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Before They Were Oscar Nominees. . .

They were college students at these schools.

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Bradley Cooper at Georgetown University

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This member of the Wolfpack and Best Supporting Actor nominee attended the No. 14 school for Smartest Guys. Anyone who can figure their way out of the ultimate hangover has to be pretty astute.

Lupita Nyong'o at Hampshire College

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Before she was being photo-bombed by Emma Thompson at the SAG Awards, the Best Supporting Actress nominee was studying film and theatre at this liberal arts school in Massachusetts. (Bonus: She later went on to study at Yale, just like nominee Meryl Streep!).

Matthew McConaughey at UT Austin

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This Best Actor nominee was "All right, All right, All right" as an undergrad at the No. 27 school with the Hottest Girls. He keeps getting older—they stay the same age.

Bruce Dern at Penn

The No. 5 Oldest College also has the Oldest Best Actor nominee as an alumnus.
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The No. 5 Oldest College also has the Oldest Best Actor nominee as an alumnus.

Martin Scorsese at NYU

The director of Taxi Driver and 2014 Best Picture nominee The Wolf of Wall Street started out as a student at NYU's film school.
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The director of Taxi Driver and 2014 Best Picture nominee The Wolf of Wall Street started out as a student at NYU's film school.

Sandra Bullock at East Carolina University

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Miss Congeniality attended the No. 30 school with the most girls that party until they drop.

Meryl Streep at Vassar College

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The Vassar grad received her 18th nomination in 2014. Only 18? That's all?

David O. Russell at Amherst College

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Like the dance competition Pat and Tiffany competed in in 2012's Silver Linings Playbook, the competition to get in at Best Director nominee David O. Russell's alma mater is pretty stiff—No. 22 in the nation.

Alexander Payne at Stanford University

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With its A+ weather and No. 20 ranking of Most Applicants Per Year, students run to Best Director nominee Alexander Payne's prestigious California alma mater.

Spike Jonze at San Francisco Art Institute

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Before he created Samantha, the android that Joaquin Phoenix falls in love with in Her, Best Screenplay nominee Spike Jonze attended this school outside of tech capital Silicon Valley.

Ethan Hawke at CMU

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The Best Screenplay nominee studied acting at this Pittsburgh university that features many famous Oscar-winning alumni, but dropped out to film 1989's Dead Poets Society, which went on to win the Academy Award for Best Screenplay.

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