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Did Steve Harvey Go to College?

You might know him as the famous host of the Steve Harvey Morning Show as well as various other popular television shows; Steve Harvey is one of the nation’s most beloved presenters, comedians, and authors. 

Not only is he the host of successful broadcasts, but he’s also a celebrated author and comedian. 

While a number of his comedic sketches seem to be written by a genius, the question stands: did Steve Harvey go to college? Did he learn his skills at a professional institution, or did he merely adopt them from the school of life?

Early Education

Steve Harvey was born on January 17th, 1957, in Welch, West Virginia. His family soon moved to Cleveland, Ohio, where Harvey was then raised. The star graduated from Glenville High School in Ohio in 1974. 

Following closely behind his graduation from high school, Harvey did, indeed, go to college. It’s not clear why he wanted to go to college, but he may have been seeking a career in this discipline, before entering the presenting world.

Kent State University

Immediately after high school, Harvey was admitted to college and attended Kent State University in Kent, Ohio. Surprisingly, the comedian and host majored in advertising, which is a clear illumination upon his early career goals in the advertising field. 

Regardless of his immediate attendance, Harvey didn’t graduate from Kent State University; after two years at the institution, he flunked out. 

Nonetheless, Harvey met a few inspirational individuals while attending college. While there, he met Arsenio Hall, a fellow comedian who had hoped to make it to Hollywood, which possibly may have inspired Harvey and even encouraged him to change the course of his life.

He also described an influential girl named Ida Washington that he met during his college years. He explains a discussion with Washington saying,

She said, “Steve, you don’t even belong here…you something special. This place has nothing to offer you. College can’t even teach you anything.” And amen, she was 100 percent correct…College can’t even begin to teach me what I’ve become.

Washington evidently made a large impact on Harvey’s future decisions and could have easily swayed him to make the choice to leave Kent State with such a memorable statement.

What Was Harvey Like as a College Student?

Harvey let fans in on his initial experience with attending university in an interview with Premier Gospel. Harvey describes the way things changed for him once he went to college. He states,

When I went to college, I backslid; I got all off track. I went to college, man, and lost my mind. It was—I couldn’t believe it, man. I mean, I could stay out at night…there was girls…You know, I went to college and lost my mind. I lost my mind and at the same time, I found myself.

While at Kent State College, Harvey also pledged Omega Psi Phi Fraternity. Omega Psi Phi was founded in 1911 at Howard University in Washington DC.

Omega Psi Phi has since expanded to now have branches all over the country. Its motto is “Friendship is essential to the soul,” and the fraternity aims to give its members an eternal fraternal bond. With this peek into Harvey’s past, his participation in a fraternity could indicate his younger personality. 

Harvey’s fans recognize him as funny and even, at times, motivational. These are skills he very easily could’ve picked up from joining a fraternity, leaving him with a friendly and outgoing personality that we can witness on the big screen today.

West Virginia University

After dropping out of Kent State University, Harvey ultimately decided to give college another try. He later moved back to his native state and attended West Virginia University. 

It’s unclear what year, but Harvey successfully graduated from West Virginia University. It is additionally unknown what Harvey’s course of study was, but he may have continued his studies in advertising; where he would have studied print advertising, radio advertising, and newer ways of marketing such as TV advertising.

Regardless, his degree certainly didn’t give him instant success. 

A College Graduate

Straight after college, Harvey worked various jobs. He took advantage of learning multiple skills, including that of an autoworker, a carpet cleaner, a mailman, an insurance salesman, and even a boxer! 

Harvey was always clear that presenting and comedy were his passions, throughout college and after, but didn’t have his big break until the National Comedy Search in 1990. 

He was a finalist with Johnie Walker in the 1990 National Comedy Search and landed his first hosting gig at Showtime at the Apollo. His career became a great success, and he eventually became the Steve Harvey we know and love–the presenter of Family Feud, Fox’s New Year’s Eve, and even Miss Universe, amongst numerous other shows.


While Steve Harvey did go to college–or rather, two colleges–it is debatable whether his degree got him where he is today. Even Harvey himself believes that college had hardly anything to do with his current level of success. He might have learned some pivotal skills from his advertising degree, but advertising does not have a direct connection to presenting. 

Nonetheless, college certainly allowed Harvey the opportunity to make significant connections, from whom he could have been inspired to join the comedic world. Regardless, we can undoubtedly be thankful that his course of life enabled him to become the beloved Steve Harvey that we all know today.

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