the internet’s go-to cover artists.
Here are five famous YouTubers and where they went to uni:
Where these 5 famous YouTubers went to uni
Over the last decade, Jenna Mourey — better known as Jenna Marbles — was perhaps one of the best-known YouTubers on the internet. She frequently posted skits that made light of everyday occurrences. Her most famous videos on YouTube include “How to trick people into thinking you’re good looking” and “What Girls Do In The Bathroom In The Morning”.
Other than that, the YouTuber was well-known for constantly featuring her adorable dogs on her channel. In fact, her account name was derived from her short-haired chihuahua, Marbles. Her dog Kermit, an Italian greyhound, amuse viewers to no end.
While Mourey is no longer making videos today, her YouTube channel is still up and running. Over the course of 10 years, she accumulated nearly 1.7 billion video views and over 20 million subscribers.
Mourey attended Suffolk University, where she graduated with a Bachelor of Science in Psychology. Following this, she attended Boston University to pursue a Master of Education in Sport Psychology and Counseling.
Davey Wavey was one of the first few YouTubers to openly talk about the issues faced by LGBTQ+ people in society. He posted his first video in 2007 and continued to make more as time went on. Topics he’d cover include love and sex, misconceptions about gay people, stigmas, slut-shaming, HIV, body issues, and more.
The YouTuber, who came out as gay when he was 16, attended Seton Hall University as an openly gay man. He took on a role as a resident assistant in one of the school’s dorms. Despite facing much opposition, he constantly advocated for LGBT students through the student-led gay-straight alliance.
Davey Wavey graduated with a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration.
Colleen Ballinger became an internet-wide sensation with her online character Miranda Sings. Through the character, she has posted more than 800 videos satirising untalented but egotistical singers who hope to break into show business by sharing online vlogs and covers.
The character was so well-received that Ballinger has since moved on to one-woman live comedy acts. In these shows, she would sing off-key pop hits as Miranda, criticise famous pop and Broadway stars and tell them to leave show business, read out “hate-mail” comments from her YouTube channel, and more.
Outside of Miranda Sings, Ballinger is a talented singer, actress and comedian. She has acted in various theatre productions, including the breakout Broadway musical “Waitress”.
Ballinger graduated from Azusa Pacific University, having majored in Vocal Performance.
Sam Tsui is perhaps one of the most famous YouTubers who started off as a cover artist. To date, his YouTube channel has more than three million subscribers. He posts a new video every Friday, often covering the latest pop hit or trending song.
Tsui attended Yale University and majored in Classical Greek. There, he was a member of The Duke’s Men of Yale, an all-male acapella group.
It was at Yale that Tsui began forming a partnership with his longtime collaborator and music producer, Kurt Hugo Schneider. Schneider produced the musical web series “College Musical,” a parody of “High School Musical” that was posted in full on YouTube. Tsui played the lead character in the highly popular series.
Since then, the two have continued to work together in creating covers, mash-ups and releasing original songs.
Cassey Ho is a world-famous fitness YouTuber and entrepreneur. Her venture into creating fitness videos online began in 2009 when she decided to move from Los Angeles to Boston. She was working as a part-time Pilates instructor, and hoped to provide her former students with online fitness videos after she moved.
She then created her YouTube channel, “Blogilates” — a portmanteau of the words blog and Pilates — and posted the occasional fitness video. As her videos began to gain popularity, she was asked to share more workout videos targeting specific muscle groups — and the rest is history.
Since then, she has expanded into creating her own fitness apparel line, POPFLEX. In 2017, TIME named her one of the 25 most influential people on the internet.
Ho attended Whittier College on a full tuition scholarship, graduating with a Bachelor of Science in biology. She initially planned on becoming a doctor, but decided against it to pursue her passion for online fitness.