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Posted at 3:30 PM ET, 05/25/2010

Miley Cyrus opts out of college

By Liz Kelly

Miley Cyrus. (AP)

Don't look for Miley Cyrus walking the halls of academia this fall when scads of teens become college freshmen. As we shared in this morning's Mix, the 17-year-old graduating senior doesn't plan to go to college right now, though she is busy trying to shed her "Hannah Montana"-fueled Disney image and make the transition into adulthood in other ways.

"My sister went to MTSU in Nashville, so I'd probably want to be there with all my friends, but I'm not gonna go to college right now," Cyrus said in a Monday interview with an Atlanta radio station. "I am a firm believer that you can go back at any age you want, because my grandma went back to college at 62 years old."

But is deferring an education a good idea -- even if you are a tween sensation with a decent chance of transitioning into a full-blown adult career?

There's plenty of precedent when it comes to teen stars opting to skip the academic track in favor of continuing to build their careers. Just look at Britney Spears, Lindsay Lohan-- well, maybe I'll stop there. You get the point.

On the other hand, there are also lots of positive examples of young celebs who hit pause on their budding careers to make time for school: Jodie Foster, Claire Danes and even "Harry Potter's" Emma Watson, who is managing to juggle work, Burberry ads and her courses at Rhode Island's Brown University. In fact, Watson -- 2009's highest paid actress -- has even signed up for an acting class.

But, according to Bob Bardwell, a guidance counselor at Monson High School in Monson, Mass., Cyrus's plan may be the best fit for her if her ultimate goal is to continue to pursue the pop star/actress track.

"There are other tangibles she may be missing out on -- like learning about independence -- but college should be a means to an end," said Bardwell. "If she wanted to be an elementary school teacher, then I'd tell her in order to do that you need to go to college."

Though, Bardwell did say that it is a decision that shouldn't be taken lightly by Cyrus or her parents and that Cyrus, like other graduating seniors who don't plan on college, should have a firm plan in place -- like volunteering or traveling -- for becoming a more rounded person.

"There are professional athletes who forego college to head right to the pros," said Bardwell. "If that's what she needs to do, that's what she needs to do. She may decide later on it wasn't a good decision."

What do you think?

By Liz Kelly  | May 25, 2010; 3:30 PM ET
Categories:  Miley Cyrus  | Tags:  Miley Cyrus  
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Probably just as well she's not going to college since she doesn't even know that MTSU is located in Murfreesboro, TN and not Nashville.

Posted by: WoodleyParker | May 25, 2010 4:04 PM | Report abuse

Hey, nobody said she has to major in geography.

Posted by: northgs | May 25, 2010 4:14 PM | Report abuse

She can always go to college at a later time (ditto athletes who turn pro). But both Miley and pro-athletes only have a limited time to do what they are doing for the money they are making. They shouldn't turn that down (and on the athlete side, potentially get injured). College will be there if/when they need it.

Posted by: mdem929 | May 25, 2010 4:24 PM | Report abuse

Maybe a college professor could teach her how to stand up straight.

Posted by: GroovisMaximus61 | May 25, 2010 5:02 PM | Report abuse

Yeah, Groovis, but if she stands up straight (that's soooooooo Disney), she'd lose that cleavage.

Posted by: bmschumacher | May 25, 2010 5:10 PM | Report abuse

For her, it might make more sense to ride this wave of fame as long as she can: she may not have the substance to mount a second act to her career, and she'll have the resources to go back whenever she wants. But man, I wish she wasn't sending out the "don't worry about college! you can do it whenever you want!" message to the hordes of non-millionaire teenagers who WILL have a hard time going back to school later in life.

Posted by: ishkabibbleA | May 25, 2010 5:17 PM | Report abuse

Miley Cyrus opts out of college . . . and community colleges everywhere mourn the loss of a potential full tuition payer.

-Snarky Squirrel

Posted by: 7900rmc | May 25, 2010 5:22 PM | Report abuse

Shes not getting any younger, 17 is like 51 in Disney years, so there will be plenty of time for college in her 70s.

Posted by: ozpunk | May 25, 2010 5:25 PM | Report abuse

She'll be replacing Lindsay Lohan and Paris Hilton as Hollyweird's next no-talent, no viable job skills, drunken (bleep-y) party girl. She's already done the trampy photo shoot, its just down-hill from there.

Posted by: momof20yo | May 25, 2010 6:20 PM | Report abuse

She needs to try and be a roll model for her fans and go to college, even if it’s just part time. There are too many kids out there who want to be like her and too many parents who will let them.

Posted by: cfrisbee | May 25, 2010 7:22 PM | Report abuse

"17 is like 51 in Disney years"

SPLOOT, all over the keyboard! Great shot, ozpunk.

Posted by: Nosy_Parker | May 25, 2010 8:10 PM | Report abuse

Are the colleges and universities going to disappear in the next few years?

Too many kids, celebrities or not, go to college just because it is expected of them. They have no idea what they want to study, what kind of career they want, or really why they are there except to show that Mom and Dad raised them right and keep their guidance counselor's stats looking good. They drop out having wasted a lot of time and money. More kids should work for a year or two and figure out what they want to do first, save up some money so they aren't up to their ears in loans, then go to college to get the education they need for a purpose.

Posted by: di89 | May 25, 2010 11:34 PM | Report abuse

Stike when the iron is still lukewarm, Miley. There will be plenty of time for college after your career collapse / breakdown / stint in rehab.

Posted by: DCCubefarm | May 26, 2010 11:59 AM | Report abuse

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